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TITAN ROWERS WIN BIG AT NATIONALS!Saturday, June 4, 2016 - News -
BRINGING HOME THREE MEDALS
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Seven T.C. Williams Crew Team boats qualified to compete in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta on May 27-28 on Dillon Lake in Nashport, Ohio. More commonly referred to as the Nationals, this regatta is informally recognized by the rowing community as the national high school championship. A week following the Titans’ record-setting medal haul at the prestigious Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia, T.C. rowers again proved that they are able to compete against the best high school rowing programs in the nation.
Four Titan boats won slots in the finals with the six fastest boats in their categories in this national championship event. By the time the last oar sliced the water on a hot, humid Saturday in central Ohio, these four Titan boats captured a silver medal, two bronze medals, and a fourth place finish that missed another bronze by a mere second.
This year’s “Nationals” included thousands of athletes from 159 schools and clubs. All seven Titan boats that traveled to Ohio advanced through the first round of heats. The Womens Varsity Junior 8 placed third in their first heat, and raced a spirited semi-final but did not advance. The Mens Varsity 4 placed third in their heat to qualify for a “repechage” seeding late on Friday afternoon, where their hopes for advancement ended. And the Womens Varsity First 8 provided an outstanding effort with a third place showing in their first heat but did not advance past their semi-final race on Saturday morning.
Saturday afternoon’s finals for T.C. began with the Womens Freshman 8, whose members have won or medalled in every regatta they entered this spring. These Virginia State Champions rowed to a respectable second place finish and 5:23.212 time in their first heat on Friday, and on Saturday morning’s semi-final placed third to make the cut for the finals behind rowing powerhouses Mount Saint Joseph Academy and Saratoga. At Stotesbury, Saratoga and Mount St. Joe’s finished 1 and 2, respectively, just ahead of the Bronze medal winning Titan Frosh 8.
Their third place finish in the semis left the Titans out of the preferred middle lanes for the six-boat final, but not out of the hunt. With a strong chorus of “Row TC” shouted from the shore, four boats battled closely over the 1500 meter course in a thrilling race. In the end, the Titans set a blistering 5:15.665 pace for the Silver medal behind Saratoga and ahead of Mount St. Joe’s. Finishing fourth was New Trier, a Chicago area high school team who had won their semi-final match earlier in the day and who two weeks earlier won the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association (MSRA) Championship, also held at Dillon Lake.
The silver medal-winning Womens Freshman 8 include Paula Filios (coxswain), Chloe Marsh, Grace Fluharty, Blythe Markel, Ailysh Motinger, Piper Bucholz, Charlotte Milone, Elspeth Collard, and Anna Guynn. Their coach is Patrick Marquardt.
The next three finals with T.C. boats came back to back. First up was the Womens Varsity Lightweight 8, who won the Silver medal at Stotesbury. They placed second in their finals qualifying race at Lake Dillon with a time of 5:18.154, behind New Trier. Two weeks earlier the New Trier boat won the MSRA Championship. The final race was a nail-biter between the three top boats, with the T.C. Lights capturing the bronze with a time of 5:15.125 behind Stotesbury winner Mount St. Joe’s and second place New Trier.
The Womens Varsity Lightweight 8 includes Paige St. John (coxswain), Anissa Ashraf, Lauren Kelly, Sierra Arnold, Leeann Richards, Tori Cook, Olivia Anthony, Sarah Scroggs, and Emily Debodene. Coach Jaime Rubini regularly guides these women.
Next up was the Mens Varsity Lightweight 8, the Silver medal winners at Stotesbury who placed second in their finals qualifying race on Friday with a time of 4:37.154, the third fastest qualifying time in their category. The final included a Who’s Who of U.S. Mens high school rowing programs, including T.C., Belen Jesuit of Miami, St. Joseph’s Prep (the Stotesbury winner), Radnor (4th place at Stotesbury), New Trier (winner of the 2016 MSRA Championship), and Christian Brothers (Bronze medal winners at Stotesbury). The men dashed up the lake with four boats changing leads and places before a screaming crowd. In the end, Belen Jesuit crossed the line first, followed by St. Joe’s, with the T.C. Men posting a time of 4:35.465, only 1.178 seconds behind third place Radnor.
The Mens Varsity Lightweight 8 includes Brianna Zuckerman (coxswain), Stefanos Psaltis-Ivanos, Connor McGivern, Ian Willmore, Wogan Snyder, Jacob Souza, Addison Guynn, Drew Jones, and Peter Laboy. The boat is led by Titan Mens head coach Peter Stramese.
The last T.C. final of the day was the Womens Second Varsity 8, the Silver medal winners at Stotesbury. The 2V placed third in their qualifying heat on Friday, and advanced to the Saturday semi-finals, where they placed second with a time of 5:22.225. In another close final involving the top tier of Womens high school crew programs, T.C. battled New Trier (winner of the 2016 MSRA Championship), St. Ignacious from San Francisco, Winter Park, Saratoga, and Mt. St. Joe’s (Bronze medal winner at Stotesbury). New Trier took the Gold and St. Ignacious the Silver, followed the Bronze medal winning T.C. Second Varsity 8 Women only .44 seconds later.
The Womens Second Varsity 8 includes Camila Cardwell (coxswain), Rachel Saez Knapp, Alyssa Forbes, Hannah Posson, Grace Asch, Grace Vannatta, Lily Warden, Emma Carroll, and Charlotte Carey. They are coached by Gracie Barbara.
The medals and superb overall performance of the Titans in Ohio captures only part of what makes this program a success. First-rate coaches expertly guide these student-athletes, and parents and alumni parents support this program in ways large and small year after year. The T.C. seniors provided leadership to more junior rowers, and Titan alumni rowers traveled to Ohio to cheer on their alma mater. The crowd at Nashport repeatedly heard Titan rowers celebrate their teammates by singing “We are the Titans” after hard fought races. And the Men’s Varsity Light Weight 8 showed their sportsmanship when they reached out to congratulate the winning boat from Belen Jesuit after a grueling 1500-meter final.
Titan crew boats will compete June 3-5 in the last regatta of the season: the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Regatta, also known as the Canadian Nationals, held at St. Catharines, Ontario.
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