by Tom Utescher
With no racing on the Schuylkill occurring over Easter weekend and with many schools closed at least part of the time for spring break, area rowers were able to get in several weeks of intense training. Some lucky athletes even participated two-a-day practices. So which crews were able to make those extra hours translate into victories when the Manny Flick regatta series resumed last Sunday?
The program at Germantown Friends, which just acquired official interscholastic sport status this year, has featured a preponderance of female scullers, but it was the boys who tabbed three first-place finishes over the weekend at Flick number four.
Gabe Buyske-Friedberg, a wrestling standout for GFS but new to crew, joined up with James Wright to win the freshman/novice double by five seconds. Fellow Tiger rookies Graham Arms, Preston Choe, Luke Cartrite, and Eric Shen were also victorious, winning the second of two flights in the novice quad with the third fastest time overall. In the JV single, half-a-minute separated a triumphant Andrea Berghella from the runner-up.
For Penn Charter, the girls were the standard bearers. Mireyeh Davis, a starter for the Quakers’ basketball team, climbed in a single and won the novice race by seven-and-a-half seconds. Another PC solo act, Jean Gleason, took top honors in the JV single, while in the JV double, Kelsey White and Sally Stanley won their flight and posted the best time out of all 10 entries.
Germantown Academy also excelled in the singles, winning both the boys and girls varsity contests. In what was by far the fastest of three flights, Zach Burkhart was 13 seconds ahead of the second-place oarsman, while Jess Zettlemoyer finished first in her race by three-and-a-half ticks.
A newly-formed girls novice eight for the Patriots was assigned to a slow heat, but they made the best of it by placing first. Featured here were Elizabeth Wescott (stroke), Caroline Klebanoff, Gina Porter, Sarah Lindgren, Julia McKernan, Katie Hallahan, Grace Loughlin, Emily Lindgren, and cox Rachel Kliger.
The GA girls JV quad didn’t win its race, but Emma Rapp, Katie Aemisegger, Genna Fierson, and Nina Tang placed second and trailed victorious Baldwin School by just 0.67 seconds.
The Blue Devils of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy did not have one of their better outings last Sunday. The best results were produced in the girls JV single, where Alexa Schwartz and Eliza Brody placed second and third, respectively, behind PC’s Gleason.
Mount St. Joe added a new wrinkle by starting out its day with an entry in the freshman four race. This successful experiment yielded a six-second victory for (stroke to bow) Aileen Mnasfield, Jen DeGroat, Emily Little, Christie Faust, and coxswain Maddie Walsh.
The novice eight won, as well, with a time seven seconds faster than any other boat in the overall field of 21. Norwood Fontbonne Academy grad Abby Schwenger served as cox for Mia DiGregorio, Sam Cordero, Kaitlin Eney, Erica Arnold, Julia Flynn, Lily Tubman, Karsen Healy, and Claudia Langella.
During the regular season there aren’t a lot of lightweight eights competing on the Schuylkill, but the ones that do mean business. Mount St. Joe picked up its second win in a row on Sunday, holding off Merion Mercy by 1.3 seconds. Here, Lindsey Maiale served as boat boss for Erin McGreevey, Vicki Matsinger, Shannon Hughes, Zoe Ramos, Grace Little, Molly Whalen, Kate Cordero, and Rachel Sandquist.
And the Mount varsity eight? Second this time – Merion got ‘em.
High school crews around the region will finish out their equivalent of the “regular season” at the fifth Manny Flick this weekend. After that, it’s on to the major “medal” races in the month of May.