Women's Senior Quad: Silver medal winners
NA ROWING TEAM CONCLUDES SEASON WITH SILVER AT STOTESBURY CUP
The Stotesbury Cup Regatta, sponsored by the Schuylkill Navy, is "the world's oldest and largest high school rowing competition." It is held annually in mid-May over a two-day period along the Schuylkill River near Boathouse Row (see Wikipedia entry) in Philadelphia. Although there is no official U.S. national high school rowing championship, Stotesbury is certainly one of the most prestigious. Competing crews come from schools all over North America, though most hail from the Northeastern, Southern and Mid-Atlantic United States.
Stotesbury's unique racing format does not have heats, 6 boats across racing in the normal sprint fashion, as the opening event. Rather, each event goes in a time trial format, similar to a head race, but only covering 1500 meters. The starting order is based on the finish order from the previous year's regatta. The best crews advance to the semi-final round. Semi-finals begin later on the first day and continue on the second day. Finals begin in the afternoon of the second day. Events are ordered so that small boats race before the larger ones, and the regatta culminates in either the Boy's or Girl's Senior Eight final race, alternating every year. After each final is finished, the best three boats dock at the grandstands next to the finish line to receive their medals.
The Stotesbury Cup Regatta continues to grow in size and level of competition as high school rowing gains popularity. In 2000, about 3,500 athletes competed in the regatta. In 2009, over 5,250 athletes from 181 schools competed in 868 boats to make it the largest Stotesbury yet.
North Allegheny entered 11 boats for the event and after the time trials had concluded mid-way through Friday, 8 had made their way to either semi-finals or grand finals! Casualties were the Boy's Junior Four (Billy Brant, Cole Lennon, John Rectenwald, Evan Solic with Maria DeIuliis coxing), Girl's Junior 4 (Madison Treser, Ellie Duursma, Hayley Rosen, Christine Frazier with Meghan Wilson coxing), and Boy's Senior double (Steven Genise and Noah Krassenstein). NA finished in the top 5 finishers in time trials in the Girl's Lightweight double (Tori Horn and Liz Craig, 3rd), Girl's Senior double (Jordan Herbert and Maddie Gray, 5th), Girl's Senior quad (Kim Gilmour, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Michelle Weaver, Maria DeIuliis, 3rd) and Boy's Senior quad (Mark Dissen, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick, Dan Jefferies, 4th). Also making semi-finals were the Boy's Lightweight Double (Kevin Huber, Andrew Spirk, 8th), Boy's Junior Quad (Zach Petronic, Dave McQuiston, Kurt Schoffstall, Mike Durbiano, 8th) Girl's Junior Quad (Lauren Vespoli, Merel Duursma, Abi Gunn, Lauren Larocca), 8th), and Girl's Junior Double (Michelle Benson, Jess Pegher).
Semi-finals (held in a 6-lane "sprint" format), thinned the ranks of the NA Rowing team, eliminating 4 of our 8 remaining boats on Friday afternoon.
Friday's perfect conditions gave way to more ominous looking skies on Saturday, but the constantly present threat of thunderstorms fortunately never materialized. In the morning, Gray/Herbert narrowly missed qualifying for finals in Girl's Sr. Double, but our spirits got a boost when the Girl's Sr. Quad survived semi-finals to advance to finals. This left 3 boats in finals (2 had gone straight to finals without the need for semis). First up was the Girl's Lightweight Double (Tori Horn, Liz Craig). Despite a great effort the girls came up 6 seconds short of 3rd place, finishing just out of the medals in 4th place.
Our patience was finally rewarded when the Girl's Senior Quad (Kim Gilmour, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Michelle Weaver, Maria DeIuliis) won Silver, less than 7 seconds behind a strong team from Episcopal, and beating third place by 16 seconds. Our Boy's Senior Quad (Mark Dissen, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick, Dan Jefferies) ran into some misfortune early in the race and weren't able to make up the precious seconds that were lost, finishing in a respectable 5th place in what can only be described as a very competitive field.
Coach Mike Bergen was pleased with the team's performance. "We did very well", he commented. "Any time you can advance 8 of 11 boats to semi-finals, and come away with any medals at all, you can be proud of yourself. This is the most competitive high school event in the country".
(Thanks to the NA rowing website for
to post this information!)
