25 years and counting
Binghamton Crew has a solid traditional history. These are still expanding and changing from year to year!
Breakfast at Newing/Dickinson Dining Hall
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and without a doubt that definitely holds true for us. After every weekday practice, all the squads gather for a team breakfast at Dickinson dining hall. There, we consume about 100 servings of eggs, french toast sticks, and as much oatmeal we can fit in our bowls. Waiting for us at Dickinson is our favorite Sodexo employee, Ruthie. No matter how hard practice was that day, you can never hold back a smile from Ruthie’s warm “Good morning! Good morning!” greeting. Ruthie has been with Dickinson dining hall since 1985 and says that she can’t remember the dining hall without us. Although our team had not started until 1988, Ruthie has always been a familiar face since our humble beginnings.
At the beginning of each Fall semester, the Varsity squads host a barbecue in a warm gesture to welcome the novice to the team. This tradition started with former-Team President Mike Mohr in 2005.
This grueling workout-turned-tradition is the brainchild of Kai-Yu Liu. Fittingly, Kai is second to Shaun Brown ’07 in holding Varsity Men erg records for the 500m and 2000m. This workout started as a challenge to one of then Varsity men Coach Hogan’s workouts, when Coach Hogan was referred to as the “terminator.” Only on this team could this 7500m row, 3 “brains”, and 10 library towers have been well received. Starting in the late 1990s, this tradition still holds to this day. The first in each squad to complete this grueling triathlon receives the Golden Hammer as an award at the end-of-season team banquet. Starting Spring 2010, a Golden Wrench will be awarded to the fastest male and female coxswains.
Paper Plate Awards
At the annual team banquet, the Captain(s) of each squad distribute the humorous Paper Plate Awards. These awards are received by every member of the team and are meant to illustrate the close-knit spirit of Binghamton Crew. It’s been said that this tradition began in 2001, but no one knows for sure. Needless to say, it’s still a tradition that is done to this day.
Dan Hogan Award
The Daniel A. Hogan award was an idea conceived by Coach Bob Emerson from his rowing days at Purdue. There, the Boilermakers awarded the “Hovde” award to an outstanding member of the team. For Binghamton, the Dan Hogan award was done in a way to honor long-time Varsity Men coach, Dan Hogan, for his unparalleled service to the crew club. Recipients of this award are team members who have gone above and beyond the duties of their position(s) and have made great advances in the betterment of this team.
The first recipient of this award was Team President (2000-2001), Jess Terry, who graduated in 2001, in honor of all her hard work in attaining a brand-new 4 boat named “President Lois B. DeFleur”.
Other recipients are:
|2003||Laura Eason, Novice Women Captain 99-00, Treasurer 00-01, 01-02, Novice Women Coach 02-03|
|2004||Donica Nalbert, Vice President 04-05|
|2005||Donica Nalbert, Vice President 04-05, President 05-06|
|2006||Michael Mohr, President 05-07, Treasurer 04-05|
|2007||Michael Mohr, President 05-07, Treasurer 04-05|
|2008||John Bruno, President 06-09|
|2009||Michael Eichler, Vice President 08-09, McKenna 5K Founder|
|2010||Denise Aquino, Novice Women Co-Captain 07-08, Historian 09-10|
|2011||Nicole Stadnicky, President 09-11|
|2012||Patrick Schiefen, Treasurer 10-11|
|2013||Dylan Hartwick, President 13-14|
|2014||Jun Jeong, President 13-14, Vice President 12-13|
|2015||Emily Eng, Historian 13-14, Novice Men Coach 15, President 14-15|
C. Robert Emerson Award
2012-2013 was the first year of the C. Robert Emerson Award. May 2012 concluded Coach Emerson’s final season as Varsity Women coach of Binghamton Crew. After over a decade’s worth of volunteer service to the team, we chose to commemorate his example by honoring a present team member with an award in his name. The description of the award is as follows:
Awarded annually to an outstanding team member whose commitment, dedication, and above all character embody the “spirit” of Binghamton Crew
The first recipient of this award was Team Historian (2011-2013), Head Coxswain, and Novice Men Captain (2009-2010), Max Stern who graduated in 2013, for his efforts in continuing weekly coxswain meetings and establishing strong ties with the alumni.
