Visitors' Day

Members of the St. Joseph's University women's varsity heavyweight eight show their disappointment after finishing fourth in the final on the Schuylkill.
Members of the St. Joseph's University women's varsity heavyweight eight show their disappointment after finishing fourth in the final on the Schuylkill. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 15, 2011

The St. Joseph's women's varsity eight crew didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or continue staring in disbelief.

The Hawks went into Saturday's 73d annual Aderdeen Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill expecting to win the open final. But their hope turned into disappointment with a fourth-place finish.

The team of bow Gabriella Parker, Moira Schanne, Colleen Smith, Danielle Brady, Angela Acuna, Felicia Gojmerac, Bridget Dempsey, stroke Brianne Kammerman, and coxswain Clare Burns finished in 6 minutes, 45.19 seconds.

Purdue won the event in 6:38.49 to claim the women's Aberdeen Trophy. Old Dominion (6:38.82) was second, followed by Grand Valley State (6:43.43).

"We really wanted to get gold," Parker said. "Not fulfilling that goal is upsetting. But when you try your best, you can't really get upset."

The senior didn't make any excuses about being outperformed by the three out-of-towners.

"Honestly, I just think the other girls were stronger," Parker said. "You have to respect other teams. They train just as hard as you do. They put in as much heart, blood, sweat, and tears as anyone else.

"They were just stronger."

No one was stronger than Drexel in the men's pair and Villanova in the women's varsity heavyweight four.

Wildcats stroke Kellie Kruppenbacher, Allison Telleri, Gia Bradley, Molly Berg, and coxswain Anne Marie Kearing won the women's varsity heavyweight four in 7:27.29.

Drexel's Peter Schmidt and Liam O'Neill successfully defended their men's pair championship title. The seniors claimed the Bob Negaard Cup in 7:17.

Like Schmidt and O'Neill, Drexel's varsity heavyweight eight teams were expected to post impressive performances.

That's because the Dragons on Friday joined Purdue and Grand Valley State as the only programs to automatically advance to both the men's and women's semifinals in that event.

But both squads missed the open finals after third-place finishes in Saturday morning's semis. The top two finishers in each of the three semifinals moved on.

For the women's team, this was especially heartbreaking because it had posted the fourth-fastest overall time of the 18 semifinalists.

The Dragons squad of bow Dana Haneman, Casondra Clawson, Emily Coyle, Kayla Wroblesky, Mallory Sykes, Julia Jackson, Alexa Antonioli, stroke Elizabeth Bratton, and coxswain Kerry Walsh finished in 6:50.09. Purdue won the semifinal in 6:49.01, and Sacramento State also qualified in 6:49.82.

In the men's event, bowman Jacob Sloan, Tim Drake, Kyle Fabel, Michael Faust, Lorenzo Albala, Aleksandar Radovic, Gregg Francis, stroke Kurt Linton, and coxswain Randall Lee were leading their semifinal before hitting a goose with 500 meters to go. The boat slowed considerably after impact, and the Dragons (6:00.04) ended in third place, behind Michigan (5:54.67) and Virginia (5:55.76).

Purdue won the overall (men's and women's) team title by scoring a combined 41 points. Michigan (33 points) claimed the men's title, while Purdue (21) captured the women's crown. St. Joseph's (17) finished second in the women's team scoring.

Notes. The Dad Vail Regatta organizing committee presented Drake women's coach Charlie DiSilvestro with the Matthew J. Ledwith Coach's Award, which goes to a successful Dad Vail coach who has been an advocate for the sport of rowing. . . . Committee president Jim Hanna won the John Seitz Award, which goes to a person who has provided excellent service to the Dad Vail. . . . Temple also was honored on the 25th anniversary of its championship in the men's varsity heavyweight eight.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or Follow him on Twitter at


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