Your Guide to GW sports


men’s rowing

Senior Colin Milon, a pitcher for GW's baseball team, spoke to members of the baseball team, men's rowing team and their family and friends during a special commencement ceremony. Kendall Payne | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Colin Milon, a pitcher for GW’s baseball team, spoke to members of the baseball team, men’s rowing team and their family and friends during a special commencement ceremony. Kendall Payne | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The first graduates of the Class of 2014 flipped their tassels from right to left Tuesday as University President Steven Knapp, alongside Provost Steven Lerman, presented diplomas to seniors on the men’s rowing and baseball teams at the athletics commencement ceremony.

The athletes will be unable to attend Commencement on Sunday, with baseball closing out the regular season at St. Bonaventure and men’s rowing competing in the Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass. In lieu of a walk on the National Mall, friends, family, coaches and teammates gathered in the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre for speeches and the presentation of diplomas. Here are five takeaway moments from the ceremony.

1. Lerman: “It’s not easy to be an athlete.”

Though student speaker and baseball pitcher Colin Milon joked about pulling on sweatpants and skipping the line at the GW Deli to make it to class on time, administrators lauded the graduates for juggling course work, practices, games and, as baseball head coach Gregg Ritchie said, “all that college life offers.” Both Ritchie and men’s rowing head coach Mark Davis urged the group, which wore gold scarves embroidered with the label “student athlete,” to think of their time spent on the river or at the ballpark as another facet of their education.

“Don’t think these aren’t life lessons,” Ritchie said. “There’s a reason being an athlete opens doors.”

2. Milon: “The bond we form as teammates is stronger than blood.”

Though mothers with cameras, fathers holding cigar boxes, siblings, professors and friends filled the audience, younger teammates from men’s rowing and baseball made up the largest portion of the audience. Milon emphasized the relationships formed among players, providing a glimpse into a close-knit pocket of a larger University.

“I look over and see a group of brothers,” Milon said.

3. How far they’ve come

The senior classes from both teams showcased an athletics department that has transformed during their four years. Davis thanked rowers Trofym Anderson, Kasey Colander, Matthew Grieshaber and James Stafford “for taking a chance” on a poorly funded team as the first class in program history to receive athletic scholarships. Four years later, the team has had its best-ever season, climbing in the national rankings and at one point winning 21 races straight.

Milon joked about the pre-renovation Barcroft Park, calling it the “worst D-1 field in America,” and proudly recounted his team’s unlikely run last year to the playoffs, where it won nine of its last 10 games to make the postseason for the first time since 2006. Milon and fellow baseball seniors Owen Beightol, Taylor Lambke, Craig LeJeune, Lucas Staub and Aaron Weisberg will see one more series if yet another strong finish can squeak them in.

4. Ritchie: “You make your own luck.”

Ritchie spoke about “character muscles” that players build through competition and training. Speakers congratulated athletes for creating their own success at GW and compelled them to keep pushing themselves.

“It is imperative for you to know that, although you are leaving campus, you are walking towards opportunity with the strength and savvy and the dedication and determination of a GW Colonial,” Ritchie said.

5. Setting a serious tone

The ceremony that kicked off Commencement week was celebratory but also had more serious moments. Knapp’s first graduation speech tasked seniors with remedying global challenges, asking them to “repair what earlier generations have broken, to build what we have left un-built and to heal what we have so far left unhealed.”

Davis was similarly weighty in his remarks, telling the athletes to expect hardships after graduation.

“As rowers, as oarsmen, you always strive for still water,” Davis said. “You don’t get that very often.”

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nora Princiotti.

This weekend’s Atlantic 10 Championships performance seemed like Groundhog Day for the women’s rowing team. Just like last year, they finished just out of reach of a conference title. And just like last year, head coach Eric Carcich took home Coach of the Year hardware.

The third-place tournament showing was powered by a gold medal performance by the Varsity 8 Satuday in Pennsauken, N.J. But the true trophy was out of reach after a solid season by GW, as Rhode Island took the crown.

“Today was a great day,” Carich said in a release. “This morning started off with all boats advancing to the Grand Finals. They did a great job and did exactly what they needed to in order to be in the mix for the title this afternoon.”

Rhode Island’s 49 points helped them win the women’s title, and with it, the conference’s first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Massachusetts finished second with 45 points, followed closely by GW with 44.

Twenty-seven of the women’s points were earned by the Varsity 8’s dominating performances on the day.  The V8 was in full command in the morning heat, finishing the 2,000 meters on the Cooper River in 7:01.79, the fastest time recorded during the morning session.

The V8’s win was no less convincing in the Grand Final, where GW made a move at the 500-meter mark to take the lead, and never gave it back.  The Colonials crossed the finish line at 7:05.06, with open water separating them from silver medalist Rhode Island, who finished in 7:09.23.

“In my 19 years of coaching, the Varsity 8’s performance in the Grand Final was one of the best races I have ever seen,” Carich added in the release. “They were in complete control and maintained their composure the entire length of the course. It was a dominating and very impressive performance. A really enjoyable race to watch.”