|2013||Max Stern, Historian 11-13|
|2014||Emily Eng, Historian 13-14|
|2015||Brandon Murray, McKenna Co-Chair 14-15, Varsity Men Captain 15|
How It All Began
Through the years…
N.D. Chen, Tom Stauble, and Jen Clouting founded the SUNY-Binghamton Crew team. They purchased an eight oared shell and oars from Jan Rogewicz, who also provided advice and encouragement. It was stored and launched from the backyard of Ward Wilson who lived at the foot of Avon Road on Binghamton’s West Side. Ward also provided a motorboat and donated $15,000 for rowing ergometers and equipment. The team practiced on the Susquehanna River in the shallow area near Lourdes Hospital. There, the brave few made their own docks out of oil cans. Kurt Coutts, the coach of the women’s tennis team was instrumental in the purchase of a rowing ergometer which was housed in a cage in a corner of the indoor track (now the batting cage) in the West Gym.
Bought a four oared shell from Rogi for a song and had our first two races. This relic had been fashioned by removing the middle 4 seats from an old wood 8 and gluing the bow and stern sections together. It was raced twice. The results have mercifully been lost, but the program was underway. In the spring, John Spencer came forward on behalf of the Owego Marketplace, who had purchased at auction, Hiawatha Island, for $400,000 and offered the crew the use of the island easement on Marshland Rd. Mike Courtney, the current president recognized the potential and we had a home. The boats and oars were stored on the ground covered by a plastic tarp. The snakes and other critters had to be chased in order to take possession of the equipment each day. Today this area is referred to as “Hickories.” It was barren, muddy, and primitive, but it was home.
Les Wagner cleared a plot and cut a narrow path to the water. He also fabricated and donated boat racks to get the equipment off the ground. The crew purchased 2 Sulivan dock sections and used a launch from 1948. It had a motor that ran for 5 minutes a day and had a gaping hole just above the waterline. It also had water skis. Dan Hogan tried to coach but couldn’t get the motor to run. No one noticed. Eventually the boat and motor were stolen, only the skis were left behind. Every morning these docks had to be put in the water before the boats could be brought down. This was due to the unpredictable water levels of the Susquehanna. Although time consuming, the team quickly got in a routine of putting these docks in as little time as 15 minutes. With increased funds from the Student Association, the crew bought a four from Lehigh, an eight from Colgate (The Seven Oaks), and a trailer and some oars from Rutgers. The trailer cost $1,500. Six years, countless hours in the boathouse, and over $2,000 later, it would be on the road. For now, boat transportation comprised of cutting a boat into pieces, loading it on top of 12-passenger vans, and transporting it to each regatta. The most memorable race day event in 1991 was the men’s eight that flipped at the dock.
The crew bought a new launch and motor, a second used eight and a megaphone for the new coach, Dan Hogan. He joined Michael Courtney and Malcolm Faulds who had been handling the coaching duties. The General Electric Elfun Society, a community service club, donated $4,000 to the crew. The money from GE was used for boat racks and twelve new oars. In the summer, Les Wagner designed our boathouse, convinced the zoning board that it was a picnic pavilion, purchased all of the material and with Joe Shortino and other employees of Wagner Lumber, the boathouse was built. Les also cleared and graded the area, widened the ramp to the water, cut a road into the property and spread fill throughout the to get us out of the mud. That December, the roof was put on by Matt and Mark Myette, John Spencer, Dave Pruden and Dan Hogan. It snowed before all the screws were in. They still aren’t.
