CAMDEN, N.J. -- Barry University's rowing crew polished off the Knecht Cup in Grand Fashion. The No. 1-ranked Buccaneers won the Grand Final of the Club Four Division I/II event, becoming the only boat to finish in under eight minutes.
Barry's Varsity 4+ of coxswain Angela Dasch, stroke Kasia Walentynowicz, Mandy Carper, Helene Pierre and bow Rebekah Kilroy won the prestigious regatta filled with the country's top Division I and Division II crews in 7:55.02. No other boat in the final broke 8:06. Second place Mercyhurst finished 11.17 seconds behind the Bucs, while Dowling was third in 8:07.83.
Head coach Dave Sanderson and Barry athletic director Mike Covone were texting updates and words of congratulatory remarks back and forth to each other after the 4 completed a perfect weekend in New Jersey. It was one shining moment indeed for the Buccaneers crew.
"They learned a couple lessons from their heat race, and they just transferred those lessons to the final right away," Sanderson said. "It doesn't get any better than that."
The Bucs 8 of cox Gracie Horwitz, stroke Kristina Boncheva, Anna Boada, Rosie Boncheva, Monika Kaminska, Beth Desmond, Anais Foppoli, Emma Howard and bow Kelly Harrison won the Club Eight DI/II Grand Final and finished third in the Varsity 8 Grand Final.
Barry's 8 won the Club Eight event in 6:56.82, becoming the only school to finish in under seven minutes. Pittsburgh was second in 7:08.41. Penn State was third in 7:09.32.
"It was incredible racing," Sanderson said. "We got just tremendous experience out of the weekend. And it's not just the results, it's the way that all of the athletes raced and rowed throughout the weekend. The tenacity, the determination and maturity that they exhibited is what made this a great weekend of rowing."
The Buccaneers 8 rowed to a time of 6:45.93 in the Varsity 8 final, which was 3.19 seconds behind first place Bucknell. Holy Cross was second 1.5 seconds ahead of Barry.
It was a phenomenal performance for a third place result in a race where the top four boats finished within 3.75 seconds of each other.
"Pleased doesn't even begin to explain it," Sanderson said. "It was a great, great rowing race. They were in the lead group, fell back a little ... and had to fight back to get near the lead. That's a really close race. That's what we went there to do.
"Our goals lie in this championship portion of the season, which is coming up now. This is just part of the process. Ultimately, we're going to wake up Monday morning and know that we have to continue to work hard so we can reach our goals."