Virginia Wins 2012 V8 ACRA National Championship


Gainesville, Georgia
May 27, 2012

Virginia Men’s Rowing finished a spectacular weekend of racing on May 27 by winning a second-straight Varsity 8 national championship at the American Collegiate Rowing Association regatta.

V8 rower Sean Watson, said, “Going into the grand final, our primary focus was on staying with Michigan. We knew that they would be incredibly fast through the first 1000 meters of the race. After a decent start, we settled into a long, powerful base pace to put ourselves in contention early.”

The V8 were in the lead pack off the start, seized a length lead by 1200 meters, and were able to see the field behind them for the rest of the race. They finished in 5:40.9, half a length ahead of surprise second-place Bucknell (5:42.9), who finished another two seconds ahead of bronze-medalist
Michigan (5:44.8).

“Winning back-to-back ACRA championships is really special for the entire program,” said Watson, “and it is a testament to the amazing coaching staff we have. As a team, we will enjoy this moment, but preparation for next year’s championship run starts now.”

Men’s Varsity 8 Race Video

Second Varsity 8

Virginia’s medal haul did not end with the V8. The second varsity 8 had a solid grand-final race as well. They brought home a silver medal, with a time of 5:50.8.

Graduating fourth-year Kyle Davis, stroke of the 2V8, said, “We did some great work on our start over the past two weeks. We got off the line quickly in the grand final, and executed our race plan perfectly through the 1000, leading Michigan for 700 meters. Michigan uncorked a huge third 500, and pulled into the lead. Our sprint ate back into it, but they were a great crew. Our guys are hungry for next year and beyond.”

Varsity Lightweight 4

Virginia’s varsity lightweight 4 made a huge jump in speed from the Dad Vail Regatta, in Philadelphia, two weeks earlier. At the Vail, the University of Chicago lightweights were the class of the field, winning the grand final by open water, and thirteen seconds ahead of fourth-place Virginia.

At ACRAs, however, the Hoos rowed wonderfully, finishing second, just 2.5 seconds behind Chicago, earning another silver medal for Virginia.

Novice 8

Showing uncommon poise and maturity in the grand final, the novice 8 overcame a sloppy start in choppy water—after which they were in 7th place out of 8 crews—and proceeded to churn through the field.

At the 1600-meter mark, they were, according to the announcer, in the lead by about a seat, ahead of Orange Coast College. In the end, the Coast crew was a shade too fast, finishing 9/10th of a second ahead of Virginia, who finished open water ahead of third-place Notre Dame.

Virginia’s novice coach Erich Shuler was named the 2012 ACRA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year.


Virginia Lineups

Varsity 8: coxswain Katie Garrity, 8 Robbie Schwieder, 7 Sam Kush, 6 Scott Stuard, 5 Steven Lee-Kramer, 4 Ty Saitta, 3 Sean Watson, 2 Ben Hammond, 1 Peter Malm

2nd Varsity 8: coxswain Sarah Zillioux, 8 Kyle Davis, 7 Dylan Staples, 6 Graham Lohr, 5 Matt Schilling, 4 Quinn Weber, 3 Sam Herder, 2 Will Courtney, 1 Ed Crocker

Varsity Lightweight 4: coxswain Valerie Roth, stroke Bert Udler, 3 Edwin Nieves, 2 Ethan Bauer, 1 Alfred Hubbard

Novice 8: coxswain Lindsay Sackellares, 8 Nick Hine, 7 John McNulty, 6 Charles Hanley, 5 Forrest Brown, 4 Thom Hammond, 3 Garrett Thomas, 2 Nate Brown, 1 Gage Wells