Area scullers face stiff competition at Stotesbury

by Tom Utescher
Posted 5/24/23

The four area sculling programs were all in action last weekend at the historic, sprawling spectacle that is the Stotesbury Cup Regatta.

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Area scullers face stiff competition at Stotesbury


The four area sculling programs were all in action last weekend at the historic, sprawling spectacle that is the Stotesbury Cup Regatta.

Of a total of 40 boats entered by Germantown Academy, Germantown Friends, Penn Charter, and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 28 advanced out of the time trials on Friday, then the competition grew tougher as the locals competed against crews from as far away as Arizona and Ontario.

GFS saw nine of the 10 boats it entered make it through the trials. Six went on to the finals, and the Tigers came away with a bronze medal won by Anand Rajagopalan, Luke Lendler, Shachar Pinto and Jasper Furnas in the boys' junior quad.

SCH had two boats appear in the finals on Saturday afternoon, and the Blue Devils took home a silver medal thanks to their girls' freshman quad (Charlotte Trayes, Iris Dobeck, Ariya Goswami, Grian O'Connor).

Eight of 11 Penn Charter boats moved on from the opening round of racing. Four reached the finals, and three of them wound up just off the medal podium, with fourth-place finishes. Four Germantown Academy vessels got as far as the semifinals.

In most categories, depending on the number of entries, either the top 12 or the top 18 fastest boats in the time trials advanced to the semifinal round.

Three local schools happened to enter an event with a total field of just 11 boats, so the fastest six in trials went straight through to the finals. This was the girls' freshman quad category, and in the trials the eventual silver medalists from SCH had the fastest time. Also reaching the finals were Penn Charter (Caroline Sumner, Hannah Aldinger, Penelope Gray and Liliana DeMartinis), which ranked fourth in trials, and Germantown Friends (Nola Schaenen, Isabella Ammon, Adeline Williams and Sylvia Kim), which was fifth.

SCH led the race halfway through, but was eventually overtaken by Hockaday School of Dallas, Texas, which claimed the gold medal in five minutes, 36.51 seconds. After the Blue Devils took silver (5:40.41), Virginia's Western Albermarle High School (5:44.37) edged out GFS (5:44.64) for the bronze medal. Penn Charter placed sixth.

All other area scullers who moved up out of the initial time trials had to race in the semifinals, and here a number of them finished their run.

Boats in events with 18 semifinalists had to be in the top two in their race to move on. In the girls' junior double, Penn Charter (Claire Lewis, Zoe Page) placed third in its race and SCH (Margaret Gleason, Cecelia Stevenson) was sixth. In the boys' event in this class, GFS (Neelmani Robinson, Leo Katowitz) came in fifth.

The girls' junior quad from SCH (Nadia Stockman, Emma Ludwikowski, Maeve O'Connor, Olivia Caione) was fifth in its semifinal. In the senior single, GA (Haiden Bonczek) was sixth in a boys' semifinal race, while in two different girls' semifinals Penn Charter (Charlotte Baker) placed fourth and GFS (Emilia Cropf) came in sixth. GA had another sixth-place outcome in the second of three semifinals in the boys' senior double (Max Goldman, Max Rinnander).

In events with fewer entries, in which three crews went on to the finals from each of two semifinal contests, SCH came up just short in the girls' senior quad. The Blue Devils (Caitlin Keough, Madeline Percy, Ava Chavez, Sam Simon) finished fourth in their race, exactly one second behind the third-place boat that advanced.

In the same category, GA (Aisosa Idahosa, Ryleigh Dougherty, Sarah Beth Sandifer, Olivia Shafer) bowed out with a fifth-place showing, and Penn Charter (Lindsay Gadsden, Merrill Gadsden, Grace Magee, Grace Agosto) was sixth in its semifinal.

In the girls' lightweight double semifinals, the Blue Devils' duo (Ava Cross, Dora Ward) wound up in fourth place, while in a different section, GFS (Sarah Levy, Madeline Ohta) was sixth. There was also a sixth-place semifinal finish in the girls' senior double for Springside Chestnut Hill (Olivia Hayes, Emma Schwartz).

In the semifinal stages for boys' quads, the Penn Charter freshmen (Liam Haines, Tiernan Perkins, Alexander Brown, Rainer Malhotra) came in fourth, and the GA junior quad (Umang Mittal, Jack Wescott, Maloy Lafferty, Utsav Mittal) was sixth.

The Saturday afternoon finals led off with the girls' junior double, with

Lucy Yannella and Lila Donovan representing Germantown Friends. They had ranked seventh in the time trials, then they finished second in one of three semifinal races. Seeded in unfavorable lane six for the final, they would finish sixth, as two Canadian crews and Hockaday from Dallas scooped up the medals.

Malvern Prep won the gold medal in the boys' junior double, and just off the medal stand in fourth place were Penn Charter's Elias Moulton and Mac Haines. They were less than two seconds off the time logged by the bronze medalists from Churchill Secondary School in Ontario.

Earlier, the Quakers combo had come in fourth in the time trials and then took second place in one of three semifinal races.

Germantown Friends' boys' freshman quad (Chenyue Peng, Daniel Sandroni, Shenghao Yuan, Andrew Li) placed sixth in their trials to reach one of two semifinal contests. They came in third there to earn their passage to the finals. Languishing in lane six, they wound up sixth in the final round.

The GFS boys' junior quad that would earn a bronze medal had qualified eighth in trials, then came in second in their semifinal. While New Jersey's Seton Hall Prep quickly separated from the field in the finals and won the gold medal, there was a battle royal for the silver between GFS and a foursome from Shenendehowa High School, which hails from 10 miles north of Albany, N.Y.

There was no way to tell with the naked eye who crossed the line first; in a literal photo finish, Shenendehowa shaded GFS by one one-hundredth of a second.

The Tigers also had a good girls' junior quad (Cara Appleberry, Rebecca Rasmussen, Natalie Lau, Leah Cornejo) that would race in the finals. They made their way there by recording the fourth-fastest time in trials and then placed second in the last of three semifinals. In the finals Ontario's E.L. Crossley motored away from the field to win by a dozzen seconds, and the GFS duo came in sixth.

In the girls' senior double for Penn Charter, Ellie Choate and Ella Bretschneider ranked seventh in trials and finished third in one of the two semifinals. Churchill won the gold medal in this event and the PC boat placed fourth, not particularly close to the bronze medalists from Western Albemarle.

There was a lot for area fans to cheer for in the finals of the boys' senior double, which featured tandems from Penn Charter (James Glomb, Scott Sweeney), GFS (Aidan Cusack, Josh Cappiello) and SCH (Elias Eckert, Matthew Leon-Palfrey).

In the time trials GFS, SCH, and PC placed fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, all separated by little more than one second. Each went on to finish second in three different semifinals.

In the finals, though, the medals would go to out-of-state schools, led by Virginia's Albemarle High (5:00.64). Penn Charter landed in fourth place in 5:12.66, three seconds off the pace of the Canadian bronze medalists from West Niagara Secondary School. GFS was fifth in 5:19.32, and SCH was sixth in 5:29.04.