Stotesbury Cup Regatta – Race Report for the Girls

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1V

From Coach Greg King: The NCS Crew team had a historic trip to Philadelphia this past weekend at the Stotesbury Regatta. Known as the oldest and largest high school regatta in the world, the team faced off against competitors from all over the country. Friday was a wonderful day, with warm temperatures and sunshine. Saturday took a turn for the worst and rain came in strong later in the afternoon. These conditions did not stop NCS from performing at their absolute best.

Frosh 8

Frosh 8

Frosh 8: The freshmen eight had a great regatta. Coming into the regatta having placed behind many local crews, the team was determined to change the fate of their season and really push the boundaries of athletic performance. This crew was made up of Peyton Gordon, Sophia Donovan, Katelyn Craven, Juliette Van Vleck, Kate Mabus, Elena Arvanitis, Elisabeth Sicoli, Morgan Chung, and Annie King. All races start with a time trial, where every crew from each event rows down the race course as fast as they can to get a seeding for the semi finals. Out of 50 boats in the frosh 8, only 18 advance to the next round. Our frosh 8 rowed more aggressively than they ever have, and placed 4th in the time trial, edging out local crews Walt Whitman High School and Bethesda Chevy Chase High School who they had lost to by 14 seconds just a few weeks earlier. The girls rowed the semi final later in the afternoon and qualified for the final. This is only the third time in the last 15 years that the frosh 8 has qualified for the final. On Saturday, the frosh raced a great race, but ended up sixth in the final. This was a huge leap for this crew in performance from earlier in the year. Well done Nuggets!

IMG_6490Senior 4: The senior 4, made up of Maeve Murphy, Julia Messick, Lexi Novak, Anna May Mott, and Zoe Lindahl rowed in one of the most competitive events at the regatta. Many schools boat their top 4 girls from their programs in this boat.  Out of 48 schools, they placed 11th in the time trial, earning their spot in the semi finals the next day. This was the first time in program history that a four has made it out of the time trial and a huge accomplishment for the program. The four unfortunately did not make it into the final, but raced a great race against some tough competitors. This was a huge milestone for this program, and this group of athletes has reset the bar for performance in this event.

2V Tropy

2V Tropy

Second 8: The second 8, made up of Sophie Dunn, Camilla Ryder, Grace Farran, Annabelle Rice, Arianna DiGregorio, Eva Phelps, Rory Meyer, Kat Sniezek and Caroline Garcia had an amazing regatta. They pushed through the time trial and crushed the field, earning them a top spot for the semi finals. They cruised through the semi finals, clutching a middle lane for the final race. In the final, they put out a dominant performance, with an open water win for a Stotesbury Championship! This is the first time in school history that the program has won this event. They set the tone for the upcoming races in the first boat.

1V

1V

First 8: The first 8, in a category of 32 boats, made their way down the course for the time trial with a less than optimal row, but still pulled off second place in the time trial behind reigning champion Mount Saint Joseph Academy. Racing in a tough semi final, the crew pulled out a good race and took first, securing a great lane for the final. While launching for the final, pelting rain began and temperatures dropped. Having trained in these conditions all spring, the crew was not phased. They rowed from the launch dock with purpose and determination. Off the start line, the crew had a bad start, leaving them in last in the first ten strokes. Coach Greg watched the race from his bike and was instantly discouraged. The crew has a lot of horsepower and executed an aggressive high twenty strokes,  pulling even with the field. During the middle thousand they pushed away from the field, committed on a move together and took the lead. They fought for this position all the way down the course and grabbed the win with a two second lead over Merion Mercy Academy. This is the first time in school history that the team has won the Senior 8 category.

This was the first time ever that NCS had all of its crews advance beyond the time trial. Only once before in regatta history has any team won both the first and second boats in the same year. This was a truly great accomplishment for the girls, and a great symbol of how hard work, patience, and determination pays off. So much credit goes to an unbelievable senior class that showed so much leadership and maturity all year. An amazing performance top to bottom. GO EAGLES!

Frosh 8:

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Senior 4:

Second 8

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First 8

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Stotesbury Cup Regatta – Race Report for the Boys

From Coach Ted Haley:

2V Hammer Trophy Stotes 2016 (4)From the moment Greg and I arrived in Philadelphia Thursday afternoon we had a sense that this would be a special Stotesbury Regatta weekend. Our perfect parking space was the first of many happy occurrences in an epic weekend. Our whole focus for the season leads up to this regatta so there is a lot of tension and anticipation. So many factors can influence winning and losing and every detail is important. I am going to get right into the boys race reports, but I must congratulate Greg King and the NCS varsity who completed a historic double gold medal performance in the 1v and 2v. That was a special moment in CCCRC history, and one of the greatest sports accomplishments ever at NCS.

F89Frosh 8: The freshmen boys finished 17th in the time trial. They needed to be about 5 seconds faster to get into the top 6. Because of their low seed the frosh 8 ended up in lane 6 for the semi-final and came in 6th. This crew made progress all year, but never had the “breakout” performance they needed. Virtually all of the freshman 8’s at the top of the heap start rowing in September. I have watched this group of boys work very hard in the weight room and on the water. There are several members of this boat who will make an immediate impact on the varsity in the years to come. They have caught the rowing bug and want more. Coach Andy Bacas accomplished every goal that I have for our freshman and I appreciate all his efforts. There is no coach more thoughtful and thorough in his approach to athlete development.

