by Tom Utescher
Prior to heading into a period of down-time before the fall rowing races begin, dedicated members of area crews had one last summer fling on the Schuylkill on July 20, when they competed in the annual Philadelphia Youth Regatta on the Kelly Drive course.
Chestnut Hill residents Maria Georgiou and Ed Point, members of Penn Charter’s Class of 2013, both medalled at the event, as did their classmate Kevin Kelly. Germantown Friends and Germantown Academy also had athletes in the mix, with all of the area rowers operating out of either Fairmount Rowing Association or Vesper Boat Club, two mainstays along Philly’s historic Boathouse Row.
Georgiou, a future member of the crew at the University of Pennsylvania, was part of a Fairmount J18 quad along with a rising senior at Germantown Academy, Kate Horvat.
The J18 class incorporated the older rowers, including this year’s high school graduates, and there were also “J16” races for younger competitors. There were several different flights, or heats, in most categories, and since there were no “finals” at the one-day event, medals were awarded to the crews that produced the top three times overall.
The quad containing Georgiou and Horvat won the first of three flights, covering the 2000-meter course in seven minutes, 59.25 seconds. Their time held up to earn them the gold medal; although Pelham Community Rowing also had a strong row and easily won the second flight, the New Yorkers fell just short of the Philly quartet, with a time of 7:59.45.
A rising junior at Penn Charter, Rachel Gordon, was in Fairmount’s “B” boat in the same category, and that vessel placed fourth in the flight won by Pelham.
Georgiou’s former classmate, Ed Point, raced a J18 single for Vesper in the Philly Youth Regatta. He will attend Tulane University and join the club program there. In the third of the three flights, Point finished second in 9:29.99, while the winner from New Jersey’s Nereid Rowing Club, Joe Criscitiello, crossed the line in 9:22.03. Those two times proved the fastest out of all three flights, with the third-place finisher well behind Point at 9:46.43.
Criscitiello, who rows for Ridgewood High School during the school crew season, is the younger brother of Anthony Criscitiello, the 2013 national scholastic champion in the varsity single.
The silver medal in the girls J18 single went to GA’s Horvat (Fairmount), who won the first of four heats in that event in a time of 10:27.20. The gold medalist was a rower from Hudson River Rowing Association who came in first in the fourth heat.
Penn Charter’s Kelly joined up with three other scullers in a boys J18 quad competing for Vesper. They recorded a decisive victory for the gold medal, with their time of 7:03.29 putting them 10 seconds ahead of both the runner-up in their own flight, and the fastest of the winners in the other three flights in this class.
Three sophomore oarswomen from area schools were among the crew in Fairmount’s J16 eight; Becca Genyk and Addie McKenzie of Germantown Friends, and Jean Gleason of Penn Charter. The boat finished third in the single flight in this category. Genyk and McKenzie also performed together in a J16 quad, which won the first of two flights. The top two finishers in the other heat were faster, but Fairmount’s time of 9:15.88 was good for third place, netting the GFS girls another bronze medal.
In the boys J18 double, Germantown Friends’ Greg Goldstein performed for Fairmount, while another rising junior, Penn Charter’s Ethan Ashley, was racing for Vesper.
A tandem made up of one rower from the Nereid club and one from Malvern Prep took the gold medal with the fastest overall time of 7:38.40, and in the same flight – the third of four – Ashley and his partner placed second in 7:41.74, a time which held up for a silver medal. Goldstein, teaming up with Episcopal Academy’s Jack Alden as in the Independence Day Regatta, won the first flight, and their time, 7:43.20, gained them the bronze medal overall.
The Vesper line-up also featured a J18 four that included the Mirabella sisters of Mount St. Joseph Academy. Kate, a 2013 graduate headed for Princeton, was one of the oarswomen, and Megan, who will be a senior at the Mount, was the coxswain. The vessel came in second in the first of three flights, with the sixth-fastest time overall.
The PYR ended with a novelty act, quarter-mile long “dash” races in various categories. Goldstein of GFS, in a Fairmount single, wound up third in the second of two flights, and was ranked sixth on time. Fairmount raced two Dash eights, and a “B” boat that was put together late in the day included PC’s Georgiou. There was just one race here, and the PC grad’s “B” boat actually beat the “A”, winning in 1:23.43 while the other Fairmount crew came in second in 1:24.99.