Drawing on the depth of its performance as a team, Drexel Crew successfully defended its overall points title at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. The Dragons earned four medals and both the men’s and women’s teams placed third, but their combined point totals were enough to edge out Bucknell, Massachusetts and more than 100 other teams on the Schuylkill River in the largest collegiate regatta in the country.
The Dragons advanced eight boats to the championship finals on Saturday and came away with medals in half of those events despite a rain delay of more than an hour midway through the competition.
Drexel’s 41 team points bested its next closest competitors Bucknell (37) and Massachusetts (32) by a margin that equated to one medal. The men tallied 23 points, finishing just one behind Delaware for third place. On the women’s side, Drexel accrued 18 points to land in the third spot as well.
The decisive race for the Dragons proved to be the women’s varsity eight final. Drexel held off a late charge from Grand Valley to take silver by less than a second.
The men’s second varsity eight boat took home the Dragons’ lone goal medal, beating out boats from Michigan and Temple to claim the Ernie Bayer Trophy.
Drexel’s first medal of the day was a bronze, earned by the men’s freshman four boat. The team also won silver in the women’s second varsity eight grand final, after finishing just two seconds behind Bucknell.
Last year’s Dad Vail Championship was an historic victory for Drexel’s rowing program under Head Coach Paul Savell. It now joins an elite group of teams that were able to successfully defend a Dad Vail title.
The teams will wrap up their respective seasons in the coming weeks when the women compete in the CAA Championships on May 18 on the Cooper River and the men head to Mercer Lake in New Jersey to compete in the IRA National Championships at the end of the month.