Along with 45 crews from seven East Coast states, the Conestoga, Malvern Prep and Radnor crew clubs traveled to the Richard J. Coffee Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J. to compete in the USRowing Mid-Atlantic Junior Regional Championships May 13.
The Mercer Lake regatta serves as a qualifier for the USRowing Youth National Invitational Regatta which will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla. next month.
In an exciting and soggy morning of racing, five Conestoga crews qualified for the national championships – the premier junior rowing event in the United States.
Qualifying for the Nationals and travelling to Florida in June are as follows: the Women’s Youth Lightweight double (Natalia Bertolotti and Anna Green), Men’s Youth Lightweight double (Frank Wang and Liam Bobber), Men’s Youth double (Matt Balch and Shane Connell), Women’s Youth quad (Victoria Budike, Laura Alcorn, Kate Hudson and Kate Concannon) and the Men’s Youth quad (Griffin Hamilton, Max Amsterdam, Connor Sullivan and Zach Simpson).
Additional morning time trial races included the Women’s double (Holly Culbert and Leigh Burgess) who took fourth of 14 boats, eight seconds behind third place Baltimore; the Men’s Lightweight double (Leo Draper and Kale Wiley) who finished fifth of 10 boats; the Men’s double (Sam Nalbone and Drew Tada) who came in 10th of 16 boats, the Women’s quad (Abigail Lewis, Blair Kennedy, Elena Lindquist and Katherine Stanton) who finished fifth of 14 boats; and the Men’s quad (Brenton Molsbergen, Cole Fogarty, Michael Medica and Evan Cain) who took fifth of 10 crews, only nine seconds behind the third place Conestoga Varsity quad.
Conestoga Crew entered seven boats in the U17 category. Due to the inclement weather, only three crews were able to compete before the regatta was cancelled.
In the Men’s single event, Freshman Edward Culbert captured a bronze medal. In the Men’s double Warren Zhao and Amir Zisling finished fourth, 0.048 seconds behind third place Don Bosco Prep. Also in the Men’s double time trail, freshmen Dawson Keys and Joey Murray finished ninth of 12 boats.
Due to the inclement weather, the two-day event was eventually shortened to one day with teams competing in time trials. All Malvern rowers would have qualified for the finals (coming in the top six in the time trials) in their respective categories if the weather was not a factor.
In the Men’s Youth Lightweight 2x time trial, Pat Keenan and Sean Ward were second, 3.7 seconds behind North Jersey.
In the Men’s Youth 2x time trial, Christian Franck and Andre Quintilianti placed first, 0.6 seconds ahead of Conestoga with Ben Mankowski and AJ Wirtel placing sixth, 2.5 seconds behind River City.
The Malvern Varsity 4x of Johnny McGlinn, Drew Brady, Casey Lauder and Walter Koch placed second in the Youth 4x time trial, trailing Haddon Township by 2.2 seconds.
In an impressive display, Thomas Park finished first in the Men’s U17 1X time trial, besting ACRA by 24 seconds.
In the Men’s U17 2x time trial, the duo of Charlie Fish and Mani Venkatesh finished sixth, 16 seconds behind Haddon Township. The Malvern U17 4x of CK Mao, Aidan Gallagher, Jason Kennedy and Edmund Park didn’t have the opportunity to with the cancellation of the regatta as the weather worsened.
Radnor Girls Crew Club fielded two boats in the PNRA Mid-Atlantic Championships. The Varsity 4+ boat, comprised of Anna Duffy, Gillian Sullivan, Katie Dolan, Olivia Robinson and coxswain Julia Lunger, finished in 10th place. The Lightweight 4+, which included Jenna Spray, Lexi Fogel, Tessa Kilby, Amanda Vitt and coxswain Jess Weitzman, finished fifth overall.
Radnor Boys Crew entered four boats in the competition but was plagued by deteriorating weather conditions and an abridged format. The JV4+, consisting of Brett Lyons, Greg McNicholas, Zach Taylor, Chetin Atillasoy and coxswain Evie Bond was the only boat to advance beyond the time trials and win gold.