OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (April 24, 2012) - The Rollins men's varsity 8 took top honors in the third level finals while the novice 8 placed fifth in the second level finals on Sunday at the 2012 SIRA Regatta Championships held at Melton Hill Lake.

The varsity 8 (Cox Eric Pagan, Nick Pittari, Kip Zimmerman, Rob Spolsino, Ali Hakim, Brian Burch, David Rice, Mitch Verboncoeur, Tim Mazzotta) led off Rollins' events on Sunday where they took an early lead over the field, which comprised of Mercyhurst, UNC, Delaware, Wichita State and Colorado.  Rollins held on strong from start to finish and posted a time consistent to the other times recorded this weekend.  The 6:02.60 recorded by the varsity 8 would have made for a competitive race in the second level finals that they narrowly missed the day before.

"The team is looking forward to seeing all of these crews at (Dad) Vails in three weeks," said Head Coach Shawn Pistor.  "There is no telling how we would have ended in the second level finals but winning the third level shows we would have been in the hunt."

The novice 8 (Cox Rachel Reams, Ben Smith, Chris Pichert, Zach Urow, Ben Van der Werf, John Frelinghuysen, Ethan White, Patrick Smith, David Cottrell) put together a strong race in the second level finals with a fifth place finish (6:25.00).  This put them 11th out of the 29 crews in the field. 

"This was a huge weekend for the novice," said Assistant Coach Brandon Thompson. "We are not able to make up much time on crews for the week prior but we also did not lose any." 

The novice 8 and varsity 8 will also be training for the Dad Vail Championships coming up in three weeks in Philadelphia, Pa. on May 11.