Blue Hens Impress at Club Nationals
Coming down the track for the final race of the USRowing Club National Championships, rising juniors Jimmy McCullough and Nicolas Pereira sat in the stern pair of Vesper Boat Club’s Senior Lightweight Eight. The two Hens dictated the pace and led the final push to come clear of rival New York Athletic Club by open water to emphatically capture gold. At the same time, this victory and the performance of the lightweights throughout the regatta propelled Vesper to the Colgan Trophy and a clean sweep of the trophies for men’s, women’s, and overall events. This race was the fourth gold medal for both McCullough, who also won the Intermediate Lightweight Quad and Lightweight Double, and Pereira, who finished ahead in the Intermediate Lightweight Pair and Coxed Four; the two of them teamed up earlier in the week to win the Intermediate Lightweight Eight as well. The Blue Hens also had fair representation in sculling boats, with stellar performances from Mark Couwenhoven and Brian Kungl.
Couwenhoven, with Penn AC, and Kungl, with The Foundry, competed in both the Intermediate Lightweight Single and the Intermediate Double. After winning the time trial and progressing handily through his semifinal, Couwenhoven took bronze in the Single and fourth in the heavyweight Double. Kungl crossed the line in the Double race in sixth. Pereira, McCullough, Couwenhoven, and Kungl are all coming off of a gold medal campaign at the Dad Vail Regatta as well.
A handful of rising freshmen competed as well, including David Chapman in the Intermediate Lightweight Single and Double, alongside the Senior/Elite Lightweight Single.
In addition to success at Club Nationals, multiple Hens began their summer with a bang one month earlier at the Independence Day Regatta in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Couwenhoven won the Intermediate Lightweight Single, Kungl finished fifth, with rising senior Will Beardell, under Wilmington Rowing Center, rounding out the Delawarean brood. McCullough and Pereira had similar success with Vesper, now joined by rising seniors Willy Marello, Nick Ruggiero, and Jacob Filby. Willy took gold in the Intermediate Lightweight Double, 8+, 4x, and Senior Lightweight 4x, while Ruggiero sat in the two-seat of Vesper’s Senior Eight with coxswain Jacob Filby at the helm; they finished behind a Princeton Eight comprised of the USA Under-23 National Team Lightweights. Much like they would do later at Club Nationals, the Delaware squad assisted Vesper to the overall points trophy.
The Blue Hens will compete at one more major event, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, starting on August 6th and running through the 13th. After that, UDMC looks forward to the return of the team at the end of August to begin their fall campaign.