By Allen Nitschelm
REGION — This past weekend, the Bromfield Acton-Boxborough rowing team competed in two split-squad regattas, with the varsity teams traveling to Wayland and the novices rowing in Essex.
The Varsity team raced in the Wayland-Weston regatta on Sunday, May 3rd, rowing 1,500 meter races on the North Pond of Cochituate State Park in Wayland. All races were Varsity 4s, which are four sweep rowers with a coxswain.
Both public and private schools competed in the strong field of eight teams, with each team entering a boat in five varsity levels.
Two qualifying heats per level were held in all events in the morning, with the top two finishers going into the finals in the afternoon.
The Girls Varsity team overall had two first places, a third, a fifth, and a sixth place finish. The 1st varsity girls 4 placed sixth overall, in a time of 5:48, with Cox Katie Erdos guiding rowers Courney Oka, Kirsten Thiim, Molly Hart, and Grace Ott. Second varsity girls 4 placed fifth overall, with rowers Kamryn Stecyk, Annie Cooper, Anna Dawley, and Meghan Glade, and Cox Emily Erdos. Third varsity girls took the bronze medal with Cox Katie Erdos and rowers Kati Nugent , Maeve French, Emma Stoffel, and Ally Goldsher.
The 4th and 5th Varsity Girls both won gold medals. 4th Varsity rowers were Claudia Weaver, Amanda Acrossi, Caroline Noyes, and Hannah Forgo, with cox Emily Erdos, and fifth varsity was coxed by Brigitte Lewis and featured rowers Olivia Hemond, Courtney Robb, Becky Nitschelm, and Becca Lloyd.
Said Girls Varsity Coach Holly Hatton: “We had a very strong team performance. This regatta brings together some of the top NE prep-school crews. Most focus on racing the coxed-four event as their primary boat and have been very successful at the National level. With that in mind, I was very pleased with the effort of our crews. It also shows that the depth of our Girls program has been growing steadily each season.”
The first varsity boys’ four placed third overall in a time of 5:03 against a strong field. Rowers Justin Hayes, Charles Watt, Cole Winsor, and Oliver Perrine were coxed by Grace Heavey and finished just six seconds behind first-place finisher Belmont Hill. The second varsity boys’ four placed sixth in a time of 5:24. Rowers were Brian Fay, James O’Shea, Garrett White, and Josh Hollenberg, with coxswain Austin Rotker. Rotker also coxed the fifth varsity boys to a fourth place finish with rowers Pat Pesa, Chris Melby, Mark Castaneda and Alex Hill.
Boys varsity voach Brian DeDominici said, “This weekend the Bromfield-AB Boy’s Varsity team competed against some of the fastest fours schools in the country, including both second and third place teams from last year’s US Rowing National Championships.
“The team trained last week for the fours-only competition against teams that usually row only in the smaller boats. We adapted very well and had some great races. It is very exciting to get to race against that level of competition and all the crews put in great races. Our First Varsity Four was able to edge out Groton by just over a second in the heat in order to make the final and finish 3rd overall. Our 2nd Varsity Four had one of the closest finishes of the day coming in second in the petite final, just edged out by St Marks.”
On Saturday, the novice teams competed in the Methuen Novice Invitational in Essex. The
novice girls’ eight placed third out of five entries in a time of 7:52 for the 2,000-meter course, just seven seconds off the winning pace. Rowers were Valentine Bulpin, Lindsey Hayes, Julia Ma, Alissa Kong, Erin Smith, Michelle Yao, Fiona Carrez, and Christine Lai, with Cox Cammy Farren.
The novice one girls’ four placed third in a time of 7:43, 15 seconds off the pace, with rowers Valentine Bulpin, Lindsey Hayes, Julia Ma, and Molly Bowers, and Cox Sarah Bradley. The novice 2 girls’ four rowed the course in 8:06 and placed fourth.
Lily Depew coxed her first race with rowers Alice Pope, Ella Bull, Julia Deng, and Cammy Farren.
The Novice Boys had three eights and one four boat competing in Essex. The first novice boys’ eight came in third, at 6:55, racing close to winner Weston-Wayland through 1,500-meters. Cox Josh Canning steered rowers Mitch Densen, Alex Weaver, Zac Shamah, CJ Joyce, Chris Arsenault, Andrew Huang, Alex Ewing, and Will Thompson. The 2nd Novice Boys 8 with rowers Jack Klem, Luca Ilic, Maxfield Mascarin, Dwight Fairchild, Ben Buchovecky, Mike Gecawicz, David Shlimak, and Kyle Veo, with cox Nilay Maity, took the gold by open water in a time of 7:26.
“I think all the boats raced well and really showed how much improvement they have made over the past few weeks,” Novice boys’ coach Conor Finnegan said. “The boys know what they need to do for this weekend’s race in Lowell to keep getting faster and more efficient during their races.”
The last weekend in April was the annual Saratoga Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in which the varsity crews and select novice crews compete. Saratoga Invitational always brings a high level of competition. The nine-lane race is 1,500 meters long, and is the biggest regatta of the spring season with over 1,200 competitors.
Highlighting the team’s finish was the varsity one boys’ 4, which won the event out of a field of 34 boats.
Grace Heavey coxed Luca Basile, Charles Watt, Cole Winsor and Justin Hayes to the gold medal. The freshmen novice boys’ four also won their event out of nine entries. The varsity boys’ two placed fourth out of 16 teams. Scullers were Charles Watt and Luca Basile. Watt also placed third out of 20 entries in the single scull.
The boys’ first varsity eight placed eighth out of 27 entries. Cox Austin Rotker led rowers Luca Basile, Cole Winsor, Brian Fay, Charles Watt, Justin Hayes, Oliver Perrine, Garrett White, and James O’Shea. The boys’ second varsity eight also did well, placing 9th out of 20 entrants. Rowers were Mark Borghesani, Josh Hollenberg, Kyle Into, Brian Johnson, Chris Melby, Jack Walsh, Connor Reitler, and Ankit Datta, with Cox Grace Heavey.
The varsity girls teams had two entries in the “A” finals, with the first varsity girls eight finishing eighth overall out of 27 crews. The boat was coxed by Emily Erdos, and rowers were Courtney Oka, Kirsten Thiim, Kamryn Steyck, Grace Ott, Molly Hart, Ann Cooper, Anna Dawley, and Meghan Glade.
Also making it to the “A” finals were the second varsity girls four, coming in seventh. Rowers were Kati Nugent, Amanda Accorsi, Caroline Noyes and Rachel Foote, with Cox Brigitte Lewis.
The novice boys entered as a third varsity team and placed eighth out of 20 crews in their races. Rowers were Mitch Densen, Jon McWhite, David Shlimak, Alex Weaver, Chris Arsenault, Andrew Huang, Zach Shamah, and Will Thompson, with coxes Anne Wesley and Josh Canning.