During the fall, Sean Hartzell, a recent graduate of Cornell, coached the women. Binghamton High School allowed us to use their rowing ergometers during the winter. In the spring, Suzanne Myette joined the team as a coach. A second megaphone, along with another launch was added to our equipment inventory. Her husband, Matt, contributed his skills as a trainer for our injured athletes. As we were about to get on the water in March, the large amounts of snow melted suddenly, and we had six feet of water in the new boathouse. That Spring, we had only 10 workouts before the State championships at Cazenovia and still managed to get two crews to the men’s varsity finals.
Another donation by Les Wagner allowed for the purchase of twelve new oars. Steve Gladstone, of Brown University, sold us two workboat fours for half of what they were worth. Two reconditioned Schoenbrod eight’s were purchased from Manhattan College, thus allowing us to give The Seven Oaks an overdue burial. The Manhattan coach, Tom Delaney, in addition to giving us a good price, deferred the payments to make the purchase possible. Tony Westbrook, a local lawyer and Albany rowing grad, joined the coaching team as a mentor of the novice men. Kathy Hogan, a graduate of the SUNY-Buffalo program, coached the novice women. The Office of Campus Recreation (OCR) provided funds to put siding on the boathouse. Several work parties later we had walls thanks to Tony, Dave Pruden, John Spencer and several of the oarsmen and women.
In the early spring, vandals and high water cooperated to liberate the docks and send them twenty-five miles down the Susquehanna. Kurt Vieten, a co-worker of Hogan’s, piloted an airplane to look for the docks, locating them several miles south of Sayre, PA. By the time a work party got there to retrieve them, a riverside resident had dismantled one and hidden the other. With Office of Campus Recreation Director, Judy Browne, and several members of the crew, negotiations were conducted and most of the parts were recovered. Aaron Gowan, owner of a Home Central Hardware in Owego, donated the use of his lumber truck and driver to retrieve the remains. The remainder of the Spring and beginning of the Fall was spent dockless and knee deep in water. Eventually, the crew used some of its budget to buy material to rebuild the docks. The crew, let by Scott Muller, Ian Kalmanowitz, Andy Rees, Mike Koval, Jeff Kelley, and others, painted the siding before going home in the Spring. Our lightweight four easily reached the finals of Dad Vails and finished fourth. In addition, Kathy Hogan lent her time and expertise in coaching the women.
Our Office of Campus Recreation benefactor, Judy Browne left for Connecticut, but not before arranging the purchase of a Schoenbrod eight in excellent condition from the Kent School. Larry King became Director of Club Sports and soon asserted his support of our program. Michael Eng, an original member of the BU crew, returned to coach the novice women. After the spring season had come to a close, Suzanne Myette decide to concentrate her efforts on training for the Ironman Triathlon and Coach Eng assumed the reins of the women’s crew in Suzanne’s absence. Somehow this was a signal that we had arrived. Again, the lightweight men’s 4+ finished fourth at Dad Vails, and the heavyweight men and women’s 4’s also made good showings. Returning to rowing in the fall, the crew was greeted with the news that the Rees Family had contributed two brand new eight oared shells to the program. The Fall program was very successful with strong showings at the Stonehurst, Head of the Fish, and Erie Head races.
1997 marks a milestone in the history of Binghamton Crew. In February, Cornell picked up our new shells (the Busfields) in New Haven and brought them to Ithaca. In the early spring, Jim Tornillo, who had hauled our boats away to be stored last year, lent his time and truck to pick up our new shells. Before the start of the spring season, the two shells were christened in a joyous ceremony at our boathouse. The two Vespoli shells were named the S. Fenton Busfield and Ethel S. Busfield in honor of the contribution made by the Busfield/Rees family to the program. In addition to the Busfield boats, the crew purchased a used lightweight Vespoli four from George Mason University. Edward Ide and his son Brian, a varsity rower, added a top rack to our existing trailer to provide for our expanding fleet of boats. It may seem like a small matter, but Larry King arranged with the University electrician to wire the boathouse. Now we can finally see in the morning.
