In perfect conditions down in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Delaware Heavyweights posted their best ever result in the Varsity Eight at the SIRA Championships against stiff Dad Vail competition. Alongside the Eight, a Varsity Four and Single posted competitive finishes as well. The Eight began their racing on Saturday morning in a time trial.
After cruising down with the fourth best time overall, the Eight, comprised of Ruggiero, Seidman,Montrueil , Trunley, Gaydosh, Canning, Fraser, Rumaker, and Filby, battled North Carolina in the semifinal for their spot in the Grand Final. After conserving energy for the last 500m, the Heavyweights clocked their fourth consecutive appearance in the SIRA Final. For the championship race of the regatta against Purdue, North Carolina, Florida Tech (the 18th Ranked crew in the nation), Virginia, and Marietta, the Hens recovered after a slow start and methodically walked through the Boilermakers, Pioneers, and Tar Heels and tailed Florida Tech and Virginia by one length with 400m to go. After a gritty sprint, North Carolina slipped past the Hens to keep Delaware in fourth; their best result in history.
With the goal in mind to clean up their first and last 250m of the race, the Heavyweight Eight, which experienced immense growth in the past week, looks to gain speed heading into their last regular season race against Rutgers this weekend before heading up to the Dad Vail Regatta with the intention to capture another medal. Alongside the Eight, the Varsity Four matched their result from last year and finished twelfth. Freshman James Poll demolished the single sculls event to win by a massive ten seconds over the silver medalist from Georgia Tech.
“I didn’t feel like I was going that hard,” he confidently remarked afterwards.
For the No. 6 Lightweights, they made the trek down to Annapolis to race the No. 7 Naval Academy and No. 1 Harvard. In a quartering crosswind turning into a full tailwind, each crew fell to both the Midshipmen and Crimson. In a courageous effort, the First Varsity Eight of McCullough, Pereira, Hurley, Light, Buck, Kungl, Dough, Marello, and Snow exploded out of the gates to take the lead by the 500m mark before Navy and Harvard edged back in.
Leading into their final regular season match against Columbia and the Drexel Heavyweights, Delaware will seek to extend their furious starting speed to make waves against the Lions and Dragons.