BJ44Junior 4: With 66 boats in the event and many of them representing the top 4 athletes on the team we came into the Junior 4 competition with moderate expectations. Coach Sal Assenza had these boys rowing well, but we had not seen many of the crews from the Philly/ NJ area. With an amazing time trial this crew placed 3rd overall and set themselves up for a favorable semi-final. The STA 4 had a thrilling race and edged out VASRA rival Great Bridge by .6 seconds to earn a spot in the final. In the final the boys fought hard, but ended up 5th. One of the goals of the program this season was to put all three varsity crews in the final. Sal and his boys lined up against stiff competition and made that happen.

2V at the finish line2nd 8: Not having lost a race all season and having confidence ooze from every pore can be a good thing. Sometimes that can blow up in one’s face, but that is not the case for our boys 2nd 8. They cruised through the time trial and semi-finals winning each in their usual style. In the final, all crews started even, but the 2V made a move around the 500 meter mark and never looked back. After that there was a battle for 2nd place between Gonzaga and LaSalle, but the gold medal and the Hammer Trophy was never really in question. This was a great finish to the season for this crew. With 5 seniors leading the charge this crew enjoyed every minute of this season and celebrated heartily. The remaining 3 juniors and 1 sophomore have gained valuable racing experience and now will put their attention on challenging for seats in the top 8 in 2017.

IMG_7018Senior 8: With an uneven season I knew that a breakout performance in Philly was needed to stand on the medal dock this year. Ultimately we were a few feet short, but I was incredibly proud of the effort and resolve of our top boat this year. A 6th place finish in the time trial set up a semi-final showdown with top ranked Gonzaga and a hungry BCC crew close behind. The crew finished a close 2nd behind Gonzaga which placed them in the dreaded lane 6 for the final. It would have been easy to pack it in and accept last place in the final. With a courageous final race the 1V battled the pack throughout and ended up 3.9 seconds behind 1st place Gonzaga and 1.3 seconds out of a bronze medal. This was the race I was looking for all season, and I am convinced that we would have been up there on the medal stand if the course was even. However, that is the nature of the sport. The 1v now looks forward to the SRAA nationals in Ohio and has a legitimate shot at coming out on top. I am also pleased that 7 of the 9 athletes will be returning to the team next year with a hunger for more.

Huge thanks to our Stotesbury team of Linda Feldmann (CEO) , Susan Gerber (co-CEO), Peter Burbelo (bus czar), Duncan Ryder (logistics), Lisa Ghorbani (goodie bags), Evan Corcoran and Magruder Dent (boatmen), Kirsten Albers (dinner queen) and Bill Meyer (chuckwagoneer).

Photos from each boat, as well as some non-rowing photos at the end:

Frosh 8 Photos:

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Junior 4 Photos:

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2nd 8 Photos:

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Senior 8 Photos:

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Non-Rowing Fun at Stotes:

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VASRA Race Report for the Eagles

DSCN1136 (2)This past weekend, the NCS crew team traveled to the Occoquan Reservoir in Virginia to compete in the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) State Championships. The first and second boat competed in their respective events against some tough competitors from all over the state. The schedule for Saturday was changed at the last minute on Friday afternoon in anticipation of storms coming through the region the next day.

The conditions were variable throughout the morning.  Some races moved against the wind, and some with the wind, even between heats which were run seven minutes apart. Both the first and second eight had a qualifying heat and a final race. In conditions like this, race officials announced that in the event that finals were cancelled due to inclement weather, that the race times from the heat would determine the medal standings at the end of the day. As such, all crews in all events raced at maximum effort in the qualifier. Typically, based on the seeding of the crew, the boat will only row as hard as they need to in order to move into the next stage of racing.

DSCN1151 (2)The first eight was made up Sophie Bredenkamp, Naomi Davy, Hadley Irwin, Isabel Bogart, Hannah Yazdani, Serena Irwin, Beata Corcoran, Amelia Parizek and coxswain Kendall Green. They raced their heat and posted the fastest time for all the heats with a 5:04.4, followed next by McLean in 5:13.8.

The second lineup this weekend was Camilla Ryder, Grace Farran, Annabelle Rice, Arianna DiGregorio, Rory Meyer, Eva Phelps, Kat Sniezek, Caroline Garcia, and Coxswain Maeve Murphy. They raced aggressively in their heat, winning convincingly over the next crew, posting a time of 5:11.9. Their effort was good enough to edge out a sharp looking crew from TC Williams High school, who posted a 5:12.8 in the next heat.

2V for the win!

2V for the win!

The really bad weather held off for the final of the Girls varsity 8+, which came down with some random gusts of wind on the course. Cathedral got out to a good lead and the announcer remarked that they had a “commanding lead” coming through the halfway mark on the course. The boat stayed the course and extended their lead for an open water win. This is the first time NCS has taken the State Championship since 2009. The crew was excited to meet a goal that they set as a crew.

The second eight was warmed up and ready to launch when gale force winds forced them to seek shelter. The races were delayed, and sadly cancelled. The second boat was awarded the gold medal for their performance, and truly earned it for putting down the fastest time in the morning.

This year NCS swept the Varisty Eight State Championships winning the First, Second, and Third Eight.  A dominant performance by the whole team! Way to go Eagles!

Read all about it at the Washington Post.

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