The T.C. Williams crew team proved this weekend that it can compete with the best boats in the country.
Participating in Stotesbury Cup Regatta, a May 15-16 event that is the largest and oldest high school rowing competition in the world, the T.C. boats excelled. Racing against the fastest boats in the country, all T.C. boats posted impressive times in the preliminary time-trial round, advancing to semifinals. Five T.C. boats advanced to the finals. The T.C. girls’ varsity light weight 8, competing in one of the most competitive categories, brought home the hardware, winning a bronze medal.
Racing on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, the T.C. crew team rowed with 5,672 athletes from 182 schools who participated in this year’s Stotesbury Regatta.
T.C.’s medal hopes were fulfilled by the Titan girls’ varsity light weight 8. Even though this is the first time in years that T.C. has fielded a light weight boat, the crew quickly showed it was contender, winning every race but one this season. The light weights came out strong in the time trials, earning the fastest time of any boat in the category (5:43.14), despite rowing into a strong head wind. In its final on Saturday, the crew competed against boats from schools that have dominated this category nationally for years on a river where they regularly row. Unfazed, the Titan girls charged down the course, kicking into a final sprint that allowed them to pass several boats and capture the bronze medal, right behind perennial national champions Mount St. Joseph Academy and Holy Spirit. The light weights posted a time of 5:28.74, adding a bronze medal to the gold they captured at the state championship last week.
The light weights pack a lot of power into small frames; all rowers are 130 pounds or less. Members of the T.C. varsity lightweight 8 include Elizabeth Roda (coxswain), Rachael Vannatta, Olivia Anthony, Sierra Arnold, Abby Prall, Sarah Scroggs, Caroline Hill, Emily De-Bodene, and LeeAnn Richards. The light weight 8 boat is guided by Coach Jaime Rubini.
The T.C. boys’ freshman 8, which won the Virginia state championship earlier this month, also put in a strong performance at Stotesbury. The rowers advanced through time trials and the semifinals to the final round. They battled tough competitors during the 1,500-meter final, taking fourth place and missing the bronze medal by .02 seconds. While they wanted the medal, the frosh defeated 35 other boats in the competition. Their final time was 5:13.39. Members of the Boys Freshman 8 include Zachary Khan, Ian Willmore, Wogan Snyder, Cole Towers, Bryce Cook, Julien Depeyrot, Jacob Souza, Connor McGivern, and Michaela Gleeson (cox). Enoch Cleckley guides the freshman 8.
The T.C. Williams girls’ first varsity 8 also excelled in time trials and the semifinals, advancing to the final round. Only six of the 30 boats competing made it to the finals. Despite being in a lane that is often considered “the slow one,” the Titan girls turned on the power in the final race, posting a time of 5:28.45.
The T.C. boys’ light weight boat also advanced through the time trials to the finals. Racing against the nation’s fastest boats in this category, the T.C. boys took fifth place. The T.C. boys’ light weights even beat McLean, which bested the Titan boys in the Virginia state championship.
The Titan freshman girls also advanced through the time trials and semifinals to the final round. The frosh battled throughout the course and took fifth place in a category that began with 43 outstanding freshman girls’ boats.
The Titan boys’ varsity 4 boat showed its strength against the 60 boats that competed in its category. The varsity 4 advanced through time trials and took fourth place in its semifinal heat.
The girls’ second 8 also put in a strong performance at Stotesbury, advancing beyond time trials to the competitive semi-final round.
All of these T.C. boats will have a chance at a national medal this coming weekend, when they take to the water at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta, which will be held this Friday and Saturday on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.