Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s James Meadows (left) and Matt Miller won their flight of the varsity double event last Sunday. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

The Easter interlude behind them, local rowers were back to racing last Sunday along Kelly Drive, and after extra workouts over spring break, they produced some solid results in the third Manny Flick Regatta of 2013.

In what was supposed to be a “down” year for the Mount St. Joseph Academy varsity eight, the Magic’s flagship has now won in all three of its appearances in the Manny Flicks. Last Sunday’s line-up (cox: Mary Raggazino, stroke to bow: Maddie Lawn, Natalie Simms, Steph Eble, Kiera McCloy, Lauren Matchett, Emily Ruddy, Brynn McGillin, Leah Ramos) had raced on Saturday in the eighth annual Shoebie Cup Regatta, but were still able to win first Flick flight in the varsity eight on Sunday. Prevailing by almost six seconds in five minutes, 56.40 seconds, they recorded the fastest time to come out of the three sections.

It was not only the most experienced rowers who did well for the Magic, as three rookie crews also won their races. The novice eight “A” crew (cox: Olivia Kylander, Dana Mischler, Zoe Ramos, Brooke McMahon, Shannon Hughes, Ella Perry, Lauren Scheffey, Alex Uzzo, Erin McGreevey) won the first flight with the best time out of the total field of 15 boats, 6:14.15.

Also first in their flight, at 6:17.51 (third fastest overall) was the MSJ freshman eight, coxed by Emily Woodrow and propelled by Demi Simms (stroke), Christina Knox, Olivia Tice-Carroll, Maddie Lauinger, Julianna Hunt, Maddie Carlton, Katelin Cordero, Rachel Sandquist.

In the single flight of the freshman four category, Mount St. Joe won in 7:42.20 with Lindsey Maiale (cox), Grace Little, Mia Fitzpatrick, Cait Hagan, and Vicki Matsinger.

Mount St. Joe took second in the lightweight eight (6:20.33), with its entry staffed by Annie Tenzinger (cox), Emily McHugh (stroke), Abigail Shreero, Michela Karrash, Maura O’Donnell, Kate Mirabella, Bridget Fitzpatrick, Lexi Meister, and Liz McKernan.

Instead of racing its second varsity eight against the other 2-V’s, Mount St. Joe entered it second eight in one of the flights of the regular varsity event, where the crew of Tori Poretti (cox), Caroline Carbone (stroke), Kait Loftus, Gwyn Kieffer, Fiona Kelly, Marissa Mulligan, Jacqueline James, Maddie Wescott, and Rachel Heller finished fourth in 6:40.99.

A strong cross wind generally produced slow times last weekend, but it picked up and fell off rapidly, creating different conditions even between flights in the same event. The gusts blew boats toward the river bank, creating a lot of chop on the water and making things particularly tough on the smaller vessels.

Despite, this Springside Chestnut Hill Academy saw some of its most inexperienced athletes cope well with the stiff breezes. A relatively rare sweep boat entry, a girls novice four (cox: Jillian Silverman, stroke to bow: Lauren McCormack, Ellery Crandall, Allison Day, Lexi Smilow) won its flight in 8:36.54, the fourth fastest overall time in a field that mostly included crews from primary sweep rowing programs, several from out-of-state.

No one struggled harder with the state of the river than those in the single sculls, but in the girls novice race, SCH’s Melanie Bender pulled across the line first in 9:57.00. Behind her was Penn Charter’s Jean Gleason, in 10:27.05.

The Springside Chestnut Hill girls also turned in second-place performances in the novice double and the freshman quad. In the double, Lisa Burckhardt and Karley Kochenour finished in 8:34.63, while a time of 8:12.62 garnered the runner-up spot in one of the quad flights for the Blue Devils’ Alexa Schwartz, Aakanksha Sharma, Madison Bell, and Carly Plotkin.

Like the girls, the Blue Devil boys got a good race from their lone sweep boat. With Mark Mulhern in the coxswain’s seat, oarsmen Andrea Dragani, Will Elliott, Joe Mulhern, and Larry Wargo placed second in their heat of the boys JV four with a time of 6:18.74. They were part of a huge overall field of 24 crews, and their time ranked them ahead of 15 competitors.

Fighting to stay clear of the wall on the riverbank in lane one, the SCH varsity double still produced a first-place finish, thanks to Matt Miller and James Meadows. Their time of 6:33.70 placed them just a hair behind the top overall time of 6:33.11, which was posted in another flight by Penn Charter seniors Kevin Kelly and Spencer Grant.

Kelly, who’ll be at Penn next year, and Grant, who’s headed for Lehigh University, were the national scholastic champions in the junior double last year. The girls national champs in the junior double, current PC seniors Heidi Zisselman (U.S. Naval Academy) and Maria Georgiou (Penn), are now in the senior double class, and last Sunday a trip down the course in 7:42.29 put them second in their fight and third overall.

PC’s Chad Coursen, Jimmy Paolini, Ethan Grugan, and Peter Ciarocchi weren’t in the swiftest flight of the boys JV quad, but they played the hand they were dealt and won their race in 6:11.76.

The Quakers finished in the middle of the pack in the girls varsity quad in terms of overall time, but Tara Malone, Claudia Stedman, Maddie Perlmutter, and Katie O’Malley won the third flight of the event in 7:08.31.

The third Manny Flick competition of 2013 was a historic occasion for the fledgling program at Germantown Friends, which saw a girls crew compete for the first time. The Tigers made an auspicious debut in the lone flight of the novice quad, winning the six-boat affair in 7:45.93 with a crew consisting of Becca Genyk, Tessa Curry, Addie McKenzie, and Sophie Bartholomew.

Genyk’s older brother, Ethan, sculls with fellow junior Greg Goldstein in a GFS lightweight double, and they placed second in their flight with a time of 6:28.17, the fourth fastest figure overall.