BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo rowing team returns to the waters in search of another championship season. The Bulls have won three straight Dad Vail Regattas and are the defending Colonial Athletic Association champions.
Eighth-year head coach Rudy Wieler will feature a young team in 2011, but feels his squad will once again be ready to compete for championships. "We are a young team with a tremendous amount of potential," Wieler said. "This probably represents our two best recruiting classes ever at UB."
In only their second season as members of the CAA, the Bulls were victorious in the 2010 conference championships. UB edged conference favorite Northeastern by just one point in the final standings.
The Bulls recorded conference championships in both the Varsity Four and Second Varsity Eight races, while the Varsity Eight boat finished in second place. UB ended the race with 33 total team points, one more than Northeastern, who won the previous season's championship. Drexel was third with 23 points, followed by George Mason with 17 points. Delaware (13) and Old Dominion (8) rounded out the field.
Wieler, the 2010 CAA Coach of the Year, is thrilled to be a member of the conference and feels his team finally has a home. "Being a member of the CAA gives us a home and our athletes a chance to be conference champions," Wieler said. "Ultimately, it's going to be a bye into the NCAA mix of things because within the next year the conference champions will get an automatic bid."
If the Bulls advance to the NCAA Championships, they can hearken back to their experience at recent Dad Vail Regattas. The Bulls won their third straight Jack and Nancy Seitz Trophy last season as the women's point champions at the largest intercollegiate rowing event in the nation. UB put all six of its boats in grand finals, winning its second straight Coleman D. Boylan Trophy as winners of the Second Varsity Eight race.
"We have a lot of kids here that have won a lot of medals," Wieler said. "Having three Dad Vail Champions in a row has never been done. We're going to try to go back and four-peat. That would be an unbelievable accomplishment."
After a strong fall campaign, with solid showings at the Head of the Genesee, Syracuse Invitational and Foot of the Charles, Weiler is looking forward to the upcoming spring season.
"There are a lot of things to look forward to and we are looking to bring more championships back to UB," Wieler said.
The Bulls open the spring season at the Knecht Cup in Camden, NJ on April 9 and 10. Buffalo will look to repeat as CAA Champions at the conference championships on April 24 and follow that with another Seitz Trophy at the Dad Vail Regatta on May 13 and 14.