After the snow had melted and the ice broke, Binghamton Crew took delivery of a red Chevrolet pickup for towing our trailer. The purchase was a collaborative effort between the crew, the University and Miller Dodge. A very deserved thank you to Charles Rosenthal, the Binghamton University Foundation and Student Association, Larry King, Todd Skorupski and Miller Dodge. Our sister organization, the Hiawatha Island Boat Club, assisted in alleviating our equipment constraints by purchasing a heavyweight Dirigo four and twelve new oars. The spring of 1998 also marked the birth of BU’s own home regatta. Named in memory of S. Fenton Busfield, the Busfield Memorial Regatta is an annually occurring collaborative effort between Binghamton Crew and RIT Crew. At the close of the spring season, Michael Eng said goodbye to the team in the name of education. He was relieved by Matt Haas and Kai Yu Liu, who assumed the reins of the novice women’s and men’s teams respectively.
The winter of 1999 saw the addition of four new ergs, as well as a new home in the West Gym for the ergs. The spring saw the arrival of two new launch motors and a brand new lightweight Vespoli four. This financial undertaking could not have been possible without the generosity of Larry King, Club Sports and the Student Association, and the time and effort of the crew’s E-board. The new boat was christened Daniel A. Hogan in appreciation for his many years of faithful service to the team. The coaching staff in the spring was further bolstered with the addition of Darius Penikas, yet another crew alumni. The fall saw the return of Tony Westbrook to the coaching staff, as well as a new addition by BU professor Bob Emerson, to replace the voids left by Mr. Haas, Mr. Liu and Mr. Penikas.
December 1999 was a tumultuous time to say the least. As the impending New Year approached, Y2K trumpeted fears of Armageddon, as well as, the dawn of something new, fresh and exciting. With Y2K turning out to be nothing more than a non-event, it was time to start anew. Hey it was the beginning of the next Millennium. Keeping the prior in mind, the Crew started winter training with vigor and tenacity. Training proved beneficial upon transition from land to water. For the third year-in-a-row the team made their way to Virginia for Spring Break. The men’s and women’s squads, including the novice, logged over three hundred miles combined. Soon training gave way to racing. In addition to racing, Binghamton Crew quickly learned that they had much to be happy about. The first, as of Fall 2000, squad members would receive physical education credit for their participation on Crew. The second and certainly not of lesser importance was the news of a new boathouse. Details concerning a new location and structure first broke in early 1999 under the administration of Les Wagner, Dan Hogan, Erik Limpitlaw, Hannah Perkins, Dan Anderson and Todd Skorupski. However plans, permits and litigation halted construction for a year and a half. Then on an autumn morning construction began on a seventy-foot cement retaining wall. The wall will serve an aesthetic purpose, in addition to its function as a structural anchor for the two, forty-foot docks. Additionally, grading of the property and its surrounding areas began. Full details concerning the boathouse, its dimensions and incorporated facilities are still in planning stages. The project is tentatively scheduled for completion around the end of the spring 2001 racing season.