This was the first time that the Colonials had captured a Varsity 8 gold since 2006.

The JV8 and Varsity 4 each earned spots in the Grand Finals with second place finishes in the morning heats.  The JV8 navigated the course in 7:23.41, trailing winner UMass by 4.2 seconds.  The Varsity 4 crossed the finish line in 8:17.48, second only to Rhode Islands’ 8:12.33.

The JV8 would go on to finish fourth out of six crews racing in the Grand Finals with a time of 7:34.11. Massachusetts (7:21.57), Rhode Island (7:25.35) and Temple (7:29.30) topped the Colonials in a hard fought race.

The Varsity 4 finished fifth overall at 8:46.53.

Men’s rowing concludes regular season play

The men’s rowing team also competed this weekend, ending their regular season against Navy and Columbia.

The Freshmen 8 won its seventh race in a row on Sunday, defeating Navy by 3.3 seconds with a time of 6:11.50

The Varsity 8 started strong, but dropped behind Navy and Columbia in the second half of the race to finish third after 6:09.20.  Columbia won the highly contested race in 5:57.20 with Navy following at 6:01.90.

The Lions also took the JV8 race in 6:08.10, while Navy pulled their way into second place in 6:11.30, followed by the Colonials at 6:49.60.

The men will take next weekend off before travelling to Worcester, Mass. for the Eastern Sprints on May 19.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 5:38 p.m.

Colonials sports weekend wrap-up

Sophomore Leah Pascarella prepares to volley the ball back to her opponent earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

We did not have room on the sports page today for all of the weekend’s contests, but here’s a look at how the Colonials fared:

Women’s tennis
GW traveled to the Atlantic 10 tournament as the No. 6 seed over the weekend, defeating No. 11 Saint Joseph’s in the first round Thursday with a 4-0 win. But the Colonials fell to No. 3 Richmond in the quarterfinals Friday 4-1.

The Colonials took the doubles point Friday, earning victories from senior Zoe Krohn and junior Mimi Hamling and seniors Jacqueline Corba and Meg Tyner. But the Spiders nabbed wins at the Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles slots to cement their victory, ending GW’s season. The Colonials finished with a 16-7 overall record, including 3-3 in Atlantic 10 play.

Women’s lacrosse
The Colonials fell to Duquesne 15-10 Friday, but returned Sunday to defeat St. Bonaventure 17-11 and clinch the program’s first Atlantic 10 tournament berth since 2009.

GW scored four of the final five goals in Friday’s contest, but was unable to answer the Dukes’ 10 first-half goals for the victory. Senior Sarah Phillips scored a game-high six points, pushing her into first place in the program’s all-time career points list, with 212 points. Senior Megan Seidman added five points with four goals and an assist, and junior Nicole Lacey added two points and five draw controls.

The Colonials will be the No. 4 seed in the A-10 tournament after defeating the Bonnies Sunday, with both Phillips and Seidman netting seven points each. Phillips continued her record-setting weekend by tying the program record for most points in a single season, 79, with Sunday’s total.

GW trailed for most of the first period Sunday but went on a six-goal run over the two halves to take control of the game. The Colonials scored five of the game’s final seven goals to cement their victory and junior goalkeeper Jess Hicks made 12 saves to secure the win.

Women’s crew advanced three teams to the medal in the Grand Finals at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships over the weekend, while the men’s rowing team nabbed seven first-place finishes, including two gold medals, at the SIRA championships.

The women’s rowing team’s Varsity 8, JV 8 and Varsity 4 all rowed Sunday at the Grand Finals. The Varsity 8 fell by 2.7 seconds in the Grand Final to Grand Valley State, after turning in a top preliminary time Saturday. The Varsity 4 echoed the Varsity 8’s impressive outing Saturday in preliminary rounds and took third place in the Grand Final behind winner Nova Southeastern and runner-up K-State. The JV8 won a Sunday semifinal to advance to the Grand Final where they took second place behind K-State.

On the men’s crew’s side, the Varsity 8 and Freshman 8 won gold medals in Sunday’s Grand Finals. The Varsity 8 were in a stroke-for-stroke sprint with Virginia in the Grand Final over the final 250 meters but GW ultimately pulled ahead by just three-tenths of a second. The Freshman 8 also claimed a gold medal in the Grand Final, edging second-place Marietta by 1.3 seconds.

Men’s golf
The golf team earned a second place finish of 20 teams at the two-day, 36-hole Navy Spring Invitational Sunday, finishing with a two-round score of 29-over par 597.

Senior Martin Liu paced GW with a second-place personal finish out of a field of 111 golfers, shooting a two-round score of 2-over 144. Freshman Jack Persons was next in line, earning a two-round total of 9-over 151 to tie for 13th place.

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The men's rowing team will welcome Thomas Guncik, a former New England Rowing Championship coach, this fall. File Photo

Men’s rowing head coach Mark Davis announced Friday a new assistant coach will join the Colonials for their upcoming season.

Thomas Guncik will work primarily 0n recruiting and with the freshman rowers.

