Men’s varsity pair leads crew team at national regatta

Seniors Dima Koshevy and Kyle Smisek earned second place in the finals when the St. Thomas crew raced at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.

The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta was held May 7 and 8 in Philadelphia. The event is the largest collegiate regatta in the nation, and for St. Thomas, it’s the race the team trains for all season.

The team entered four boats in the regatta. St. Thomas sent a men’s varsity pair, a women’s heavyweight four, a men’s novice four and a women’s novice four.

The men’s varsity pair earned a silver medal at the regatta. The event had 34 crews entered in the race.

After taking first in the heat and semifinals, the varsity pair took second overall beating out Fairfield, Colgate, Pittsburg and Penn State. Drexel won first place in the event.

Smisek said he counts the medal as a huge achievement for his rowing career.

“It shows myself and Dima’s dedication, as well the dedication from everyone who supported us,” Smisek said.

Koshevy and Smisek are Dad Vail veterans, both racing at the regatta all four years on the team. They took first place at Dad Vail in the 2008 men’s varsity four.

Smisek is proud to end his collegiate rowing career with two Dad Vail medals.

“What else is it besides amazing, really?” he said.

The women’s varsity four reached the semifinals but were out-raced by Buffalo, University of Massachusetts, Delaware and the United States Military Academy. The boat included Kristi Kruppiak, Mary Hammer, Gina Foschi, Brianna Peters and coxswain Sarah Hansen.

The men’s novice four raced well, earning third in their heat, but did not move out of the first round. The novice four included Todd Gleason, Sean Kern, Austin Weyant, Eric Beise and coxswain Andrew O’Brien.

The women’s novice four included first year rowers Kailey Fargo, Julie Rech, Cassandra Hytjan, Niki Willie and coxswain Kayla Grothaus. The women raced hard in the heat against top crews but did not advance to the semifinals.

Gina Dolski can be reached at

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