The 2009 Spring season started off with a bang. Rowers and coxswains medaled at the Bucknell Erg Armageddon. In our 3rd McKenna 5K, the team was finally able to put down a deposit on the brand new Vespoli Heavyweight 4+. On March 28, 2009, over 500 runners and volunteers gathered to witness this momentous ceremony of the McKenna family christening the boat. By far this was our biggest turnout for the event. Soon after, the team made another huge stride in attending Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia for spring training. This was the first time the team had ever been to this facility. It was host to the rowing events at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Needless to say, it was a beautiful facility with an equally beautiful bus driver, Jerry. Upon our return from Lake Lanier, we had our 12th Busfield Regatta. For the second year in a row, the weather conditions could not have been nicer. With a dozen opposing teams and dozens of alumni, it was easily our biggest Busfield yet. Both men and women’s teams performed very well on this sunny day and many coxswains got to see what lies under the Susquehanna river. The team’s performance at the Metropolitan Regatta and NYS Championship regatta was great. For the 2nd years in a row, the Men’s Lightweight 4+ finished in first place at NYS Championship. Varsity women erg records were rewritten thanks to Grace Noack, a senior rower and team member of four years. Dad Vails was a very interesting experience. Because of the high water level, the 6-lane race became a head race down the Schuykill. This was due to the extremely high water levels and the amount of debris that resulted. Rowers were astonished how high the water surface was to the lane numbers. One rower recollects, “you could stand on your slide and reach the lane number.” But for the first time, Dad Vails didn’t mark the end of the Spring season for the crew team. Fourteen rowers and 3 coxswains stayed to compete in the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championship on May 23-24 in Oak Ridge, Tenessee. Thanks to Coach Emerson and Mike Morrill ’10, transportation was possible. As a result from acquiring a USRowing membership, the team was afforded an invitation to this event. Former men coach, Dan Hogan, remarks that acquiring the USRowing membership “was the best move” that this crew club had made. Even though our numbers as a team were small, our 2- medaled in their heat, thus putting our name in a nationship light. At the end of the Spring, the team said goodbye to 13 seniors and friends. Three of these seniors were John Bruno (President from 2006-2009), Kait Sweetman (Secretary 2006-2009), and Mike Eichler (Vice President 2008-2009, McKenna 5K Committee Chairman 2007-2009). Mike Eichler received the Dan A. Hogan award, the 2nd non-president to do so. He also fired up a storm with the fundraising efforts, which led us to earn the XCELsior award for Outstanding Fundraising Effort of the Year (Year-Long Effort) among other XCELsior awards.
Our Fall semester started off with an additional executive board position, Historian. After almost 3 years of development, this position was finally implemented. Another new change was with the novice mentor position(s). Members were now allowed to run either alone or as a pair. As a result, we had two novice men mentors and one novice woman mentor. Also, thanks to our dedicated team members, the Varsity men’s coach position was filled since the absence of Dan Hogan. Andy Davis ’10 stepped up to coach the Varsity men and Bryan Kallen ’10 coached the Novice men. From recruitment efforts at University fest, Communiversity fest, GIMs (general interest meetings), and Facebook, the team once again exceeded 100 members. Our 2nd Rent-a-Rower day was held on October 3 with much success, and our annual swim test was held the day after on October 4. For the 3rd year now, the team held it’s t-shirt fundraiser. However, this year was the first time a contest was held to pick the shirt design. With over 300 t-shirts sold, this contest was a success. Thanks to Alex Chan, former team member, for the design. Also, a candy fundraiser was held but with not much success. To start our racing season a little differently, invitations were sent out to the parents for the first time. As a result, we had many fans (and much food) at our regattas this season. To our delight, our alumni raced at the Head of the Fish (October 24-25) and surprised us with a donation of new shoes for one of our racing shells. These shoes are now in the Lois B. DeFleur. Both our lightweight men and women medaled at this race. Our lightweight women 4+ finished 2nd in their heat and the lightweight men 4+ finished 3rd in their heat. Because of the economy the Frostbite Regatta was moved from the usual Schuykill river in Philadelphia to Cooper River Park in Camden, NJ. Nevertheless, the support we received was still strong. Our heavyweight men 4+ finished in 1st place. Notably, this was the first time the new rowing shell John J. McKenna IV medaled in a race. Our alumni followed us in Philadelphia at the Braxton Regatta on November 15 with a new pair of slings. We were very thankful for their generosity this semester. After our racing season, fundraising efforts still followed. On November 18, the team had a fundraiser at Moe’s Southwest Grill. The Java Joe’s fundraiser again was held and was developed with an online link on the crew website. The semester ended with the calendar fundraiser.
