By Allen Nitschelm
SARASOTA (FLA.) — Bromfield-Acton-Boxborough Varsity Boys rowers won the national championship at the US Rowing
Junior Nationals in Sarasota this weekend, besting 20 other teams from around the country.
Over 150 teams entered a crew in the Nationals, which had 335 entries in 18 events.
The BAB crew sent three crews of sixteen rowers and three coxswains to the Nationals this year, with
the varsity boys’ 4+ coming from behind in the ‘A’ Finals to take the gold medal by less than a second over the second-place team from Lyme, Conn., and just ahead of the third-place team from Deerfield.
Rounding out the top six finishers were teams from Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Dallas.
The team was coxed by Grace Heavey with rowers Justin Hayes, Cole Winsor, Charles Watt, and Luca Basile.
Boys’ head coach Brian DeDominici was thrilled with the results. “Our top 4 was able to bring an entire year of work together for a spectacular performance this weekend. It was a privilege to be able to watch them execute their race plan in the final, and then see it pay off so well.”
DeDominici noted that the crew won their initial heat, which allowed them to advance directly to the semifinal, and placed second to Deerfield in that race, which was a high-enough finish to make it to the finals. The final race was extremely close. “Only one-and-a-half seconds separated the top three crews at the finish,” he said.
DeDominici also coached another Boys 4, this time in the Lightweight division, which came in 17th out of
22 crews overall. “They performed very well and will gain invaluable experience from earning the opportunity to compete at such a high level,” he said. Rowers were Garrett White, Oliver Perrine, Josh Hollenberg, and Mark Borghesani, with coxswain Austin Rotker.
The Girls Varsity 8+ also qualified for the Nationals, and competed against 24 national crews, coming in 15th.
“This is the premier event for high school rowers, and only two public schools had crews racing. To finish 15th among the top high school ‘clubs’ in the country was outstanding,” said Varsity Girls Coach Holly Hatton.
“The Varsity Girls 8 really came together under adversity. The crew lost Courtney Oka, its stroke rower, due to illness, yet still qualified for the Nationals at the Lowell Regatta. “The next three weeks involved a steep learning curve of adapting to a new stroke and finding more speed with higher stroke rates and developing a more challenging race plan.” Hatton said. “They never lost faith in each other and at the end of the day, had their very best race of the season on the last day of racing,” Hatton said. The crew was comprised of rowers Kamryn Steyck, Kirsten Thiim, Molly Hart, Grace Ott, Anna Dawley, Annie Cooper, Kati Nugent and Meghan Glade, with cox Emily Erdos.
The Bare Hill Rowing Association offers summer “Learn to Row” classes and begins recruiting student athletes when the schools start in the fall. For more information about summer rowing and training programs, visit http://www.barehillrowing.com/programs/learn-to-row-summer-2015. You can also visit their website at BareHillRowing.com.