University's Class of 2008 honored by men's crew program
3:12 p.m., Oct. 24, 2012--On a beautiful autumn day on Oct. 14, the University of Delaware Men’s Crew Alumni Association held its seventh annual Alumni and Family Day. More than 100 alumni, family and friends of the program attended the event at the Wilmington (Del.) Youth Rowing Association Boathouse on the Christina River.
In honor of their upcoming five-year reunion, 16 men's crew alumni from the Class of 2008 pledged over $25,000 to the team to support current operations, capital needs and endowment. Eight alumni were present for the dedication of the program's new varsity lightweight "eight," an eight-man boat with coxswain, named in honor of the Class of 2008.
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In addition to the dedication, the event also featured recognition of alumni Matt Iacone, a 1993 graduate, and Evan Price, a 2004 graduate, for their contributions to the program, as well as a traditional “class” race, with alumni and current rowers competing in head-to-head sprint races on the Christina River.
"It was great getting back on the water with classmates after my short 'retirement' from rowing," said Burke Wadsworth, a member of the Class of 2008, who traveled from Houma, La., for the dedication. "There is nothing comparable in sports like sitting between your teammates preparing to race as one, which is the culmination of the collection of individual efforts over months of intense training. I attribute my post-graduate success to my experiences at UD, and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the team that helps the University’s collegiate athletes succeed on the water and in other facets of life."
Head coach Chuck Crawford, in his 18th year at the helm of the program, said that he was thrilled to see so many former rowers at the Alumni and Family Day event, and expressed his appreciation of the crew alumni. "The Class of 2008 was a unique group, filled with talented young leaders who excelled on and off the water,” said Crawford. “The successful crews they were a part of while at UD helped foster the championships of our recent crews, and even after graduating from UD they continue to be great examples for our current rowers."
Shawn Duff, a 2008 graduate and president of the Men’s Crew Alumni Association, said it was a great experience to reunite and be a part of the dedication with his teammates from his class year. "We formed lasting friendships while rowing for UD,” said Duff. “It's remarkable after almost five years to still see the passion for supporting the program."
The UD Men’s Crew Alumni Association is the alumni component of the University’s men’s crew club and a partner of the Office of Alumni Relations. The alumni association connects UD crew alumni with each other and supports the program, preserving and strengthening the sport at UD.
The UD men's crew club was founded in 1991, and fields both heavyweight and lightweight squads. The club competes against varsity programs, and recently has been one of the most successful teams at the Dad Vail Regatta held in Philadelphia.
Article by Melissa Cox
Photos by Evan Krape