The 2010-year began with several new faces, and tons of promise. The team welcomed three coaches in the fall, Andrew Lawlor (Varsity Men), Denise Aquino (Novice Women) and Joe McGannon (Novice Men). The season started off strong with the Varsity Mens 8 winning the Mayor’s Cup at the Head of the Mohawk in Schenectady, NY. The varsity women’s 4+ also placed, winning their event. Both the varsity boats that won also set course records, with the men setting an all time course record of 12:21. At the Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, the novices got their first taste at racing. The novice men defended Binghamton as the fastest SUNY program beating SUNY Albany and Buffalo. In November the team brought its winning ways to the city of brotherly love, with the novice women sweep the weekend by winning the Novice 8 category both days. There was also tremendous alumni support, from cheering, racing and donating two new pairs of slings! The team also tried a new fundraiser in the fall, Power 10 Cards. The cards could be purchased for 10 dollars, and give our supporters great deals all over the Tri-City area. Other fundraisers that helped Binghamton Crew hold its title as the top fundraising club included the selling of calendars, bumper stickers, coffee, candy, t-shirts and even helping work as staff for homecoming weekend! The spring semester started off in the dead of winter, with all squads training relentlessly in preparation for the spring racing season. Finally, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel, Camp Bob Cooper. Spring training 2011 saw all squads shed seconds off their 2ks as records were set across the board for meters rowed during the week. After returning from camp, the team ran the 5th Annual John McKenna Memorial 5k. This year not only did we have a record number of participants, but Yellow Jacket Racing provided ankle timers to ensure accurate timing. The team hopes this new addition will attract more runners in the future. Soon after, the hard work put in during winter training and the week at Camp Bob Cooper paid off, with the team winning 9/14 races at the annual Busfield Regatta. the first race of the spring racing season. The varsity men went 5-0, taking gold in both Mens 8+ heats, both Mens 4+ heats, and the Mens LT4. The next race on the schedule was states, however, due to massive rainfall, Whitney Point flooded to the point where the race had to be cancelled. However, Ithaca agreed to host a scrimmage, with most of the New York schools participating. It was a beautiful day of racing with the Womens 8+ almost pulling out a victory over the ladies from West Point. The next race on the schedule was Dad Vails in the city of brotherly love. All crews put on a strong showing, but against stiff competition only the Womens 8+ made it past the first round of racing and into reps. The season as a whole was quite memorable, races won, close finishes, records broken, and gaining new faces while losing some old ones. We look towards next year, with novice moving up to varsity, new coaches, new novices and new opportunities to continue what ND Chen started 23 years ago.
The Fall 2011 semester began with much promise. The team received two new and dedicated coaches: Patty Benda for the novice women and Chris Carpenter for the novice men. Additionally, Coach Bob Emerson, who normally coaches solely the Varsity Women, graciously agreed to coach the Varsity Men as well for the Fall Semester. With the help of the coaches and eboard’s leadership, the team persevered through massive flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Fundraising efforts, such as the first annual Binghamton Crew Ergathon, were undertaken to help raise money to repair damaged and lost equipment. The team erged for 24 hours straight, selling t-shirts, racing students on campus and of course had a great time! In addition to fundraising to replace equipment, it was important to get novices on the water as fast as possible. The annual Learn-to-Row day had an amazing turn out, with the team using every 8 we owned to get novices on the water!
The will to strive forward and break through adversity continued onto the racecourse, with the team seeing success early on. At the Head of the Fish, the first race of the fall semester for the team, many squads excelled. The Novice Men started the day by setting the bar very high with Dylan Hartwick ’15 winning the Collegiate Men’s Single event. The Novice Men’s 8 was the next boat to race for the team and continued to represent the team well. The novice finished 6th out of 22, beating many competitive crews. Next up on the docket was the Varsity Women’s 8. The varsity women finished 13th out of of 17, maintaining our dominance over fellow SUNY and other New York schools such as Albany, Skidmore, Canisius, RPI and Vassar. Next up was the Varisy Men’s squad, starting with the Varsity Men’s 4. The 4 finished 22nd out of 32, also beating may fellow New York Schools. The Varisty Men’s 8 continued the squads successful day by finishing 16th out of 20, beating competitive programs such as Tufts and Skidmore. The Novice Women finished off the day with their four. The four finished 13th out of 21, beating out many crews we would face later in the season. The next races on the schedule were the Frostbite and Braxton on the Cooper River in Camden New Jersey.
