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Lower Merion Girls Varsity 4 headed to Henley Regatta

The SRAA national champion Lower Merion High School Girls Varsity 4+ crew will travel to England for the Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) June 22-24 to join more than 1,500 rowers from over 190 clubs across the world competing in this prestigious event.
Henley Women’s Regatta was first held on the River Thames in 1988 in response to the absence of women’s events at the Henley Royal Regatta (HRR).
The four seniors (coxswain Minori Cohan, 3 seat Eva Nates, 2 seat Morgan Simpson and bow Emma Spaeth) and one junior (stroke Annika Edwards), along with Lower Merion girls crew coach Liz Miller and a sophomore alternate will leave June 17, allowing for several practice days in Henley-on-Thames before their first race for the Groton School Challenge Cup for Junior Coxed Fours June 23.
After winning the City Championships on the Schuylkill River in early May and narrowly missing first place at the Stotesbury Regatta (which four of the five girls won last year as members of the JV4), the Lower Merion crew avenged the loss the following week winning the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) national championship on the Cooper River.
Lower Merion Girls Varsity 4 has undergone weeks of post-season practice mixed with fundraising, end-of-school year activities and graduation for most of the boat. Miller has experience guiding crews to Henley, having coached the Harriton Girl’s Varsity 4 to the finals at Henley in 2013, where they placed second to the British National Champions.
The four seniors plan to continue rowing in college, including Cohan (Colby), Nates (Stanford), Simpson (Temple) and Spaeth (Temple), while Edwards, a Lower Merion High School record holder in swimming, hopes to compete as a two-sport athlete in college.
Captains Cohan and Nates note that the team as a whole has been continuously rising to new challenges since their freshman year under the leadership of Miller and LM head coach Kirk Beckman as well as coaches Amy Lane-Beckman, Alair Holdsworth and Bill Bragdon. This spring, Lower Merion had its best showing in recent years at the City Championships, entering 11 boats and winning six medals.
“The strength and determination of this team has led to high levels of success the past few years and I am looking forward to putting that to the test against international competition,” said Miller.
The Lower Merion Varsity 4 crew also thanked the Lower Merion Crew Association Board and all their donors for their support during the past month’s whirlwind fundraising.

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