by Tom Utescher

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”  Henrik Ibsen

As rowers from Springside Chestnut Hill, Germantown Friends, and Penn Charter took to the river last Sunday for the second Manny Flick regatta, two solo acts emerged victorious. SCH senior Jen Sager won the girls’ senior single, and GFS junior Andrew Bair took top honors in the boys’ junior single category.

Sager was a member of the Lions’ Stotesbury champion senior quad last year, but two members of that crew graduated, and at least for the time being, she’s on her own this spring. Last Sunday she turned in a winning time of six minutes, 11.28 seconds, passing the wire 31 seconds ahead of the runner-up from Conestoga High School.

For the second week in a row, Germantown’s Bair clocked the best overall time in two flights of the JV single. He completed the course in 5:52.03, while a rower from Roman Catholic checked in second at 6:00.75, and the other flight was won in 5:59.73 by an entry from Bonner-Prendergast. Two schoolmates of Bair’s had signed on to race in the junior double, but were scratched from the schedule on Sunday.

The other returning member of the SCH Lions’ Stotesbury quad, senior Anna Valciukas, was the bow rower in one of two varsity quads put out by the school. With Anna Rose Bedrosian, Sanna Johnson, and Kathryn Blake filling out the foursome, this designated “B” boat (5:40.76) finished fourth in its race, while in a slower flight that followed, SCH “A” (5:59.39) placed third with a line-up of (stroke to bow) Mozelle Rosenthal, Allie Schreffler, Chelsea Richardson, and Mia Gold.

Out of two SCH entries in the girls’ JV double, the best result came from the duo of Alana Noble and Emily Eisler, who were second in their flight while putting up the third-best time overall, 6:09.40.

For the SCH boys, an absence caused some shuffling of line-ups in a pair of JV quads, and each boat came in fourth in its flight. The Blue Devils’ “B” crew (Larry Wargo, Dylan Brush, Graham Ervin, Andrea Dragani) were timed in 5:41.34, and the “A” boat came in at 5:46.25. Both groups have some work to do, since Inter-Ac League rival Haverford School finished comfortably under the five-minute mark.

Elsewhere, the Devils received a second-place performance in the lightweight double from “Team Batocato.” Seniors Drew Adubato (stroke) and Carl Delacato checked in at 5:24.47, six seconds behind victorious Haverford and 16 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

Leading off the day for Penn Charter was the only novice boat sent out by any of the local programs, a girls’ double staffed by Sophie Eldridge (stroke) and Rachel Gordon. There was only one other boat in this class, and the PC freshmen easy dispatched their Sacred Heart rivals, winning by over 24 seconds in 6:25.03.

Heidi Zisselman and Maria Georgiou, customarily crew mates in a junior double, were in a junior quad last Sunday along with Katie O’Malley and Tara Malone. They enjoyed a second-place outcome with a time of 5:43.52, while another Charter quad struggled, bringing up the rear in the other flight in this class.

The Quakers’ Sam Jolinger and Clay Bryan also had a rough go when they raced in the varsity double, but at least they got out on the water. Half-a-dozen other PC boys had been slated to race in a JV double and quad, but both boats were withdrawn due to illness and other difficulties.

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