Friday, May 10, 2013

Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, 2013: RR Picks and Predictions

The Schuylkill Course (Photo: B. Kitch)
The 75th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta kicks off today, with a ton of teams and a host of races taking over the historic Schuylkill course through Saturday afternoon. There are a number of familiar names that will likely be among the top programs once again this year on both the men's and women's sides, though there are a few upstarts that may just get your attention this weekend as well. And so, without further ado, here are our picks and predictions for the podium (warning—opinions follow):

Men's Varsity Eight:

Florida Tech
Virginia
Michigan

The FIT Panthers are coming off a very solid performance at SIRAs, winning by a little under a length in a hotly contested final over GWU and UVa—the Cavaliers finished in silver medal position for the second straight year in Oak Ridge. Drexel will also be gunning for home water glory following a strong regular season, though the Dragons fell to Michigan in an early season matchup.

Men's Second Varsity Eight:

Michigan
Virginia
Drexel

The Michigan Wolverines are always a deep team—just look at the ACRA results since the regatta's inception, and you'll note that UM has taken home the team points trophy every year. Still, Virginia has been building momentum for several years now, and we're expecting a knockdown, heavyweight fight for the top spot on the Schuylkill.

Men's Frosh Eight:

Virginia
Drexel
Michigan

Watch out for Purdue to be in the hunt as well for a podium spot, having shown solid speed at SIRAs. We're picking Drexel to get silver once again this weekend, which would make it the fourth year in a row for the Dragons. While Drexel dealt UVa an early season loss in the frosh eight, we're looking for the Cavaliers to take home the gold in Philly on Saturday.

Women's Varsity Eight DI:

Bucknell
Purdue
Grand Valley

Two of the top teams we have selected are club teams, though there are plenty of varsity programs in the mix, including Temple, San Diego State, Jacksonville, and others. The Grand Valley squad is deep, and will be looking to make a number of podium appearances across a number of events this weekend.

Women's Varsity Eight DII:

Barry University
Nova Southeastern
GVSU (2V)

Led by strong international talent, Barry is our favorite to win the women's DII event (and look out for the race times—they may just post a faster time than the DI final on their way to victory). Also, watch out for Grand Valley State's second varsity to take a crack at the podium in this event as well, with their varsity competing in the Division I event.

Women's Second Varsity Eight:

Drexel
Bucknell
Purdue

We're picking the Dragons to defend their home course in this event, though Bucknell will pose a serious challenge. Purdue's second varsity eight is coming off a bronze medal finish at SIRAs, and will be looking to repeat their podium performance in Philly.

Women's Frosh Eight:

GVSU
Florida
Orange Coast College

We're taking the GVSU Lakers in this event, though Florida showed solid speed at SIRAs, winning the event in Oak Ridge. We're picking Orange Coast College to sneak onto the podium as well, with Purdue also battling to finish among the top crews.

Lightweight Events:

Bucknell is our favorite to win the women's lightweight eight, while Delaware is our top pick for the men's varsity eight. We're also taking Delaware's frosh lightweight eight to win by open water—this is a legit crew that might even have the speed to medal in the heavyweight frosh event.

And there you have it! Sorry for the spoiler, but try to act surprised if you're attending the regatta this weekend—and, of course, best of luck to all crews!

Heat sheets, schedules, results and further information can be found on the official website of the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.

-RR

5 comments:

  1. ComeOnMan!May 13, 2013

    Weren't even in the ballpark for the MV8.

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  2. rowingrelatedMay 13, 2013

    I'm not sure I'd agree with that assessment—all teams were in the final, and one of them medaled: http://2013results.dadvail.org/36795.pdf

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  3. rowingrelatedMay 13, 2013

    Though it certainly wasn't the best set of picks in this post, to be sure

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  4. ComeOnMan!May 13, 2013

    Yes they were all in the final but of those 3 FIT was the only to medal and they were quite a ways off Drexel (I didn't think Drexel winning was a huge surprise really since they showed improvement throughout the season). Watching the replay, Michigan and Virginia were completely out of it. I don't think anyone saw Michigan State coming.

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  5. rowingrelatedMay 13, 2013

    Yeah that's fair -- I was surprised by Michigan and Virginia, but more so by Michigan State for different reasons!

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