Crew careers begin for area rowers

Sports April 4, 2011 0 Comments

by Tom Utescher

In the third installment of the Manny Flick racing series last Sunday, a number of area schools sent their rookie rowers out onto the Kelly Drive course for the very first time.

It can be a daunting prospect for the youngsters, out on the water and far removed from the familiar confines of their school’s gymnasiums and playing fields. In all, it went well for the newbies, and Chestnut Hill Academy and Mount St. Joseph each had one of their boats emerge victorious.

One of the first races of the day was the first race ever for CHA ninth graders Peter Anthony and James Meadows. It became even more memorable when the duo took first place in the freshman double event, winning by almost a dozen seconds over one of the Blue Devils’ traditional sculling rivals, Roman Catholic High School. One of the first-time tandems was more than a minute-and-a-half behind the CHA craft at the finish.

Peter Anthony’s twin brothers, Gordon and Jack, were both members of the CHA crew, graduating last spring. Jack was at last Sunday’s race to witness his younger sibling’s debut.

“He said we actually looked like a real crew out there, and not like the other novices,” Peter related. “Before the race he told me the main thing to concentrate on is staying long [in stroke length] and trying to stay relaxed. Our coach [first-year mentor David Savoie] just wanted us to finish the race, row clean, and try to get comfortable with the whole thing.”

Although he and Meadows had trained in singles and quads, they’d been together in a double fewer than half-a-dozen times in practice. They started the race well, but encountered a glitch more than halfway down the course.

“I think the nerves got to us a little bit and almost at the same time we each caught a crab,” said Anthony, referring to the boat-wrenching experience of getting an oar stuck in the water when a stroke goes awry. “We regrouped from there and we were still in the lead, and we finished really well. It seemed the time went by a lot faster than it would doing the same distance in practice.”

A CHA novice quad containing sophomore Dylan Brush and freshmen Will Elliott, Jaime MacEachern, and Larry Wargo finished fourth in its race. Springside did not enter any boats containing ninth graders or older novices in last Sunday’s regatta, but Penn Charter sent out a girls’ freshman quad. The Quakers’ Isa Djerassi, Liza Gendler, Hannah Kramer, and Celina McCall finished second to longtime girls sculling power Conestoga High School.

Each year, the third Manny Flick race marks opening day for the freshmen at Mount St. Joe’s, who always make their debut in eight-seat shells. This often means that the Magic are in catch-up mode for a few weeks, since a number of their traditional rivals send their ninth graders into competition at the start of the annual five-part Flick series.

Also according to custom, the Magic entered an official freshman eight and two novice-class eights, in which the athletes must be first-year rowers, but not necessarily freshmen.

First up was the novice “A” boat, coxed by freshman Beth Weinrich. Her cousin is former national champion Mount coxswain Nicole Weinrich, a Stanford sophomore who just started her 2011 season in command of the Cardinal’s first eight. The younger Weinrich’s crew consisted of fellow ninth graders Abigail Shreero, Emily McHugh, Frannie McDermott, Quinn Devore, Natalie Keane, Sarah Curcio, sophomore Lexi Meister, and junior Dana Zielinski.

They won the second of four flights in the novice eight class, although the novice “B” actually had a faster time as it finished second in the following race. The “B” vessel contained an all-freshman group made up of coxswain Lauren Woodrow and (stroke to bow) Caroline Carbone, Christina Vosbikian, Jennifer Lawlor, Marissa Mulligan, Hanna Leonard, Nadine Ghantous, Katie Gresko, and Ellie McGlynn.

Like CHA’s Peter Anthony, Mount freshman eight cox Madi Kist received some advice from an older sibling; her sister Alex is a junior coxswain for the Magic.

“She gave me some tips about getting started and about steering, and about motivating the girls, so that helped,” said the freshman. “Once we got started and got into a grove it went pretty smoothly.”

Plying the oars in the third-place MSJ boat were Michela Karrash, Jocelyn Ziemniak, Lauren Matchett, Natalie Simms, Madeline Lawn, Leah Ramos, Elizabeth McKernan, and Bridget Fitzpatrick (all participants in a designated freshman event must be ninth-graders).

While not performing the physical labor, Kist found that coxswains have a lot of responsibilities.

“I have to keep them together and get them to the start on time,” she said. “I have to try and make them more powerful, and know where the landmarks along the course are. It’s a little different from other sports because you’re not focusing as much on the other teams. You’re focusing on your boat and working as one whole unit together.”

After months of learning the fundamentals and drilling in practice, Kist said that on Sunday “It was great to be out on the race course and finally be part of it all.”

VARSITY and JUNIOR VARSITY

In varsity and junior varsity racing, Mount St. Joseph won flights in the JV Four (Rachel Heller, Carly Scullin, Geneva Russell, Bobbie Sutton, cox Mary Raggazino), JV Eight (Meghan O’Brien, Emily Carbone, Briana Sylvester, Emma Thompson, Rebecca McCool, Fiona Kelly, Lauren Hamilton, Maddie Wescott, cox Annie Tenzinger), and Lightweight Eight (Molly Tenzinger, Kate Loftus, Paige Flynn, Leah McGlynn, Meg Bresnahan, Katie McCormick, Kate Mirabella, Colette McNeela, cox Éireann McElroy), and placed second in the Varsity Eight (Dana Lerro, Meredith Bracken, Rose Ehrlich, Darian DiCianno, Katie O’Connell, Julie McGlynn, Katie Casebeer, Steph Henrich, cox Maggie Rush).

Springside won in the JV Double (Emily Eisler, Katie Blake) and was runner-up in the Lightweight Double (Mozelle Rosenthal, Allie Schreffler) and Varsity Quad (Jen Sager, Verity Walsh, Anna Valciukas, Taylor Apostolico). CHA placed second in the JV quad (John Olson, Mike Calistri, Drew Adubato, Carl Delacato), and was runner up in two different flights of the Varsity Double, one with Walt Palmer and Zach Baron, and the other with Griffin Horter and Laddy St. George.

Penn Charter had both a boys’ and girls’ JV Double come in second in their respective flights. Sam Jolinger and Kevin Kelly were in the boys’ race, while Maria Georgiou and Samantha Kapnek formed the female twosome.

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