Wahoos Start the Season Right
“It’s a good thing we won. I forgot to get the plaque engraved.”
—Frank, referring to the Murphy Cup trophy, which the Wahoos brought back to Charlottesville for the third straight year.
For the second year in a row, the Murphy Cup was held not on the Schuylkill River, in Philadelphia, but rather on the no-bend-in-the-middle IRA race course in Camden, NJ. Unlike last year conditions (very cold, 20mph headwind, general nastiness), the sky was sunny, the air was warm, and the wind cooperated.
For the first time we can remember, every Virginia A boat brought home a medal from a regatta, twenty-nine of which were gold this time around.
In the small boats, the varsity pair (S: Evan Dennis, B: Chris Pena) kicked off the medal haul with a silver medal, an excellent result. The lightweight 4 (C: Lindsay Sackellares, S: John McNulty, 3: Elliott Oakley, 2: Bert Udler, B: Ethan Bauer) handled the racecourse well, and won their final by six seconds. The novice 4 (C: Carl Lewnhaupt, 4: Eddie Tiernan, 3: John Evans, 2: Sean Cronley, B: Ben McLusky) overcame a god-awful heat performance (barely qualifying for the next round) with a nice rebound for a bronze medal in the final. The varsity 4 (C: Charlene Friel, 4: Sam Kush, 3: Matt Schilling, 2: Dan Ponton, B: Christian Salcedo), who had practiced as a lineup just twice, had a solid row in the final and powered home for a four-second victory.
The novice 8 (C: Alex Yang, S: Andrew Heinzman, 7: Mike Becker, 6: Ian Crouse, 5: Alex Pilewski, 4: Scott Helgeson, 3: Isaac Mackey, 2: Kian Ivey, B: Justin Deaver) won their heat by 14 seconds, posting the fastest heat time (though just one second ahead of Drexel). The final was a two-boat race. Drexel’s experience and horsepower gave them the crucial edge, and they finished ahead of the Hoos by a half second. The third- place boat was 17 seconds back. Undoubtedly Virginia and Drexel will have each other on their minds as the Dad Vail Regatta approaches.
The JV8 (C: Sarah Zillioux, S: Peter Malm, 7: Charley Hanley, 6: Perry Cox, 5: Ed Crocker, 4: Sean Watson, 3: Gage Wells, 2: Garrett Thomas, B: Dylan Staples) battled with a surprisingly quick North Carolina 8 in both the heat and final. The Hoos motored to a gold medal, 3.5 seconds ahead of the Heels and the rest of the field.
The Varsity 8’s performance (C: Katie Garrity, S: Forrest Brown, 7: Ben Hammond, 6: John Furlong, 5: Scott Stuard, 4: Ian Feeney, 3: Ty Saitta, 2: Will Courtney, B: Steven Lee-Kramer) was the highlight of the afternoon. The crew rowed very much under control, finding easy speed with quality energy transfer. They dispatched the field easily in the heat, and put together a stunning grand final, winning by 7 seconds over second-place Drexel. Temple was another second behind that.
As always, a thousand thank yous go out to our parents, alumni, and friends who attended the regatta and who followed the results online. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Virginia races next at the George Washington Invitational, in Washington, DC, on April 12 and 13. It will mark the first time the Hoos have raced at the Invite since 2008. Virginia will race duels with George Washington, Georgetown, and Navy. We hope to see you there.
Check out video highlights from the race!