-Courtesy Susan Saint Sing-
Philadelphia, Pa. - On a rainy Saturday afternoon, in front of 25,000 fans and a GLOBAL, live, streamed ESPN news wire, and the ABC Philadelphia news--the Stetson women's lightweight four rowed to their second national bronze medal in two years at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. First place was taken by the University of Massachusetts and the silver went to the University of Pittsburgh. Stroked by Caitlin Burke, with freshman Caitlin Mooney in Seat 3, Christina Kapusta in Seat 2, and Jacqueline Horbert in bow and Kerry Burke coxing, they navigated the rain-soaked course masterfully. They led for half of the race but lost ground at the "island" where tricky currents historically interfere with boat speed.
600 colleges and universities from 28 states plus Canada competed on the 2000-meter course that has been run annually for 78 years on the historic Schuylkill River. Powerhouse crews from Michigan State, Penn State, Temple, Jacksonville, SUNY Maritime, NYU, Amherst, Virginia and others raced for two days to vie for the national titles.
The women's pair just missed advancing from the semifinals by .2 seconds and were seventh in the nation. The men's lightweight four and the men's single both finished fourth in their heats and did not advance to the semifinals.
Senior Josh Mena said, "I'm glad I got to row my senior year at the Dad Vails and I am very proud of Stetson for doing so well up against these national powerhouses."
Stetson was also interviewed and broadcast worldwide by the ESPN sports team. Stetson University's name is out there in a big way because of the regatta.
The entire light women's crew returns to race again for next year's nationals and lends an exciting edge to the upcoming season.