Conestoga Crew Club was back at Mercer Lake during Memorial Day weekend for the 2014 Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championship Regatta. Conestoga had eight boats competing in Saturday’s finals, which started with an overcast sky, small breeze and calm conditions on Mercer Lake. Ideal for racing!
First up was CCC Women’s Freshman Quad, (Laura Alcorn, Lilianne Brown, Kate Hudson and Sydney Stephens), who trailed Ridgewood’s Freshman crew by a seat coming down to the last 500 meters. Ridgewood made a move but Conestoga held on for a sprint to a very exciting 1st place win, capping off an undefeated season! Next at the start was the Men’s Freshman Quad, (Max Amsterdam, Griffin Hamilton, Michael Gregory and Matt Balch). Although looking very strong in the race, they had stiff competition and finished in 6th place, a disappointing loss considering their outstanding qualifying time from the day before.
Cheers of “Stoga, Stoga, Stoga” resonated across Mercer Lake as CCC Women’s JV Quad, (Madeline Beirne, Carly Robins, Emily Hompe and Angela Sarkisian), epitomized SRAA racing at its best. Holding off Woodbridge for an adrenaline pumping first place finish, they secured another undefeated season for a CCC Women’s boat. The Women’s Varsity Lightweight Quad, (Amy Connell, Katie Groves, Anna Zibinski and Sophie Bodek), kept the adrenaline going when their solid lead came to a dead stop after catching a crab at the 1750 mark on the course. In a demonstration of teamwork and drive, they were able to restart, winning 1st place by eight seconds! Their remarkable recovery and win are testimony to what dedication and great coaching mean in the sport of rowing.
CCC Men's Varsity Lightweight Quad, (Max Malarkey, Ryan Hollinger, Micky Kling and Hanan Zisling), brought the excitement next, finishing 3rd in another great race with equally tough competitors. The Women’s Varsity Double, (Rachel Devlin and Annina Ruggirello), rowed to a 4th place finish, just over one second behind the 3rd place boat. CCC Women's Varsity Quad, (Anne Graf, Caroline Gosnear, Emer Ryle and Megan Hudson), raced to a 1st place victory over Ridgewood and Episcopal, finishing an undefeated four years for seniors Meagan Hudson (Bow) and Annie Graf (Stroke) and an undefeated season for the crew. CCC Men's Varsity Quad, (Niall Carlson, Nathan Leibowitz, Jake Novak and Sean Pepin), closed out the race day and an exciting season, by capturing a bronze finish against strong competition from Roman Catholic and Malvern Prep.
Conestoga has finished its season on the East Coast and now heads to the US Rowing Youth Nationals in Rancho Cordova, CA (June 13-15).