Adrian Rowing Visits Muskie Chase Regatta; Hosts Michigan, Notre Dame to Close October

Adrian College rowing men's novice 4 in action this season. (Action photo by AC Marketing Communications Office.)
Adrian College rowing men's novice 4 in action this season. (Action photo by AC Marketing Communications Office.)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Adrian College Men’s Rowing wrapped up October with the Muskie Chase Regatta in Marietta, Ohio, and then hosted the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame on Devils Lake on Sunday for a tri-dual race that served as the fall season home finale.

Muskie Chase Regatta

The Bulldogs had a successful outing against their conference rivals the Pioneers, medaling in both events which they entered including the men’s 8+ and men’s 4+.

“Our team worked hard, and they should be proud of the results they achieved,” said Adrian head coach Bart Thompson. “There were a number of high-quality teams at this regatta, and the guys showed up in a big way. A special acknowledgement goes to our two coxswains, Kara Geyer and Abby Deslippe, who coxed their very first race today and did a wonderful job.”

The race was contested over 6,000 meters in a head race-style format. The event had an atypical twist, as after the 6k race all of the teams contested two 500-meter sprint races.

In the men’s 8+ event, the Bulldogs finished in 20 minutes and six seconds, second only to Marietta’s first Varsity 8+, which finished in 19:25. Behind the Bulldogs were a familiar foe in Case Western Reserve University (20:23), followed by Marietta’s second and third varsity 8+ entries (20:32 and 20:59), as well as the University of Cincinnati’s varsity 8+ (21:12).

The silver medalist crew was composed of Emily Cahill (coxswain), Evan Purcell, Niko Hays, Lance Berry, Mitch Doyle, Aidan Moran, Julian Cantu-Salinas, Chris Yaklic, and Victor Thacker.

In the following 500-meter sprints, Adrian’s varsity 8+ finish second out of three both times. The Bulldogs finished 1.1 seconds behind the Marietta first varsity 8+ in both races, and beat Case Western Reserve by 2.5 seconds each time.

Thompson beamed: “Our men’s varsity 8+ had a very strong performance today. As an all-freshmen varsity 8+ it was no small feat to finish in second in this event. Additionally, being only one second behind Marietta’s first varsity 8+ over 500 meters (twice) says a lot about their potential in the next few years.”

The men’s 8+ event was open to all collegiate men’s eights, and as such the novice 8+ from Adrian also competed in the event, finishing eighth (22:42) The Bulldogs crew of Kara Geyer (coxswain), Mark Henderson, Darren Castello, Jake Witt, Michael Phillips, David Swegles, Tyler Adolph, Ryan Boyd, and Alex McNamara finished between the novice boats from Case Western Reserve (22:36) and Cincinnati (22:55).

In the 500-meter sprints, the novice squad bounced back from an initial third-place finish behind Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve to win the second piece over those same two teams.

Thompson said: “Our novices had a close win a few weeks ago against Case Western, and today they were on the other end of that in the 6,000-meter race. They had a tough result in the initial 500-meter piece, but they finished strong with a win in the second  500-meter piece. As a novice rower, one of the biggest challenges is learning how to consistently perform with excellence, and our guys are on the road to learning that skill. They took another quality step forward today.”

In the men’s 4+, Adrian came in second with a 24:01 in comparison to Marietta College’s entry that finished in 24:32. In the 500-meter sprints, however, the crew—Abby Deslippe (coxswain), Austin Pettry, Rudy Schork, Gio Esquivel, and Ethan Powell—won the first piece by 3 seconds, before losing the last one by only .1 second.

“Our varsity 4+ took a tough loss in the 6k race, but did a great job by responding in the 500-meter sprints,” concluded Thompson. “They showed great resolve in coming back to win. I particularly liked the way that they spoke after their races about what they learned from today’s competition.”

UofM and UND Tri-Dual

The Bulldogs fared well against their competition in the four races that were contested between the teams, highlighted by a win in the Varsity 2- (“pair”).

“Michigan and Notre Dame have been the best two men’s programs in the Midwest over the past couple years, so having the opportunity to host their teams was a great honor and opportunity for our kids,” said Thompson. “The day was marred by the unfortunate timing of the storm that blew through the area, preventing us from seeing the Varsity 8+ event race the course and causing a couple crews to swamp. With that said, we were thankful to have a strong showing in the earlier races of the day.”

In the first event of the day, the freshmen/novice 8+, the Adrian entry finished fifth of the six entries, in a time of 13:05. The winning time was 11:36, posted by the Michigan “A” entry. The crew consisted of Emily Cahill (cox), Mark Henderson, Darren Castello, Jake Witt, Michael Phillips, David Swegles, Tyler Adolph, Ryan Boyd, and Alex McNamara.

“Our guys fought hard today, going up against some very tough competition,” Thompson said. “Hopefully this will be a learning experience for our guys long-term.”

In the next event, the men’s varsity 4+, the Adrian College entries finished in second (Parker [c], Yaklic, Cantu-Salinas, Moran, and Thacker) and third (Deslippe [c], Pettry, Schork, Esquivel, and Powell) overall.

“This was a good performance for our guys,” stated Thompson. “The race officials acknowledged after the race that there may have been some timing issues, so it’s hard to know for sure what to make of this result. Either way, however, we’re proud of the work that they did.”

The third race of the day saw the Bulldogs win their first race of the day, as Evan Purcell and Niko Hays won the varsity 2- event with a time of 13:47, beating seven other crews, including another Adrian entry of Lance Berry and Mitch Doyle.

Thompson said: “This was a quality race by both of our crews. These were undoubtedly the toughest conditions they’ve rowed a pair in while at Adrian. On top of that it was the first race for either pairing. Despite the challenges both crews performed well. Our “A” entry was Bow #1 and they blasted off from the start and never looked back. I’m also proud of our “B” entry, which was unlucky to miss one of the turn buoys and were given a 10-second penalty as a result, which caused them to drop back a few places in the rankings.”

The penultimate race of the day, the freshmen/novice 4+, was when the weather started to take a strong turn for the worse. Both Adrian crews in the race took on water, and while the “A” crew of Parker (cox), Pettry, Schork, Castello, and Witt were able to finish the race, the “B” entry of Deslippe (cox), Boyd, Henderson, Phillips, and Swegles unfortunately had their boat swamp and were unable to finish as a result.

“I know that both of our crews were disappointed by the unfortunate circumstances of this race,” remarked Thompson. “Both crews had very promising starts to the race, but the amount of water that was coming over the gunwale of their shells made it such that finishing the race was unobtainable. Both boats demonstrated great poise amidst a stressful situation.”

In light of these conditions, the final and premier event of the day, the varsity 8+, was unfortunately canceled, Thompson noted.

“I know that all of the crews were disappointed by the outcome of this final event; it’s never fun to launch, only to find out that you can’t race. Again, this is another race in which a lot of credit can be given to our crew—Emily Cahill (cox), Evan Purcell, Niko Hays, Lance Berry, Aidan Moran, Julian Cantu-Salinas, Chris Yaklic, and Victor Thacker—for the way that they handled incredibly adverse conditions. Not a single guy complained about the scenario, which is admirable.”

The Bulldogs enter their final week of fall season, which concludes with the Bald Eagle Collegiate Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind., next weekend.