The team’s success continued as we traveled down to South Jersey to race at the Frostbite and Braxton Regattas in Camden on the Cooper River. The Frostbite was held on Saturday November 12th, and the Braxton was held on Sunday November 13th. The Women’s Varsity 8 were the stars of the weekend, as they won gold in their event. Although only the Women won a medal, all crews put on a good showing on the racecourse, putting a nice end to the fall racing season.
After the end of the Fall racing season, the team turned towards winter training in preparation for spring. Denise Aquino ’12 admirably stepped up and relieved Coach Emerson of his coaching duties for the Varsity Men and led the team through winter training and into the Spring Semester. Furthermore, During Winter Training 2011-2012, a new tradition was born, named Winter Training Warrior. For all squads, to help motivate and congratulate training success, if a rower met established times for erg pieces and running, they would be bestowed with the title “Winter Training Warrior”. The only two rowers on the team to meet the lofty standards were Patrick “The Elmira Express” Schiefen ’12 and Mark “The Beard” Schede ’12, although many others came close to meeting all the criteria. This motivation was also needed during the team’s annual triathlon. The triathlon consists of 7500 meters on the erg, 3 brains, and then 10 library towers. The fastest rower to complete this grueling gauntlet from each squad received a golden hammer, and of course admiration. The four winners were: Patrick Schiefen ’12 for the Varsity Men, Alec Bohn ’14 for the Novice Men, Mia Rienzo ’15 for the Novice Women and Katy Kam ’12 for the Varsity Women. Katy Kam’s victory was a special one, for this marks the first time a coxswain has won the golden hammer. The fastest male and female coxswains receive a golden wrench, and these years’ winners were Katy Kam (of course!) and Eric King ’14. Next up on the docket for winter training was the 6th Annual John McKenna Memorial 5k. This year the McKenna Committee did fantastic work collecting sponsors and donations from all over the state of New York and the local community. Their hard work was reflected in the race’s incredible turn out. This years race shattered previous years numbers for runners and registrations with 687 runners registered to run the race and honor the memory and spirit of Captain John J. McKenna. After the race ended the McKenna Committee began their work towards making next years race an even bigger success! The culmination of all the hard work on the erg, along the brain and in the library tower was the teams trip down to sunny Summerton, South Carolina for spring training.
After a long 14 hour bus ride, the team immediately got to work. Coach Denise Aquino, now with the Varsity Men, worked the men hard, but in the end we were better for it. Often times, stroke rates for practices didn’t dip below a 30, except for 20 on, 20 off at at 20 spm (but the catch was, it was on the square!). Additinoally, several Varsity Men wanted to set an example of pushing themselves on and off the water, and started the “10k-call-it-a-day” club, erging a 10k every night. At the end of the week seniors Ryan Murphy and Derek Suttclife had erged 100,000 meters.The Varsity Women had an interesting camp. Coming to camp with only 6 rowers, the squad had to decide whether to practice/race a 4+ and have 2 members sit, or to bring up 2 novice women and race an 8+. After a week of hard work, Emerson decided to race an 8 (we couldn’t let the Heron just sit on the rack! if it did the Varsity Men would probably lay claim to it…) Therefore, Mia Rienzo and Becca Schwartz, were promoted up from the Novice Women to the Varsity Women’s squad. Coach Chris Carpenter worked his squad hard, as there were many rows from all the way up to Potato Creek, down to the power lines and back to the docks. Regretfully, the usual scrimmage with Stony Brook was cancelled on the last day of camp, as there was rain, white caps and a thick fog over the lake, creating sub par racing conditions. Last but not least, the Novice Women. Coached by Patty Benda, the Novice Women had the tough task of trying to pick up the speed of their squad, while teaching three new girls how to row. In the end, the squad had a tremendous week of bonding and learning.
