April 1, 2010

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Lightweights lead Mount charge in third Flick

From this angle it looks like the Mount St. Joseph Academy varsity eight (foreground) is in the lead, but in fact Merion Mercy (background) had already won last Sunday’s race.

While some of their larger crew colleagues encountered some stumbling blocks in the Manny Flick races last Sunday, Mount St. Joseph Academy’s lightweight rowers focused their effort like an industrial laser and seared the competition.

The lightweight eight hit the wire first in a time of five minutes, 11.55 seconds, far ahead of runner-up Merion Mercy Academy (5:27.45). In a second heat, Moorestown High School (5:19.38) and Holy Spirit (5:20.48) proved faster than Merion but were still well off the pace set by the Mounties (Maggie Rush – cox, Dana Lerro - stroke, Sam Brecht, Rose Ehrlich, Alanna McCloy, Katie Casebeer, Julie McGlynn, Meaghan Bresnahan, and Molly Tenzinger).

The Mount’s lightweight four (Amanda Stillwell - cox, Paige Flynn - stroke, Colette McNeela, Katie McCormick, and Maureen Flynn) won its heat by more than 11 seconds over second-place Lower Merion High School, 5:48.31 to 5:59.75, and in the other heat in this category the best time was a 6:05.26 turned in by Montclair (N.J.) High School.

“The four contains two kids who were in the lightweight eight last year, and two other kids that are good enough to make the eight,” explained MSJ varsity coach Mike McKenna. “Our strong lightweights probably go 13 or 14 deep this year. Our goal today was to not get complacent, to row well, and try to win by more than they did yesterday, which they did.”

McKenna was referring back to the Mount’s Shoebie Cup Invitational races, held last Saturday at the Magic’s home base in Conshohocken.

In the varsity eight races at the Shoebie, the Magic won their heat and then won by close to 15 seconds in their final race against New Jersey’s Mainland High School. Mainland had won its preliminary race by several boatlengths over Merion, but Merion’s Golden Bears improved dramatically at the following day’s Flick.

They won the fastest of Sunday’s three V-8 heats, beating the Magic by 1.86 seconds. The Mount boat (Sarah Jordan – cox, Vicky Babson (stroke), Meredith Bracken, Katy Gregor, Darian DiCianno, Laura Pospisil, Mary Duff, Rebecca Duffin, and Chierika Ukogu) made a move with a few hundred meters to go but Merion countered successfully to win in 4:51.43, while Agnes Irwin was 10 seconds behind the Mount in third.

The other two heats were won by Holy Spirit (5:04.50) and Moorestown (5:10.83), but for the second week in a row, there was no varsity eight entry from defending Stotesbury champ Bishop Eustace.

“You don’t like to lose a race,” McKenna said, “but I think the girls were more satisfied with the way that they rowed than they were a week ago when they won. With the two hard races they put in yesterday, they didn’t have a lot of legs left at the end today.”

Meanwhile, the Mount’s second eight recorded a comfortable victory in its contest, completing the course five-and-a-half seconds ahead of Holy Spirit. Cox Anora Collier and her MSJ octet (Natalie Carlone - stroke, Maura Dougherty, Lauren Gresko, Colleen Delaney, Laura Powell, Anna DelRicci, Catie Travaline, and Ariana Harkins) clocked in at 5:11.25, and the best time out of the second heat was Archbishop Prendergast’s 5:26.35.

A little earlier, the oarswomen in the Magic’s JV eight (Meg O’Brien -stroke, Cathleen Keene, Steph Henrich, Katie O’Connell. Emily Carbone, Briana Sylvester, Kaitlin Kiernan, and Leah McGlynn) had been challenged by Episcopal Academy alongside Peter’s Island about 300 meters from the finish line.

Cox Alex McGill-Wilson put the pedal to the metal, and the resulting case of sudden acceleration didn’t bother anyone but EA, which passed the timers about five seconds after the victorious Magic. Still, the Mounties can’t afford to lean on their laurels for long, since their winning time of 5:24.88 was eclipsed by two crews in the other JV heat, Montclair (5:15.05) and Spirit (5:17.42).

Mount St. Joe also entered a pair of JV fours which raced in the same heat. The “B” boat (6:04.93) with Erin McElroy (cox), Kate Jones (stroke), Kate Toll, Kelly Gregor, and Elise Biaesch finished second, and one place behind was the “A” boat (6:06.67) staffed by Alex Kist (cox), Rebecca McCool, Katelyn Keane, Jessica Murray, and Carly Scullin. Merion Mercy won the heat in 5:54.50, but the fastest time overall was logged by Peddie School (5:48.95) in the other section of the event.

While a number of other crews sent out their freshmen to race in the March 21 Flick races, the Mount ninth graders made their Kelly Drive debut last Sunday.

In the freshman eight category, Saratoga High School swept down from New York and won the fastest of the three heats convincingly, putting up a time of 5:21.63. In the second-fastest section, a time of 6:10.56 garnered fourth place for the Magic (Mary Raggazino – cox, Kate Mirabella – stroke, Kait Loftus, Lauren Hamilton, Lauren Seminack, Kiera McCloy, Fiona Kelly, Gwynedd Kieffer, and Bobbie Sutton).

In the lone heat of the freshman four, the Mounties (Lauren Mina (cox), Maura O’Donnell, Jacqueline James, Michelle Walter, and Jill Kindelan) placed third out of three entries, while in the faster of two heats in the novice eight, Mount St. Joe (Steph Mina - cox, Hannah Keller - stroke, Meg Kiernan, Emily Ruddy, Maddy Good, Emma Thompson, Maddie Wescott, Bridget Welsh, and Hannah Vrancken) finished fifth in 6:37.00.



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