Posted: June 7, 2008
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – Lehigh sent seven student-athletes to compete at the 2008 IRA Regatta this past weekend on the Cooper River and the Mountain Hawks put the finishing touches on a historic season with a very strong showing among the nation’s best crews. Seniors Phil Bresnahan and Sam Anderson competed in the Grand Final of the varsity pair, finishing just two seconds out of third place in a time of 7:07.533. The varsity four consisting of Phil Snyder (stroke), Dan Rogers (three-seat), Joe Loguidice (two-seat), Eric Harper (bow) and Jack Muskett (coxswain) competed in the Petite Final and also placed fourth, besting Yale and Wisconsin with a time of 6:40.016, only three seconds out of a top-three finish in the event. This placed the Mountain Hawks tenth overall out of 24 entries.
“Overall, I am pleased with the results from Lehigh Men’s last showing at the IRA,” Lehigh Director of Rowing Liz Meltzer said. “We have been honored to compete there and I was proud to see that the work the gentlemen put in during training amounted to respectable finishes.”
Bresnahan and Anderson raced to a third place finish in their opening heat with a time of 7:34.616, besting pairs from Rutgers and Delaware to earn a shot in the semifinals. The pair of senior captains then blew past the competition, winning by open water in a time of 7:24.437 over Loyola Marymount, George Washington and Yale to earn a spot in the Grand Final where they placed fourth behind Cornell, Harvard and Wisconsin. The pair of Mountain Hawks made a strong push late in the race for third place and distancing themselves from the fifth and sixth place finishers.
“I truly enjoyed working with both crews during the past couple of weeks,” Meltzer explained. “They came down to the boathouse twice a day with a singular focus, to get faster. A grand final appearance for our seniors, Phil and Sam was what they deserved after all the hard work they have put in during the past four years. They are skilled oarsmen who raced with poise and confidence. I expect them to bring the same attributes to their future endeavors and have much success.”
In the varsity four time trial the Mountain Hawks came in seeded 24th but quickly showed they were among the stronger crews in attendance, finishing tenth with a time of 5:48.3 to earn a spot in the second of four seeded semifinal races. The Brown and White placed fifth in a time of 6:43.313 and moved onto the Petite Final where they finished fourth in front of Yale and Wisconsin. Like the pair, the varsity four made a strong push late as they eyed a top-three finish and pulled away from the two crews behind them.
“The gentlemen in the four are our rising leaders and capped off a historic season for Lehigh with their petite final appearance,” said Meltzer. “I expect nothing but the best from them next year and look forward to seeing them use this experience to make their teammates, who will not have a chance to experience the IRA, come to realize where Lehigh stands in the rowing world and what we have to do to accomplish our goals.”
As Meltzer mentioned, this was the final year of club participation at the IRA Regatta. Next year the men will compete at the ACRA Championship Regatta in Oklahoma, while the varsity lightweight women will plan on attending the IRA Regatta in Sacramento, California.