by Tom Utescher
The annual Independence Day Regatta on the Schuylkill offers races for rowers of all ages, but each year near the end of July young crew athletes have a day all their own. Last Saturday, the 2014 Philadelphia Youth Regatta showcased a number of area athletes who have been training at various sites along Boathouse Row this summer.
Siblings Ethan and Becca Genyk of Germantown Friends School have both been engaged, although they’re training at different boathouses.
Ethan, who received his diploma from GFS last month, will be joining the lightweight rowing program at the University of Pennsylvania. He raced for Crescent Boat Club last weekend at the PYR, finishing first in his flight of the Junior 18 Quad with the third-fastest time overall out of four “finals” in the category (21 boats total). He and his mates were timed in six minutes, 23.30 seconds over the 2000-meter course.
Becca, a rising junior at GFS, is calling Fairmount Rowing Association home for the summer. She added to the family trophy case last weekend by coming in first in her flight in two different events, the Junior 16 Quad (8:15.26) and the J16 Double (8:27.34).
The head of the Fairmount summer program, as well as the Episcopal Academy crew, is Roxborough resident Molly Konopka. Her son James just graduated from Episcopal and will be entering the lightweight program at Penn along with Ethan Genyk, and her daughter Josie, who’ll be a freshman at EA, rowed with Becca Genyk in the Fairmount quad. Molly Konopka and the Genyks’ mother, Daphne Klausner, rowed together in a lightweight double at Penn.
A rising Penn Charter senior, Ethan Ashley, raced for Fairmount last Saturday, as well. His J18 quad won its flight in 6:30.10, and he also competed in the boys’ “Dash” Eight late in the afternoon. In his edition of these truncated dash races (typically only a quarter-mile in distance), Ashley’s boat was timed in 1:11.70, good for third place in its flight.
Another local rower operating out of Fairmount was Springside Chestnut Hill Academy sophomore Sofia Djerassi. With a time of 7:41.20 (2000 meters), her J18 quad came in fourth in its flight.
Placing fourth in another flight of the Girls J18 Quad was Penn Charter senior Holly Webb. She represented Bachelors Barge Club, whose entry clocked in at 8:09.47.
Three more PC crew members competed in the Youth Regatta under the banner of the Undine Barge Club, junior Cesar Centeno and the Grugan siblings, senior Ethan and sophomore Emma. Centeno and his partner won their flight in the J18 Double in 7:33.25, and Ethan Grugan was fifth in his flight in the J18 single (8:39.14). Meanwhile, Emma Grugan turned in fourth-place finishes in two different categories, the J16 Four (8:46.47) and the J16 Double (9:08.62).
The most successful of all the local participants in the PYR last weekend was 2014 Germantown Academy graduate Kate Horvat, a Chestnut Hill native who will row for Yale University. She excelled in a senior single throughout the scholastic season this spring, and she won both of her races on Saturday, when she represented Vesper Boat Club.
Winning the second of four flights in the J18 Single, she put up the best overall time (8:45.41) out of all 21 entrants. At the end of the day, she also came in first in the Dash Single, crossing the line in 1:36.80 to best the runner-up by almost six seconds.