April 27, 2008
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - The Navy women's rowing team won individual boat titles in the second varsity and varsity four flights and tied Bucknell for the overall team points title at the Patriot League Championship held Sunday on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. The result of the first varsity race is used to break a tie in the points standings between teams, however, so with Bucknell's win and Navy's second-place finish in the race the Bison were officially named as the Patriot League team champions.
"It definitely is a day of mixed emotions," said Navy head coach Mike Hughes, who was selected as the Patriot League Coach of the Year after the conclusion of the regatta. "We scored as many points as Bucknell did on the day, just not in the right race. Bucknell had a great varsity race and we congratulate them on their performance and on winning the team championship."
The day began with Navy posting a four-second victory in the varsity four race. The Mids completed the course in a time of 8:08.35 with Bucknell following in second place with a clocking of 8:13.25. Next up was the second varsity race in which Navy finished in first place five seconds in front of the Bucknell's second-place crew. The Mids recorded a winning time of 7:14.50 to win its third second varsity title in the four-year history of the league championship.
That left the varsity race, which the Bison took control of very early.
"Bucknell was able to open up an early lead and quickly stretched it out to a boat length," said Hughes. "They then had a great closing stretch and won the race pretty handily."
The Bison posted a time 6:51.65 to finish well in front of Navy's second-place clocking of 7:06.51. There was a seven-second margin between Navy and the third-place boat, Colgate.
The final team standings showed Bucknell and Navy tied for first place with 27 points apiece, Holy Cross finished in third place with 15 points, Colgate followed in fourth with 13 points and Lehigh tallied seven points on the day.
"We have come a long ways, both since last year's Patriot League Championship and the start of this year's spring season," said Hughes. "We had won only one individual boat title at the league championship in the last two years combined and finished second in the team standings in both seasons. To win two boat titles and tie for the championship is a great step forward. But we still have one more step to take in order to get to our ultimate goal next year."
Following the conclusion of the official Patriot League Championship, the league's member schools competed in a pair of additional challenge races, both of which were won by Navy crews. The Mids won the novice race by nine seconds -- with Navy's second novice boat also placing third -- and the second varsity four race by just over four seconds.
"I think we showed the quality of our depth in both the Patriot League Championship and in the challenge races," said Hughes. "We won four of the five races and our B boat also beat the other B boat in its race. No matter how you look at it, that's a pretty good day and we have a lot to be proud of, but we still leave here disappointed."
Navy's varsity boat will travel to Seattle this coming weekend to take part in the Winderemere Cup/Opening Day Regatta.
Patriot League Championship
Bucknell, 6:51.65; Navy, 7:06.51; Colgate, 7:13.21; Holy Cross, 7:17.50; Lehigh, 7:25.22
Navy, 7:14.50; Bucknell, 7:19.08; Holy Cross, 7:33.75; Colgate, 7:40.67; Lehigh, 7:51.51
Navy, 8:09.35; Bucknell, 8:13.25; Holy Cross, 8:41.41; Lehigh, 9:12.26
Team Points Standings
Bucknell, 27*; Navy, 27*, Holy Cross, 15; Colgate, 13; Lehigh, 7
* -- Bucknell awarded team title due to result of first varsity race
Navy, 7:30.9; Bucknell, 7:39.44; Navy (2N), 7:46.77; Holy Cross, 8:08.02; Bucknell (2N), 8:25.82
Second Varsity Four
Navy, 8:27.80; Bucknell, 8:32.18; Holy Cross, 9:15.94; Bucknell (B), 9:20.35