In the JV double event, Springside Chestnut Hill (left rear) fights to stay ahead of Germantown Friends. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Back from the Easter break and returning to competition on the Schuylkill last Sunday in the third of the Manny Flick/Horvat regattas, area rowers began the final weeks of preparation for the major races in May. This was also when the Flick schedule began to be split into male and female sections, with all of the girls’ races first on the docket last weekend.

Trying out a solo vessel, Germantown Friends’ Andy Regli was the runner-up in the JV single race, and just after that her Tiger teammates Meg Bigelow and Megan Hua placed third in the faster of two JV double flights.

A successful day for Mount St. Joseph’s veteran rowers began with a win by the JV four. The Magic (Gabby Ford [cox], Caitlin Lawson [stroke], Nora Broderick, Alex Lerro, Ainsley Morasco) beat Bonner Prendergast in what was by far the fastest of four flights.

In JV quads, Germantown Academy’s Elizabeth Berlinger (stroke), Margaret Horvat, Maylin Lindsey and Addy Campbell won the first (and quickest) flight, while Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Amber Stallworth, Addison Jansen, Ella Webb, Nahla Turner) came in second in the third section. In between, GFS placed third in the second race in this category with Vanessa Mirage, Isabel Ortega, Amory Park and Ayla Malefakis.

In the lone lightweight double contest, victorious Conestoga High School was followed in order by runner-up SCH (Paige Aloise, Bridget Hennessy) and third-place GFS (Zaynab Sanogo, Sophie Henisz). Germantown Friends finished third once more with its lightweight quad, which contained Gabby Schwartz [cox], Sam Pancoe [stroke], Isabel Mehta, Kim Hua and Chloe Smith-Frank.

Mount St. Joe picked up a victory in the second eight, and really had to battle for it. MSJ’s Izzy Mina [cox], Grace Morrow [stroke], Aileen Mansfield, Katie Hallahan, Molly McKenna, Julia Flynn, Maureen McGreevey, Sam Cordero and Christie Faust fought off Ocean City High School to win by less than four-tenths of a second.

Varsity girls’ competition began with Penn Charter’s Maria Perry placing third in the varsity single, and then a GA double powered by Elizabeth Wescott and Julia McKernan won the first section of that event while putting up the top time overall. In the flight that followed, third place went to Hope Lee and Olivia Clark of the SCH Blue Devils.

Mount St. Joe’s varsity four was not in the quickest flight in that category, but Chrissy Greatti [cox], Kaitlyn Squadrito [stroke], Katelynn Clement, Maddie Curran and Brigit Ferry beat all the boats lined up against them, winning by more than 16 seconds.

GA’s Julia McKernan (left) and Elizabeth Wescott won their flight and put up the fastest overall time in the varsity double. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

As the girls’ portion of the program wound down, the Mounties mystified onlookers (and possibly themselves) in the varsity eight competition. All in the first flight of the event were the regular Mount V-8, the lightweight eight and the Magic’s JV eight, racing in adjacent lanes.

The jayvee’s (Katie Greed [cox], Julia Woodrow [stroke], Eileen McKenna, Julia Ianieri, Eva Timoney, Emily Lubinski, Lauren Kiefner, Riley Gorman, Aine Playdon) earned boathouse bragging rights by winning the match-up in four minutes, 50.14 seconds, surviving a challenge on an inside lane by Walt Whitman High School of suburban Washington D.C. (4:51.70).

Next to them, the lightweights (Abby Schwenger [cox], Karsen Healy [stroke], Maddie Sandquist, Lauren Vesey, Claire Broderick, Nora Hogan, Harriett Blatney, MaryKate Ciolko, Shayne McKernan) secured third place in 4:52.80, and the V-8 (Maddie Walsh [cox], Gia Hunt, Katie Edling, Caroline Timoney, Gabi Natale, Cathryn Antonacio, Aydin McPhilemy, Erica Arnold, Brynn Pelletier) arrived fourth in 4:53.68.

All of the top four boats in this flight were well ahead of number five Moorestown (N.J.) High School, and they also turned in better times than the winners in the other two varsity eight contests, Washington’s Woodrow Wilson High School (5:00.79) and Holy Spirit High School of Absecon, N.J. (4:57.48).

As the boys’ junior varsity racing got underway, SCH scored a pair of wins in the first two flights of the doubles. In the first contest, Blue Devils Dane Hoffmann and Austin Youngren were just a fraction quicker than the victors in the second flight, Theo Gregson, Justin Xin.

Their times were 5:31.50 and 5:31.83, respectively, and in the first race Germantown Friends’ Alec Sandroni and Finn Kassell Osborne were not far off the pace, clocking in second at 5:33.42.

The next highlight for area scullers came with an SCH victory in the lightweight quad. This Blue Devil quartet (Elliott Cunningham, Eliot Rusk, Gyre Jaeger, Ian McLelland) has performed well in all the Flicks to date, and they won last Sunday’s single flight by a dozen seconds over Malvern Prep.

Unsurprisingly, Stanford-bound GFS senior James Wright won comfortably once more in the varsity single, cruising through the first flight. Derek Walkush represented GA well in the next flight through, coming in first and posting the third-best time overall.

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