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Statesmen cap historic season with Bainbridge rower on board
The Hobart College rowing team’s varsity eight capped a historic weekend by being named the Liberty League Boat of the Week by the conference.
The 20th-ranked Statesmen closed out an undefeated spring by capturing the program’s first gold medal in the varsity eight at the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s National Invitational Rowing Championships on Sunday.
The varsity eight includes Sam Zuckerman of Bainbridge Island.
On Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts, Hobart won its morning heat by 2.761 seconds over second-place Bucknell University to progress to the afternoon’s grand final.
In the final, the Statesmen dueled 2013 ECAC NIRC gold medalist Michigan right to the finish line. Hobart stopped the clock at 5:57.741, 0.406 seconds faster than the Wolverines.
With the victory, the Hobart boat became the first Statesmen varsity eight to qualify for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships since 2003.
The 2014 IRA Championships will be held May 30 through June 1 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor Township, New Jersey.
It’s been an outstanding year for Zuckerman and the other Statesmen in the varsity eight boat.
The Hobart College rowing team’s varsity eight had twice won Liberty League Boat of the Week honors in April, and won their ninth consecutive conference championship on the strength of a dominating performance by the varsity eight in the Liberty League Championship in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Hobart, which has never lost a Liberty League men’s rowing championship since the championships were inaugurated in 2004, earned a 16-second victory over RIT in the varsity eight. The varsity eight powered down the 2,000-meter course in near perfect conditions and crossed the finish line in 5:53.02.
RIT was second in 6:09.73, and the Statesmen also had the third-place boat in the varsity eight, with a finish of 6:18.27.
The team is made up of Zuckerman, a sophomore, and junior Joe Biesemeyer, junior Robert McNamara, sophomore August Wherry, sophomore Brett Lawhon, sophomore Davis Muller, sophomore Patrick Ware, sophomore Milos Milosavljevic and junior W. Hunter Holtz.
Last season, the Statesmen won gold medals in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and third varsity eight and the novice four earned a bronze medal.