MAITLAND, Fla. (March 19, 2012) - The Rollins men's rowing team concluded their 2012 home slate this Saturday as they hosted the Rollins Invitational.  The field of six included Wesleyan, Army, Florida, Embry-Riddle, Central Florida Rowing and host-Rollins.

Weather conditions and still waters were perfect for rowing Saturday morning as all teams were able to showcase what they were capable of.  Rollins earned first-place honors in six of the seven events rowed. 

The Varsity and Novice 8 continue their win streak as they remain undefeated and posted season-bests.  With a time of 5:50.7, the Varsity 8 (Eric Pagan, Nick Pittari, Kip Zimmerman, Rob Spolsino, Ali Hakim, Brian Burch, David Rice, Mitch Verboncoeur, Tim Mazzotta) outlasted Florida's crew, who clocked in a 5:57.0.  The Novice 8, comprised of coxswain Rachel Reams, John Frelinghuysen, Patrick Smith, Ben Smith, Christian Pichert, Zachary Urow, Ben Van der Werf, David Cottrell, and Ethan White registered a 6:21.8, nine seconds ahead of Florida (6:30.4).

"This was a huge win for us," said varsity coxswain Eric Pagan.  "In my four years coxing, we had yet to defeat Wesleyan but we upset them today.  I know we have more speed in us and we plan on displaying it in the races to come."

In a majority of the races Saturday, Rollins was able to get out to an early lead and control the race from start to finish.  The most exciting race of all came in the men's Varsity 4 (Eric Pagan, Nick Pittari, Kip Zimmerman, Rob Spolsino, Tim Mazzota) event.  Twenty strokes into the race, the 3-seat popped an oarlock and his oar fell out.  The remaining three rowers continued on while the 3-seat regained his oar and put it back in place to pick up with the rest of the boat.  The team picked up the rate and fought their way back into first place at the 700m mark. The Tars won the event by 16 seconds over Army.

"Any crew hates to have something like this happen," said head coach Shawn Pistor.  "But it was a great lesson for all of our crews - no matter what happens we are never out of the race."

The men's team will be taking part in the Rollins Crew Reunion festivities this coming weekend and preparing for the San Diego Crew Classic on March 31.  It has been 16 years since Rollins has competed in the event and look forward to race against the schools on the West coast.