April 22, 2011 by Brian.McChesney
For the first time in a long time the men’s and women’s crew teams have swept the Kerr Cup.
Both the men and women’s varsity eight boats placed first in their races April 16 to bring home the trophies together.
“Its great to bring home the trophies,” head coach Paul Savell said. “We had a great day on the Schuylkill and we were able to come out on top; it feels great, I’m so proud of our team.”
Dr. Thomas Kerr, namesake for the men’s race, founded the Drexel team. His wife Lela Kerr has the women’s race dedicated in her name and so the Kerr family comes out to present the trophy to the winners.
“It is really special to see the family come back because Dr. Kerr meant so much to the school and the team, and he really cared about us,” Savell said.
On the men’s side, the Kerr Cup was not their only win; the novice eight, pair and freshman four all finished first in their races as well. The team showed its current skill, but has a very bright future to look forward to.
“The freshmen are a real promising group,” Savell said. “They have really bonded together well all year and are really picking up speed toward the end of the year and that is what it is all about.”
The varsity eight of Marc Smith, John Pieper, Vanja Busic, Sebastian Ryan, Marcus DeMarici, Ryan Mcspedon, Steven Miner, Matthew Ryan and Ross Morris crossed the finish line with a 5:40.8 time — a full 10 seconds ahead of second place Fordham.
The second varsity eight placed third in that race, giving Drexel two of the top three finishes with twelve schools racing in the event.
For the second straight year, the women captured the Lela Kerr Cup with a time of 6:40.00.
The boat included Cate Khella, stroke Elizabeth Bratton, Emily Coyle, Kayla Wroblesky, Alexa Antonioli, Julia Jackson, Mallory Sykes, Casondra Clawson and bow Dana Haneman. Villanova finished behind them by a full 10 seconds.
“I thought both the men and women were going to do well over the weekend because we had seen all these teams before and we were in a good position comparatively,” Savell said.
The women also fared well in the other races that day with a second place finish in the novice eight and varsity four races, and third in the freshman four final.“The women have been picking up speed all year and I’m very proud of them,” Savell said.
Up next are the CAA Championships before the City Championships and the biggest race of the year — the Dad Vail Regatta.
“We are in the fine tuning stages, just trying to prepare for these last three races, and bring our best stuff to them so we can show who we really are,” Savell said.
The teams are confident and now it is time to perform and show what they can do but finished the tournament as the best team in the CAA.