Prior to coming to Foggy Bottom, Guncik was the assistant rowing coach and recruiting coordinator at Bates College, a Division III program. He helped Bates to its best performance in team history at the 2011 New England Rowing Championships, where both the Varsity 8 and 2nd Varsity 8 boats finished in third place at the championship regatta. The Varsity 8 and 2nd Varsity 8 also took seventh and fourth place, respectively, at the Eastern College Athletic Conference National Invitational Rowing Championships.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach the George Washington University men’s rowing team,” Guncik said. “Coach Davis has a vision and plan I believe in and this is definitely a program ready to enter the top tier of collegiate rowing.”

Guncik has also worked as a head coach at the New Haven, Conn. Rowing Club, Portland, Maine, Community Rowing Association and at the Thompson Boat Center in D.C., the venue where the GW rowing program is based.

He was the captain of the Ohio State University Crew Club and rowed as a member of the Varsity Pair that finished in eighth place at the 2006 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta.

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The headquarters for the men’s and women’s rowing teams’ annual GW Invitational Regatta, scheduled for this weekend, may be moved due to the United States government shutdown, men’s rowing head coach Mark Davis said Thursday.

The Regatta is the largest collegiate rowing competition in the Washington metropolitan area, with men’s and women’s crews from 12 different universities competing. The planned headquarters are the Thompson Boat Center, which is built on land administered by the National Park Service. In the case of a government shutdown, all National Parks will be closed, meaning the Boat Center will not be in operation, forcing the Regatta to change its headquarters.

“We won’t know until midnight tomorrow night whether the government decides to shut down. If they do. Thompson Boat Center will shut down,” Davis said. “If that is the case, we can still use the river, it’s just us getting access to the river is the issue. So we’ll be using docks at Potomac Boat Club and the Washington Canoe and Kayak Center.”

The Potomac Boat Club is located at 350 Water Street NW, along the banks of the Potomac River, upstream from the Key Bridge in Georgetown. The Washington Canoe and Kayak Center is located upstream, as well, at 3700 Water Street NW. Davies said that the potential location change shouldn’t deter spectators from attending the Regatta.

“It’s still on the same stretch of river, [and] the best place to watch from would be on the Washington Harbor Complex. We’ll have TVs set up there screening the races,” Davis said, adding, “The regatta will still be going on. We have a plan B.”

The GW Invite is scheduled to start Saturday April 9, at 8 a.m., and continue Sunday April 10 at 9 a.m.


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Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 8:00 a.m.

Weekend GW sports roundup from Nov. 5-7

There was more GW sports action than we had room for in the print edition of our paper this morning. Here’s a break down of the rest of the weekend in Colonials athletics.

Men’s and Women’s Swimming

Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams beat Drexel in a home meet at the Smith Center on Sunday. Freshman Caroline Myers was a standout for the women’s team, winning all four events in which she raced. On the men’s side, sophomore Phillip Graeter also won four events, including the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley.

Men’s Water Polo

The men’s water polo team finished sixth at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Championships over the weekend, falling to Mercyhurst 10-8 in the fifth place game Sunday afternoon. Saturday, GW opened the tournament with a 9-8 loss to Johns Hopkins followed by an 8-7 win over Gannon to advance to the fifth place game. GW took a 5-3 lead into halftime against Mercyhurst in that contest, but the Lakers outscored the Colonials 4-2 in the fourth quarter to earn the win.

Men’s and Women’s Squash

Both squash teams swept their counterparts from Vassar 9-0 Saturday. All but one Colonials player swept his or her opponent 3-0 in the GW victories.

Men’s Rowing

The men’s rowing team finished fourth out of seven teams at the Rutgers Fall Classic in New Jersey Saturday. GW’s two boats finished the 2.5 mile course in 29 minutes and 23 seconds, behind first place Navy, second place Columbia and third place Pennsylvania.

Women’s Rowing

The women’s rowing team entered just one boat in the Head of the Occoquan race in Woodbridge, Va., over the weekend and placed seventh in that race. The Colonials’ novice eight-person boat completed the course in 20 minutes and 17 seconds, seventh best out of the 25 competing teams.

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Monday, Nov. 1, 2010 8:00 a.m.

GW sports weekend roundup

This past weekend was another busy one for GW athletics, and there were a couple stories that didn’t make it into our paper copy this morning. Here’s a rundown of the rest of what happened in GW sports over the weekend.

Women’s Cross Country

Senior women’s cross country runner Megan Hogan won her second straight individual Atlantic 10 championship over the weekend, setting a conference record and dominating the field with a time of 16:56 for the 5k course.

Hogan, an All-American last season, will be in action again in two weeks at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Nov. 13 at Penn State University.

Men’s and Women’s Rowing

Both the men’s and women’s rowing teams completed their fall schedules at the Princeton Chase Sunday. The men’s varsity eight-man boat completed the course in just under 14 minutes and finished in 22nd place out of 38 boats. The women’s varsity boat finished the race in 16:26, good enough for 31st out of 45 boats.

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