PHILADELPHIA -- Barry University's Varsity 8+ won the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta Division II Varsity Heavyweight Final race, and the Varsity 4+ took second in impressive fashion Saturday.
The Bucs 8 of coxswain Grace Horwitz, stroke Kristina Boncheva, Anna Boada, Rosita Boncheva, Monika Kaminska, Beth Desmond, Anais Foppoli, Emma Howard and bow Kelly Harrison won its event final in 6:44.192. Barry finished ahead of Nova Southeastern (6:47.896), UC-San Diego (6:57.430), Grand Valley State (7:01.578), Mercyhurst (7:05.272) and Philadelphia (7:25.946).
Barry and Nova remained pretty much neck-and-neck through the first 700 meters, both distancing themselves a little from the remaining four boats. Nova's 8 pushed hard around a slight turn nearing the midway point on the water before the Bucs made a charge over the last 1,000 meters to win a close race.
"Our 8 really responded with poise and power, and we were able to push ahead," Barry coach Dave Sanderson said. "It was a really strong, gutsy performance from the 8. It was a courageous row from the 8, and they came out with the win."
The Bucs 4 of cox Angela Dasch, stroke Kasia Walentynowicz, Mandy Carper, Helene Pierre and bow Rebekah Kilroy advanced to the final with a second-place finish in the Division II/III semifinal. Barry finished in 7:49.727 behind Bowdoin's 7:43.183. Florida State 40 was third in 7:54.875, and Nova fourth in 7:54.903.
After roughly a three-hour delay in the 4+ Final, the Bucs 4 put together another impressive piece, finishing second behind Bowdoin. Barry crossed the line in 7:39.521, while Bowdoin won it in 7:33.581. Rochester Institute of Technology was third in 7:42.639.
"They did a fantastic job with that race," Sanderson said. "They did it with a lot of poise in the semifinal. They put an even better piece together in the final. They rowed a smart, mature race. When they got to the moment when the race was really starting to happen, halfway through the race, they made a really strong move in the second 1,000 to move from a third to a strong second place.
"Bowdoin also rowed a great race. It's a great feeling for them to finish in a great placement in the race, and they did it with a fanstastic row."
It was a solid weekend of rowing through and through, and the contributions of the staff paid dividends.
"Our coaching staff of Boban Rankovic and Nick Goode, they each had a critical role in the success of our team today," Sanderson said. "Our trainer, Dani Glenn, also did a great job as she has in helping us all season."
Barry will compete in the NCAA Division II National Championships in Indianapolis May 31-June 2.
"It was a great weekend for Barry rowing," Sanderson said. "I couldn't be more proud of this team right now, and we're looking forward to the next three weekends of training before nationals."