For more information, go to: www.narowing.org
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ROWING ROARS BACK IN CINCINNATI
WITH 9 MEDAL HAUL
What a difference a week makes! Especially since we had been denied any water time by the elements since the Moraine race. North Allegheny Rowing Association traveled west to Harsha Lake outside Cincinnati to take on the best of the mid-west at the Midwest Scholastic Championships regatta on Saturday/Sunday, May 9th/10th . This event is "the playoffs" for area scholastic rowing and, like most playoffs, it's all about the matchups. While last week's Pittsburgh Sprints events don't match up well against our team's talents, the MidWest Scholastic Championships includes sculling events at all levels and that certainly played to NA's strength. The team brought home 9 medals (4 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze), 3 more than collected in '08 and '07. The Women's team finished 4th in the overall Women's point standings (up from 5th last year) and the Men finished 5th, up from 6th. Not bad when you consider all the powerhouses faced such as Ann Arbor Pioneer, New Trier from Chicago, St Ignatius from Cleveland and hometown Cincinnati Country Day. The course at Harsha Lake is a straight 1500 buoyed meters with good up-close race viewing. Weather was foul on Saturday with high winds suspending racing for almost 6 hours. Blessedly, all missed races were incorporated into an early start on Sunday which was a picture-perfect day for rowing with excellent conditions and good tailwinds.
NA started with a 3rd place finish for the Jess Mazur-coxed Women's Novice 4+ heat with Madison Treser, Gabi Tomko, Christina Hunkele and Sarah Sharpnack - only first 2 qualifying for the afternoon final. The Men's double featured two NA boats: Mark Dissen and Jim Rectenwald finished third in their heat and Noah Krassenstein and Steve Genise finished second in their heat so both boats made finals. In the final, Mark and Jim clawed their way to a bronze medal with Noah and Steve finishing 6th. The Men's Lightweight Novice four was next up and Eric McQuiston, Sean Kurtz, Jake Lennon and Andre Ficerai, coxed by Macy DiRienzo, took seventh in their heat. After that came Nicole Rotunno coxing Jen Milkey, Michelle Benson, Hayley Rosen and Christine Frazier to a seventh place finish in the Women's Junior 4 heat. NA took 4th place in the Men's Junior 4 heat with Mark Pollini coxing Cole Lennon, Billy Brant, John Rectenwald and Evan Solic. NA's first gold medal of the regatta came from the newly-formed Women's Lightweight double featuring senior stroke Tori Horn and sophomore bow Liz Craig. They won their heat comfortably and improved by 44 seconds to take gold ahead of Ellis School. Rowing done well looks effortless and these girls rowed beautifully as one and set a solid pace that no-one could match. Great work, ladies.
The Women's double again featured two NA boats: Jen Milkey and Michelle Benson finished 5th in the first heat while Jordan Herbert and Maddie Gray took second in their heat behind Culver before rowing to a silver medal in the finals behind a regular foe from Shaker Heights in Cleveland. Thankfully, the Shaker girls are not entered for Stotesbury! The next event was the Men's Pair. This is a sweep event and the first ever pairing of seniors Canaan Colwick and Dan Jefferies outside a sculling boat. Amazingly the pair won their heat in the fastest of the 3 heats and went on to take silver behind Grosse Ile, MI for NA's first sweep medal at MidWests for a very long time. The Women's Novice 8 of Jess Mazur, Madison Treser, Gabi Tomko, Maureen Crammond, Ellie Duursma, Jen Miller, Sarah Sharpnack, Christine Hunkele and Val Koptya finished fifth in a heat won by eventual winner New Trier. Kim Gilmour took another silver medal when she finished behind North Catholic ace Steph Kuntz in the Women's single. The Men's Lightweight double saw Andrew Spirk and Kevin Huber just miss out on a medal when they finished fourth behind Southgate Anderson from Detroit. Another gold was soon to follow as the Women's JV Quad dominated their straight final to win comfortably. Good work from the Laurens Vespoli and Larocca, Merel Duursma and Jess Pegher. The Women's Varsity quad of Kim Gilmour, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Michelle Weaver and Maria DeIuliis were beaten by 1.55 seconds in their final to earn another silver behind host Cincinnati Country Day.
The Men' s Junior 8 of Jamie Milone/Mark Pollini, Dave McQuiston, Zac Petronic, Mike Durbiano, Kurt Schoffstall, Steve Genise, Evan Solic, Billy Brant and Cole Lennon did well to take 3rd in their heat to qualify for finals where they placed 6th behind Loyola. The Men's Junior Quad was next and something unusual happened. Dave McQuiston, Zac Petronic, Kurt Schoffstall and Mike Durbiano looked in trouble with 250 to go and Culver ahead. They upped their stroke rating into the last 200 and pulled ahead to take gold. A sprint finish - indeed a rare and welcome sight! Next race was the Men's Varsity Quad where Mark Dissen, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick and Dan Jefferies (the latter two hot-seating from their earlier pair and the third race for all four that day) looked done in the last 100 after disputing the lead with Southgate Anderson for much of the race. While NA was unable to quicken, Mercyhurst-bound Jeff Murt from Southgate caught a slight crab in the last 50 and that was enough for NA to get by, grab gold and win by a comfortable third of a second :). The Women's Varsity 8 (Nicole Rotunno coxing Katelyn Hilderbrand, Maria DeIuliis, Merel Duursma, Lauren Vespoli, Lauren Larocca, Jess Pegher, Michelle Weaver and Tori Horn) took third in their heat just missing finals. Congratulations to Coaching staff and crews alike for some gutsy racing. Medals and sunburn will keep reminding us of a productive, weather-wacky weekend.
