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The Crusaders won the Under-17 4+ final in 6 minutes, 47.072 seconds Sunday at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Fla. It is the fourth youth national championship for Canisius.

The crew took the lead from the start of what coach R.J. Rubino termed “a perfectly executed race” and refused to surrender the advantage, holding off Cincinnati Juniors, which finished a half-second behind in 6:47.698. “Our boys lead every stroke of the regatta from time trial, to semifinal, to grand final,” Canisius Rowing coach R.J. Rubino ’09 said of the gold-medal winning four. “They finished the job with a perfectly executed race. “These rowers are the real deal and can go a long way in the sport of rowing and in life.”

A time of less than seven minutes in the event is “elite speed,” for a high school crew, Rubino said.

The championship crew is made up of Liam Feeney ’25 (stroke), John Hart Jr. ’26, Isaiah Aljuwani ’25, Thomas Skowron ’25 (bow) and Noah Rajecki ’25 (cox).

Canisius added another medal at Nathan Benderson Park as the under-19 pair of Max Burget ’24 (stroke) and James Dodman ’24 (bow) took bronze.
The Canisius 2-minus finished third Saturday, giving the program medals in two events for the first time in school history. The Canisius time was 6:58.603 to narrowly finish behind Orlando Area Rowing, which was second in 6:58.377. Newport Aquatic Center from California was the winner in 6:52.691.
The under-19 pair earned a medal with a very strong finish to their championships. The pair’s times were fifth after preliminaries and fourth after the semifinals. Canisius finished less than a quarter-second behind second-place Orlando; Newport (California) won by more than 5-1/2 seconds.
This is the first time in Canisius Rowing history that the Crusaders won multiple medals in this prestigious event.