JU rowing director Jim Mitchell has entered three eight-person boats on the men’s side and one women’s eight for the races which begin Friday on the Schuylkill River.
This year's regatta is the 74th time the Dad Vail Regatta, established din 1934, has been held and the 59th consecutive year it has been held in Philadelphia.
It is the race the Dolphins key for all season.
The JU men’s team has had a very successful late season run as it won the Florida state title for the sixth consecutive year.
The team followed that with a second-place finish in its first-ever appearance at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference race in New Jersey two weeks ago.
“We’ve had some great races this year, but this is the regatta we have focused on from the beginning,’’ Mitchell said. “The competition is incredibly tight in each of the three men’s events we have entered so we will have to have our best races to come out on top. Our guys have worked very hard, in every aspect, so I look forward to seeing them race this weekend.’’
The men will have a boat entered in the Varsity 8 competition with coxswain Andrew Soloway, in his last race for the Dolphins, leading the crew of Matt Outlaw, Scott DelVecchio, Andy Davis, Greg VanOekel, Bernard Vingilis, Jeremy Sobiech, Brian Cosmillo and Chase Rowe.
Coxswain Tom Richards will lead the JV 8 and will have Preston Weinard, Andrew Bechtold, Tim Easterling, Jared Low, Chris Ottie, Shane Kennedy, Brian Tye and Sean Carney on board.
The Freshman 8 boat will have David Waugh at coxswain with Jacob Strauss, Stephen Marra, Matt Thomas, Drew Allen, Jacob Motes, Chris Morgan, Shawn Macklefresh and Josh Holt as crew.
The JU women will have a talent-filled boat in the regatta as Savannah Rice will coxswain the Varsity 8 crew. She will be joined by Emily Close, Cat Plesko, Abby Sierigk, Whitney Mathews, Joanna Zachowski, Jordan Clary, Maycee Dioneda and Mary Mosier.
“We’ve had some big changes over the last few weeks, but the focus on making improvements to the speed of the boat has been strong,’’ Mitchell said. “Our women are ready to go out and race and see what kind of race they can put together as a crew. We have some good talent in the boat so their success is really going to come down to how well they row together.’’
The 2,000-meter course starts about 500 meters above the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Rowers go under the bridge to the finish line which is near the Columbia Avenue Railroad Bridge.