Crew earns 3 first place finishes on first day of 78th annual Dad Vail Regatta

The varsity 8 boat is still primed for a medal after winning its first heat on Friday on the Schuylkill River.

Heading into this weekend’s Dad Vail Regatta, head coach Gavin White was confident his team could earn a medal in the varsity 8 race. The Owls started in the right direction, winning the varsity eight race at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning on the Schuylkill to advance to Saturday’s semifinal.

Temple’s boat, coxswained by junior Dante Romeo, finished the course in slightly more than five minutes, 54 seconds, less than two seconds ahead of second-place Army.

The Owls finished first in three other events, winning the novice four, varsity lightweight 4 and novice heavyweight. Temple also finished second in the junior varsity eight and third in the men’s single to advance to Saturday’s competition.

After the Owls won their first event of the day, freshman Brendan Mason finished third in the men’s single just after 9 a.m. Mason finished about 25 seconds behind first place finisher sophomore Michael Yaron from University of Pittsburgh.

Temple won the next three events of the morning. Freshmen Alex James, Joseph Wellein, Jesse Lishchuk and Austin Burke won the novice 4 competition at 10:01 a.m., beating second-place Fordham University. About an hour later, the varsity lightweight 4 squad won its heat. The team advances to the semifinal, tomorrow at 9:33 a.m.

The novice heavyweight 8 finished the course in 6:40.149 to edge out the University of Minnesota by six seconds and earn the third consecutive first place finish for the Owls. The eight freshmen, coxswained by Caseyann Sweeney, will compete in the semifinals at 8:09 a.m.

In their last event of the day, the Owls second varsity 8 squad finished in second place. The University of Virginia finished first with a time of 6:13.421, just more than a second before Temple. The top-three finish earns the Owls a spot in the semifinal.

Temple and Drexel University, which won the heavyweight eight in 2013, are among the top contenders in the semifinals.

Evan Easterling can be reached at or on Twitter @Evan_Easterling.

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