CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- It was a stellar day for the Bucknell Rowing team on Sunday, as the Bison overcame chilly temperatures to post two wins and a runner-up finish at the Cooper Invitational on the Cooper River. Bucknell's second and third varsity eights were victorious, while the first varsity eight placed second to Marist.
"We saw great improvements on the race course across all boats, and we are excited for our two novice eights and their first spring racing experience," said head coach Stephen Kish. "We are looking forward to scrimmaging Patriot League competitor Lehigh this upcoming weekend, and then being back at the Cooper River the following week."
Bucknell's lead boat clocked a time of 7:09.73 over the 2,000-meter course. The Bison were just over three seconds behind the Red Foxes and nearly six seconds ahead of third-place Delaware. Eastern Michigan, Duquesne and Villanova rounded out the six-team Grand Final.
The varsity eight moved up to second after turning in the No. 4 qualiftying time earlier in the morning. The Bison finished their heat in 7:22.03 and were seeded behind Marist, Delaware and Eastern Michigan.
The Bucknell second varsity eight rowed to a nearly 13-second victory over Marist in the Grand Final. The Bison finished in 7:35.80, well ahead of the Red Foxes in 7:48.52. Canisius, Villanova, Duquesne and Fordham rounded out the top six. Bucknell qualified in 7:48.35, which was the second-fastest heat behind Fordham.
Three teams had entries in the third varsity eight race, and Bucknell (7:46.05) outrowed Delaware (8:02.72) and Villanova (8:16.07).
The Bison also sent out two novice eights, and they finished third (8:48.87) and fourth (9:15.90) behind Villanova (8:29.86) and Duquesne (8:38.89).
"This was a solid race with solid results," said sophomore Erin Rigney, who was a member of the victorious third varsity eight. "It's great to see the improvement from race to race. The team has been working really hard this season, and it's awesome to see that everyone is hungry for more speed."
Next Sunday, the Bison will scrimmage Patriot League rival Lehigh at home on the Susquehanna River, and the following Saturday the team will be back on the Cooper River for the Cherry Hill Invitational.