May 13, 2005
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Santa Clara University men's heavyweight eight qualified for the semifinals with a pair of third-place preliminary heat finishes, while the Bronco women's varsity eight finished just out of the running at the Dad Vail Regatta Friday on the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park.
The men's semifinals are scheduled for approximately 10:45 a.m. (eastern) Saturday with the top three finishers in each of the three heats advancing to the final at approximately 3:30 p.m.
In the first of four repechage heats from which the top three finishers advance to Saturday's semifinals, the Bronco men battled hear-to-head over the last 300-meters to defeat fourth-place Notre Dame by less than two seconds. Santa Clara covered the course in a time of 6:25.97 and made a final push in the last 80-meters to surpass the Irish and take the final qualifying position.
"This was definitely one of our best races of the year," said Mike Rhoads, a junior from San Diego who rows in the number three position. "Our coxswain put the fear of God in us and we really pushed it at the end. Philadelphia is awesome. The level of intensity at this competition is incredible and you really have to bring your 'A' game in order to compete."
"That was such an exciting finish and everyone is really thrilled with how well we performed," added Bronco senior Trevor Gray. "I don't remember much about the end of the race because we were really just pushing it. It was a 'now or never' situation and we really felt the emotion. Now we need to finish among the top two in the semifinals tomorrow to advance to the Grand Final and show what Santa Clara is all about."
Earlier in the day, the Santa Clara men finished third in their first round race behind Michigan and Georgia Tech. By virtue of its victory the Wolverines automatically advanced to Saturday's semis, while Georgia Tech took a convincing repechage victory to advance.
The SCU women started the day with a third-place finish in their first heat, finishing behind Purdue and West Virginia and ahead of Delaware to advance to the repechage.
Despite taking an early lead in the race, the Broncos finished just three seconds behind Loyola for the final qualifying spot for Saturday's semifinals with a time of 7:33.49. Fordham and Vermont took the top two positions in the race.
The Dad Vail Regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with over 100 colleges and Universities from the U.S. and Canada. Thousands of student-athletes visit the city of Philadelphia during the weekend of the second Saturday of May.