|The Schuylkill Course (Photo: B. Kitch)|
Men's Varsity Eight:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.