Adrian Bulldogs Shine in Men's Rowing Debut with Four Medals at Rowtoberfest Regatta

The gold-medal winning men's collegiate Varsity 8+ was one of four Adrian College boats to get a medal in the Bulldogs' debut as a program. (Action photo provided)
The gold-medal winning men's collegiate Varsity 8+ was one of four Adrian College boats to get a medal in the Bulldogs' debut as a program. (Action photo provided)

CHICAGO--The Adrian College men's rowing program made quite an impressive debut over the weekend as the team collected four medals at the season-opening Rowtoberfest Regatta at Clark Park on the Chicago River, hosted by the Chicago Rowing Foundation.

“I’m elated by the results from our first regatta,” said head coach Bart Thompson, who was hired on April 24, 2017, to build both Adrian Men's and Women's Rowing from scratch. “My primary objective for this regatta was to allow our rowers—particularly one novices—the experience of attending a regatta as a collegiate rower. The successful results were a huge bonus to that.”

In the first event of the day, the men’s collegiate 4+, Adrian entered two boats. The “A” entry of freshmen Evan Purcell, Niko Hays, Lance Berry, Mitch Doyle and coxswain Emily Cahill won gold in a time of 15 minutes and 2 seconds on the 4,000-meter long course, and the “B” entry of freshmen Austin Pettry, Julian Cantu-Salinas, Ethan Powell, Victor Thacker, and coxswain Athena Flaishans took silver at 16:51.8

“For our first race in program history to feature a gold and silver medal performance is phenomenal,” said Thompson. "Obviously, you can’t ask for a better start than that."

In the afternoon, the Bulldogs again fared well as the men’s collegiate 8+ event featured another gold by Adrian’s “A” entry of Purcell, Hays, Berry, Doyle and classmates Aidan Moran, Rudy Schork, Chris Yaklic, Victor Thacker and Cahill as the coxswain. The team’s “B” entry of freshman Ryan Boyd, sophomore Mark Henderson, freshmen David Swegles, Jake Witt, sophomores Alex McNamara, Kyle Trucks, freshmen Darren Castello, Tyler Adolph and Powell as the coxswain claimed a bronze medal. "A" finished in 13:20.2 ahead of Northwestern University by 38.6 seconds (13:58.8), while "B" clocked at 15:29.7.

“Our top boat went out and did exactly what we asked them to do, which is win the gold," Thompson said. Our “B” entry, which was an all-novice rowing lineup, did a wonderful job of going out and beating an experienced crew in DePaul University to take the bronze medal."

The Bulldogs’ next scheduled regatta was supposed to be the Head of the Rock, in Rockford, Ill, next Sunday. However, the race has been canceled due to flooding in the area. Coach Thompson stated that the team is still trying to determine what its weekend would look like in lieu of the regatta.

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