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Conestoga crew team shines at Nationals

Fourteen members of the Conestoga High School Crew Club participated in the recent USRowing Youth National Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla. to compete against crews from over 150 clubs in North America for the title of the nation’s best high school and club crews.

In the Men’s Youth Double, sophomore Shane Connell and senior Matt Balch competed in a heat of 17 boats and missed the semi-finals by less than one second.  In their C-Final, Connell and Balch finished in second place behind Malvern Preparatory School and ended with a national ranking of 14th.

In the Men’s Youth Quad B-Final, Conestoga seniors Max Amsterdam and Griffin Hamilton and juniors Connor Sullivan and Zach Simpson placed a strong fourth, and finished the season as the 10th best in the nation and the No. 1 public school quad. This fall, Hamilton will row for the U.S. Naval Academy and Amsterdam will compete at Columbia University.

Conestoga’s graduating seniors at the USRowing Youth National Championships are, from left: (top row) Frank Wang, Griffin Hamilton, Matt Balch, Max Amsterdam, (bottom row) Laura Alcorn, Anna Green and Kate Hudson.

The Conestoga Women’s Youth Quad of sophomore Victoria Budike, seniors Laura Alcorn and Kate Hudson and junior Kate Concannon finished in first place in the C-Final and ended the season with a 13th place national ranking. In the fall, Hudson will row for Temple University, while Alcorn will compete for the University of Miami.
In the Women’s Lightweight Double, senior Anna Green and sophomore Natalia Bertolotti finished third in the D-Final and were ranked 21st in the nation. Green will row for La Salle University in the fall.
The Men’s Lightweight Double with junior Liam Bobber and senior Frank Wang finished second in the D-Final.
While five Conestoga varsity boats were competing in Florida, three Conestoga crews shined in the National Schools’ Championship Regatta on the Schuylkill River.
In the Women’s Varsity Double, Holly Culbert and Katherine Moir took third place. In the Men’s 1st Varsity Quad, Brenton Molsbergen, Cole Fogarty, Michael Medica and Evan Cain took first place beating the second place crew by over 22 seconds. In the final race of the day, Abigail Lewis, Blair Kennedy, Elena Lindquist and Katherine Stanton entered the Women’s 1st Varsity Quad and finished 7.24 seconds ahead of Episcopal Academy and capture first place.
When asked to summarize the racing season, Conestoga head coach John Hayburn said, “We were very thankful for being given the opportunity to compete in one last scholastic championship. While part of our crew was in Florida, 10 of our rowers stayed in Philadelphia to race at the National Schools Regatta, and did an excellent job. We couldn’t be more proud of their successes at this race, as well as throughout this past season.”

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