by Tom Utescher
Tweaking some of its line-ups following the first race in the Manny Flick series of scholastic rowing events, Mount St. Joseph Academy made a strong showing with its open-weight eights in the second “Flick” last Sunday.
Although many boats from the traditionally strong schools raced in separate flights, the Magic finished first in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and JV eight not just in terms of place, but in overall time, as well.
In the varsity boat, coxswain Megan Mirabella was face-to-face with Steph Eble, a veteran oarswoman but a new arrival in the stroke seat. Eble was paired with Christina Knox in the stern, and moving up the boat, one found Maddie Lawn, Maddie Lauinger, Alaina Hunt, Maddie Carlton, Lauren Matchett, and Leah Ramos. All are juniors or seniors except 10th-graders Knox and Lauinger.
Racing in the last of the three V-8 flights and positioned closest to the riverbank (in lane two with lane one vacant), the Mounties already led comfortably at the 1000-meter mark and then cranked it up over the final 500. They won in 5:04.49, 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Bishop Eustace. In the two earlier flights, both Holy Spirit (5:12.83) and Merion Mercy (5:11.97) also won handily.
Placed in one of the center lanes after winning the week before, the Magic’s second eight prevailed in the first of two flights. With a time of 5:20.18, the Mounties (Victoria Porretti – cox, Jocelyn Ziemniak – stroke, Jenny DiPietro, Quinn DeVore, Christina Vosbikian, Danielle Kosman, Shannon Hughes, Caroline Carbone, Lauren Woodrow) were a little over seven seconds ahead of number two Radnor High School, while in the second flight Merion won in 5:24.78.
Earlier in the afternoon, Mount St. Joe out-pulled Holy Spirit in the first flight of the JV eight, 5:03.95 to 5:09.44, while a figure of 5:15.98 won the second flight for Bonner/Prendergast High School. Emily Woodrow coxed this group, riding herd on Dana Mischler (stroke), Julianna Hunt, Demi Simms, Olivia Tice-Carroll, Mia Fitzpatrick, Cait Hagan, Brooke McMahon, and Zoe Ramos.
After a whopping win against a small field of rivals in the first Flick, the Mount lightweight eight came up against much stronger opposition last weekend, placing third in the single flight of the event. Holy Spirit flew down the course to the head of Peter’s Island, then was overhauled by Merion Mercy, which won in 5:05.98 to Spirit’s 5:07.30.
Mount St. Joe (Madi Kist – cox, Abby Shreero – stroke, Rachel Sandquist, Michela Karrash, Bridget Fitzpatrick, Erin McGreevey, Alex Uzzo, Katelin Cordero, and Liz McKernan) recovered its poise and made up ground late in the race, but could not quite catch Spirit, netting a time of 5:07.96.
A little earlier, their svelte sisters in the lightweight four had won the single flight in that class. Urged on by cox Lindsey Maiale, Grace Little, Emma Tenzinger, Sophia Cocozza, and Vicki Matsinger cruised home in 5:42.04, while Vineland High School was second in 5:50.23.
In the JV four, Kathleen Brooks (cox), Liz DeGroat, Anna Gallgher, Brianna McBride, and Victoria Summerville placed third in their flight and ranked fourth overall on time.
The Mount’s day had begun with its freshmen and a pair of sophomore novices making their racing debut. Several schools had already let their rookie rowers loose in the first “Flick” on March 16, while the Mounties were not yet competition-tested.
First up was the novice eight, coxed by Gianna Carlone and powered by (stroke to bow) Francesca DiLiberto, Meredith Mayes, Sam Altomare, Julia Comerford, Brayslin Gallagher, Michelle Lipovsky, Emma Veon, and Brooke Gimaro. Haddonfield (N.J.) was easily the fastest overall out of the two flights in this category, winning in 5:34.74, but at 5:50.45 in the same flight, runner-up Mount St. Joe was 23 seconds ahead of the next boat, and just one second off the winning time put up by Moorestown in the other race.
The Mount freshman eight had Shannon LoStracco working the cox box and presiding over Allie DiPietro, Molly Whalen, Grace Comerford, Alex Natale, Caroline Savage, Celine Mina, Paige Comtois, and Emma French. There were only three entries in this ninth-grade-only event, and the runner-up Mounties (5:53.85) wound up between Merion (5:36.74) and Holy Spirit (6:07.21).