Mount St. Joe’s Sam Altomare (left) and Katie Greed explore the rower/coxswain relationship. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

It was “ladies last” on the Schuylkill last Sunday as the folks who run the Manny Flick/Horvat regatta series followed the traditional mid-season practice of splitting the race program into all male and all female sections for area schools.

For the girls competing in the afternoon, the river had a chance to settle down after absorbing Friday’s day-long rains, but the water was still unruly enough that a decision was made Sunday morning to cancel all the races for female rookies in boats with four or fewer occupants.

This knocked out much of the early action for area sculling programs, and one of the first successful outcomes for the girls was produced by the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy JV double piloted by Hope Lee (stroke) and Olivia Clark. They finished second in the faster of two flights in their category, thus earning the second-fastest time overall.

The first of four flights in the JV four produced the four best times, and a pair of Mount St. Joseph Academy boats in two of the other sections and finished first and second. One boat was staffed by Gabby Ford [cox], Maureen McGreevey [stroke], Jess Webb, Hailey Goodyear and Kerry Faust, and the other contained Sofia Bernal [cox], Laurel Chung [stroke], Harriett Blatney, Eva Timoney and Katelynn Clement.

In the JV quad races that followed, the best time was registered in the flight that included a Germantown Friends crew (Andy Regli, Lily Zukin, Isabel Ortega and Sydney Slavitt) that placed third.

Mount St. Joe crews wound up being assigned to the somewhat slower second flights in both the JV eight (Maddie Walsh [cox], Julia Woodrow [stroke], Julia Flynn, Katie Hallahan, Lauren Kiefner, Cathryn Antonacio, Claire Broderick, Emily Lubinski and Aydin McPhilemy) and the lightweight four (Izzy Mina [cox], MaryKate Ciolko [stroke], Shayne McKernan, Aileen Mansfield and Nora Hogan).

Both groups overcame the opposition they were offered to finish first, with the JV eight romping to a 30-second victory.

The late-afternoon sun highlights Grace Tasman (left) and Larissa Noble of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Sam Pancoe of GFS, who had been in a single a week earlier, stroked a quad last Sunday, and along with Ayla Malefakis, Chloe Smith-Frank and Maya Esberg, she powered her Tigers lightweight boat to a second-place showing. Next came a runner-up finish for the second eight from Mount St. Joseph (Katie Greed [cox], Sam Altomare [stroke], Paige Comtois, Eileen McKenna, Celene Mina, Aine Playdon, Olivia Snakard, Sam Cordero and Riley Gorman), which was nipped by two-and-a-half seconds by Jersey Shore power Holy Spirit High School.

In the varsity double, GFS entered an A boat (Katie Maguire, Ellie Cheung) and a B boat (Taina Broadus, Laila Okeson) which crossed the line first and third in the same flight, while in the other race Germantown Academy (Lindsay Naber, Elizabeth Wescott) put up a time in between those of the two Tigers entries, finishing fourth in a quick field.

The varsity quad event included entries from GA (Emma Rapp, Grace Loughlin, Julia McKernan and Mikayla Fassler), Penn Charter (Kelsey White, Lucy Atler, Emma Grugan and Maria Perry) and Springside Chestnut Hill (Amanda Miller, Emma Lutz, Grace Youngren and Sophia Djerassi).

The only area boat in a strong opening flight, the SCH Blue Devils put up the best time of the three schools (5:06.65) while finishing third. In the next race, Penn Charter was second in 5:11.34, and GA placed fourth in 5:23.86.

The three flights of varsity eight racing that wrapped up Sunday’s schedule featured two Mount St. Joe boats, the regular V-8 (Shannon LoStracco [cox], Caroline Timoney [stroke], Brynn Pelletier, Grace Comerford, Gabi Natale, Alex Natale, Michelle Lipovsky, Gia Hunt and Katie Edling) and a lightweight eight crew (Abby Schwenger [cox], Karsen Healy [stroke], Maddie Sandquist, Erica Arnold, Emma French, Brooke Gimaro, Molly Whalen, Maddie Curran and Emma Veon) seeking a new challenge.

The first flight produced the fastest time of the bunch, and it belonged to Holy Spirit, which outlasted the second-place Mount Magic V-8, 4:27.70 to 4:29.54. The MSJ “varsity lite” won the third section and turned in the sixth-fastest time overall, just four-hundredths of a second behind number five Archbishop Carroll’s open-weight crew.

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