Results are available via links from Regatta Central and Racetrak. Also check out www.ruframed.com - they have hundreds of pictures of NA rowers from the event (under Current Events). NA's next racing action is at the 2-day Stotesbury Cup event in Philadelphia starting on Friday, May 15th - toughest and most prestigious scholastic event in North America. Good luck to all.
(Thanks to the NA rowing website for allowing us to post this information!)
For more information, go to: www.narowing.org.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Medals play hard-to-get for NA rowers at local regatta
North Allegheny Rowing Association traveled north on 79 to Moraine State Park to take on the best of Western PA and Northern OH at the Scholastic Sprints regatta on Sunday, May 3rd. Previously restricted to entries from scholastic teams (i.e. all rowers attend the same High School), this event allowed participation by Club teams such as Steel City and LetsRowPittsburgh. The former put a severe dent on the medal haul for sculling events where NA has previously dominated on the local scene. Beautiful weather and good water conditions endured throughout the day. The course at Lake Arthur is a straight 1500 meters with no lane buoys, and angles deceived spectators for much of the day.
NA started the day with a 3rd place finish for the Nicole Rotunno-coxed Women's Novice 8+ of Madison Treser, Gabi Tomko, Maureen Crammond, Ellen Duursma, Jen Miller, Sarah Sharpnack, Christina Hunkele and Valerie Kopyta in a time of 6:10:40 - only first 2 qualifying for the afternoon final. Next up were Macy DiRienzo, Eric McQuiston, Sean Kurtz, Jake Lennon and Andre Ficerai who finished 6th and clocked 6:17:58 in the Men's Varsity 4+ where our youngsters were overmanned by the older competition. NA had two entries in the Men's single sculls event but neither made finals: Andrew Spirk finishing 4th in his heat with a 6:24:44 and Dan Jefferies missing his heat's cut with 4th in 5:55:28. Current US Club Nationals and Canadian Henley champion Matt Maddamma easily won the Men's single for Steel City with three former NA rowers (Kam Palagi, Peter Joyce and Andrew Keiser) in the pack behind him. The Women's Novice 4+ of Macy DiRienzo, Madison Treser, Gabi Tomko, Christina Hunkele and Sarah Sharpnack finished 3rd in their heat in 6:48:36 but again NA missed the cut. The Women's JV 8+ with Nicole Rotunno, Lauren Vespoli, Lauren Larocca, Jen Milkey, Janny Liu, Hayley Rosen, Christine Frazier, Michelle Benson and Liz Craig finished third in their heat and qualified for finals where they improved by over 13 seconds to finish 6th in 5:44:81. NA's first heat winners were Jordan Herbert and Maddie Gray in the Women's Varsity double and in the Final they improved to 5:53:70 and took a bronze medal behind a tough Shaker crew. Both the Varsity 8 crews made finals.
The Women's crew of Kim Gilmour, Katelyn Hildebrand, Jess Pegher, Lauren Vespoli, Merel Duursma, Tori Horn, Michelle Weaver, Maria DeIuIiis and cox Nicole Rotunno finishing second in their heat and fifth in their final with a time of 5:30:17. In the Men's bracket Jamie Milone coxed Mark Dissen, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick, Dan Jefferies, Andrew Spirk, Kevin Huber, Noah Krassenstein and Zac Petronic to third in their heat and a sixth place in the final with NA's best time of the day at 4:49:91. Local sweep specialist foe Central Catholic filled the first three places in this event with their A, B and C boats!
Some events were run as straight finals: in the Women's single sculls Kim Gilmour took a bronze medal in a time of 6:47:85; in the Men's JV 8+ NA took 5th (Central Catholic having been disqualified) with Mark Pollini coxing David McQuiston, Zac Petronic, Mike Durbiano, Kurt Schoffstall, Steve Genise, Evan Solic, Billy Brant and Cole Lennon while freshmen Jake Beacham and John Rectenwald found themselves in austere company in the Men's Varsity double finishing sixth in 6:34:73. Results are available via links from Regatta Central. NA's next racing action is at the Midwest Scholastic Sprints 2-day event in Cincinnati starting on Saturday, May 9th.