by Tom Utescher
Germantown Academy, Germantown Friends, Penn Charter, and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy all had crews medal at the Philadelphia City Championships last Sunday, and the first three schools struck gold.
For the GA Patriots, it was two of the most experienced scullers in the program who did the best. Putting on a strong showing all spring, seniors
Zach Burkhart and Jess Zettlemoyer finished out the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association season with victories in the boys and girls varsity single.
Zettlemoyer, timed at six minutes, 19.740 seconds, won by five seconds over a rival from Sacred Heart of Bryn Mawr, while Burkhardt (5:44.520) was eight ticks ahead of silver medalist Andrew Berghella of Germantown Friends, who had finished just three seconds behind Burkhart in the time trials on Sunday morning.
The Patriots pocketed a bronze medal in the girls JV quad. Emma Rapp, Katie Aemisehher, Genna Fierson, Nina Tang had the fastest qualifying time early in the day, and finished third in the final behind Ridgewood (N.J.) High School and Inter-Ac League rival Baldwin.
GA entered a pair of girls novice fours, both of which made it through the trials to the finals. There the “A” boat (Rachel Kliger – cox, Elizabeth Wescott – stroke, Julia McKernan, Grace Loughlin, Caroline Klebanoff) won the silver medal behind New Jersey’s Egg Harbor Township, while the “B” group (Juliana Baron – cox, Gina Porter – stroke, Katie Hallahan, Emily Lindgren, Sarah Lindgren) came in fifth.
With a paucity of contestants in a variety of sculling categories, a number of local athletes went straight into the finals in the afternoon, instead of having to advance through time trials earlier in the day.
In the girls JV single, SCH’s Eliza Brody and Jessica Penn, GA’s Sook-Hee Evans and Jean Gleason of Penn Charter, got to skip the qualifiers, as did the girls lightweight quads from SCH (stroke to bow: Megan Karoly, Sofia Djerassi, Larissa Noble, Grace Tasman) and Germantown Friends (Sam Pancoe, Olenka Jain, Tessa Curry, Becca Genyk).
The girls freshman/novice double from Springside Chestnut Hill (Emmy Biscardi, Mackenzie Ramsey) also went straight through, along with Penn Charter’s girls novice quad (Victoria Watson, Winnie Worgan, Anna Pogrebivsky, Maria Perry).
Penn Charter’s junior varsity girls provided the two goal medals taken home by the Quakers. Gleason, in her single, clocked in at 6:33.500 to win by 10 seconds over the runner-up from Friends Select. In this same race, GA’s Evans placed fourth, ahead of the Blue Devils’ Penn and Brody.
The other PC gold came through a dominating effort in the JV double by Kelsey White and Sally Stanley (6:01.240), who won the time trials comfortably over Ridgewood, then took the final by six seconds over silver medalist Agnes Irwin. Later in that race, Springside Chestnut Hill’s Gabby Sciarrotta and Karly Kochenour placed sixth.
Penn Charter added a bronze medal in the girls novice quad, where Watson, Worgan, Pogrebivsky, and Perry followed Conestoga High School and Irwin to the line.
Germantown Friends raised its program from the club level to interscholastic team status this spring, and out of the school-record four Cities medals won by the Tigers last weekend, the lone gold was earned by a pair of river rookies. In the boys freshman/novice double, James Wright and Gabe Buyske-Friedberg blitzed to the best time in the trials and then won the finals in 5:36.230, almost a dozen seconds ahead of number two Ridgewood.
In addition to Berghella’s silver in the single, GFS garnered a silver medal in the girls lightweight quad final, where Pancoe, Jain, Curry, and Genyk came in between Conestoga and Egg Harbor. Just out of the medals, in fourth place, was the SCH vessel carrying Karoly, Djerassi, Noble, and Tasman.
Springside Chestnut Hill did get to take home a bronze medal thanks to its girls varsity quad, which was staffed by Amanda Miller, Emma Lutz, Grace Youngren, and Lisa Burckhardt. Conestoga won the gold here, while GA finished fifth with the quartet of Bri Owen, Ingrid Lillis, Hannah Mills, and Kathryn Nunes.
Third place, and the bronze medallion, was claimed by GFS in the girls freshman quad thanks to Lily Zukin, Rei Marshall, Alice Daeschler, and Sydney Slavitt. Conestoga was the gold medalist, and in sixth place was an SCH foursome composed of Mia Humphreys, Hope Lee, Paige Aloise, and Olivia Clark.
Also in the finals, fourth place went to Penn Charter’s Jeremy McDavid and Ethan Ashley in the boys varsity double, PC’s Mireyah Davis in the girls novice gig/single, and GA’s Isaac Wilkins and Sam Trombetta in the freshman/novice double.
SCH’s Biscardi and Ramsey were fifth in the girls freshman/novice double final, and in the boys novice quad Germantown Friends’ Graham Arms, Preston Choe, Luke Cartrite, and Eric Shen reached the finals and finished sixth.
In the girls varsity double, Addie McKenzie and Sophie Bartholomew of GFS earned a spot in the finals by ranking fourth in the time trials, but a protest was filed after the final race and the certification of the official results was delayed.