Men's rowing held its own against top competition across all three NCAA Divisions throughout the 2015-16 campaign, closing out its season in historic fashion when the duo of James Nelson '17 and Sean Hyland '18 advanced to the Varsity Pair Semifinals at the prestigious 2016 Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia on May 14.
The duo landed in the semifinals with a seventh-place showing out of 22 boats after concluding their time trial race with a time of 6:49.51, placing ahead of several DI boats and becoming one of 18 to advance. In the semifinals, Nelson and Hyland finished third out of six boats with a time of 7:25.53, missing out on qualifying for the finals by a mere six seconds.
At the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championships on April 30, the Diplomats came in ninth out of 12 boats after tallying 23 points. Starting this year, the MARC Championship was open to all competing schools, even non-conference members.
At the conclusion of the championships, Dillan DeCaro '16, and Hyland landed on the 2015 All-MARC Varsity list while Ryan Paulekas '19 received All-MARC Novice recognition. Trexler Hirn '18, Hyland, and Dawei Ren '18 were named MARC Academic All-Conference, awarded to rowers who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, are in their second, third or fourth year of eligibility and have competed in 75 percent of the varsity competitions or the MARC Championships.
Leading up to the event, F&M found success throughout the spring portion of its schedule. At the Knecht Cup on April 16, the Diplomats' Varsity 8 boat advanced into the DII/DIII Final after registering the fourth-fastest time of 6:48.25 in their heat earlier in the day. The Diplomats crossed the line at 6:49.59 in the finals to take fifth and finish ahead of MARC-foe Washington College (7:17.67).