Upon returning to Binghamton from South Carolina, the team was itching to get back on the racecourse. The team’s thirst was quenched with the 15th annual Busfield Regatta. The team won seven out of the 12 races on the day, with every squad winning at least one event. In fact, the Varsity and Novice men each won two or more events. The two victories for the novice men were there first victories in six years! Additionally, the weekend of the Busfield is traditionally alumni weekend, and droves of alumni returned to the Les Wagner Rowing Center to cheer on their club. At the end of racing four eights filled with alumni raced, reliving glory days of years past. The successful day was celebrated with an alumni dinner at the Dugout across the river in Appalachian, We hope to see another successful day next year and a even bigger alumni turnout!
Next on the Spring schedule was the Metropolitan Regatta in New Rochelle New York. The Metropolitan Regatta is an important race, as it many of the schools are from the State of New York, whom the team will race later on in the season at the state championship. The team saw success throughout the day, especially against fellow SUNY programs. The day started with the Novice Women’s 8 finishing 5th in a straight final, beating SUNY Albany. Next up, the Varsity Women’s 8 advanced to finals, with second place finish. In finals, the Women’s 8 finished fourth out of six, beating the host school Iona and Albany. Following the Varsity Women was the Novice Men’s 4. The four finished 5th out of 6 beating LIU-Post. Next up for the Novice Men’s Squad was the Novice Men’s 8. The 8 had a strong day finishing second in their heat, and then third in finals winning bronze with a time of 7:40.5. In the finals the 8 beat SUNY schools Albany and Maritime, along with host school Iona. Last but not least, the Varsity Men. The Varsity Men had a tough day, losing a close opening race to SUNY Albany, failing to advance to finals. Even though the Varsity Men had a time 12 seconds faster then SUNY Buffalo in heats, SUNY Buffalo was in a different heat and advanced to finals. However, the squad would regroup and use this race as motivations for the following race, the New York Collegiate Rowing Championships.
The New York State Collegiate Rowing Championships were held on May 5th and 6th at Whitney Point, New York. Racing started on Saturday with the Varsity Women, who advanced to petite finals with a competitive time of 7:12.18. Next up for the team was the Novice Men’s 8 who also advanced to petite finals, beating Clarkson and RPI with a time of 6:39.36. Following the Novice Men, was the Varsity Men’s Heavyweight Four. In a rare seven boat opening heat, the Heavies were in second place for 1700 meters, however equipment failure struck at the worst possible moment, slowing the boat down and preventing an advancement to grand finals, however, the four would return the next day to win Petite Finals, beating Marist, Ithaca, Army, Union and other competitive New York Private schools. Next up for the squad was the Varsity Lightweight Men’s 4. The four, in a straight final, faced a tough challenge from the University of Rochester. For 1500 meters of the race, the Binghamton Lightweights were in first place, on their way to winning states. However, Rochester admirably kept the race close and eked out a victory in the last several strokes. The last squad to race on Saturday was the Novice Women’s 8. The eight finished fourth in their heat, advancing to petite finals, finishing with a time of 7:58.25
The last race of the Spring Semester, and the ’11-’12 year was the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, PA. Due to financial issues and conflicts with finals (the race was the weekend before finals week, May 11th and 12th) Only the Varsity Men sent a boat. The varsity men would not have been able to have this wonderful opportunity to compete in this respected competitive event without the magnanimous donations of scores of alumni, helping to pay for entry fees and other race expenses. The Varsity Men faced a tough opening heat racing nationally ranked schools such as the University of Virginia, Michigan State, The University of Connecticut, and George Mason. Although the Varsity Men finished last in their competitive heat, they still had faster times than other Men’s Varsity 8’s in other heats such as Ohio University, our old foe from spring training and past Dad Vails races.