The Titans girls’ freshman 8 row to an impressive victory in the March 28 Noxontown Regatta in Middletown, Del. Members of the boat include Camila Cardwell (coxswain), Hope Parsons, Grace Vannatta, Emma Carroll, Kirsten Emblom, Tess Moran, Grace Hogan, Cleo Lewis, and Rachel Sedehi.
The T.C. Williams crew team braved wintery conditions on Saturday, March 28 to compete in its first away race of the spring 2015 rowing season – the Noxontown Regatta, which was held at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Del.
Bitter cold, snow, and brisk cross headwinds with frequent strong gusts made the 1,500-meter race even more challenging than usual. This race, held at St. Andrew's, is traditionally a gathering place for early competitions between some of the top crews on the East Coast. Last Saturday’s competition was as intense as ever. In addition to host St. Andrew's, the T.C. oarsmen and women faced off against Holy Spirit High School from New Jersey, LaSalle High School from Pennsylvania, Woodrow Wilson High School from Washington, D.C., Robinson High School from Fairfax, and Washington-Lee High School from Arlington. The setting at St. Andrew’s — a beautiful campus that was the backdrop for the 1989 movie, “Dead Poet’s Society” — was dramatic.
The Titans — to borrow a phrase from the movie — seized the day. They finished first or second in six races. Putting in an outstanding performance, the T.C. Williams boys’ freshman 8 stormed down the 1,500-meter race course, winning their race by 8 seconds over rival Robinson and a field of tough competitors, with a time of 5:44.0. The boys’ freshman 8 is coxed by Michaela Gleeson and includes Stefanos Psaltis-Ivanis, Julian Depeyrot, Jake Souza, Conner McGivern, Bryce Cook, Ahmad Shujah, Wogan Snyder, and Ian Willmore. The boat is coached by coached by Enoch Cleckley.
The girls’ freshman 8 also put in a powerful performance, winning the third 8 category, with a time of 6:14.7, almost 15 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor. Members of the TC girls’ freshman 8 are Camila Cardwell (coxswain), Hope Parsons, Grace Vannatta, Emma Carroll, Kirsten Emblom, Tess Moran, Grace Hogan, Cleo Lewis, and Rachel Sedehi. Titan head girls’ coach Patrick Marquardt guides the freshman 8. The Titan girls’ third 8 took second place in the same category, with a time of 6:29.3.
The Titan girls’ lightweight 8 demonstrated that they are a force to contend with this season, earning second place behind Holy Spirit, the school that has won the national championship for the past three years in this category. The TC team finished a mere 10 seconds behind Holy Spirit, with a time of 6:02.5. This is the first year since 2010 that T.C. Williams has fielded a boat in the highly competitive lightweight category. Members of the T.C. lightweight boat include Elizabeth Roda (cox), Rachael Vannatta, Olivia Anthony, Sierra Arnold, Abby Prall, Sarah Scroggs, Caroline Hill, Emily De-Bodene, and LeeAnn Richards. The lightweight 8 is guided by coach Jaime Rubini.
Other notable performances included the girls’ freshman B boat, which powered to a second-place finish in the girls’ fourth/freshmen 8 category with a time of 7:00.1 and the girls’ novice 8, who earned second place in the girls’ fifth/novice 8 category with a time of 7:21.17.
The Titans’ powerful performance at St. Andrew’s followed a scrimmage held against Washington-Lee High School at the Dee Campbell Boathouse in Old Town on March 21. This was the latest round of an annual rivalry that goes back 65 years to 1949. The Titan boys performed well in races against a Washington-Lee. The W-L girls decided to stay behind in Arlington to get in some more practice time. As a result, instead of racing against the Generals, the Titan girls raced against the clock in a series of 500-meter and 1500-meter time trials designed to gauge the performance of different line-ups and check their speed going up the Potomac River course.
The March 21 event at the Dee Campbell Boathouse also included the christening of a new rowing scull, the “Jon Schildknecht,” to honor a former Titan Head Crew coach and rower who contributed in so many ways to the sport of rowing in Alexandria. Over 100 supporters gathered to honor Schildknecht, as he christened the boat with water from the Potomac River. His wife and former T.C. rower Carter Kidd Schildknecht and their three future T.C. rowers, Ingrid, Liesl and Hans, joined in the celebration. Schildknecht then supervised the launching of the new shell for its first voyage by the T.C. boys’ varsity 8, who will use the boat this season.
The T.C. Williams crew team is guided by head boys’ coach Pete Stramese and head girls’ coach Patrick Marquardt. Other members of the coaching staff include Jaime Rubini, Cathy Hott, Chris Ottie, Matt Given, Gracie Barbara, Sam Rust, and Maggie Kennedy for the Titan Girls. The Boys Coaches include Peter Hearding, Spenser Allin, Enoch Cleckley, Matthew Holland, Colin Cantfil, and Jeff Coan.
The next race for the crew is Saturday, April 4, when the Titan rowers return to St. Andrew’s to take on once again some of the toughest challengers on the East Coast at the Noxontown Regatta No. 2.