In an SCH quad, these freshmen were a soggy bunch as they approached the finish line. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher


Conditions were chilly last Sunday morning when the action got underway with the girls’ races at the fourth installment of the annual Manny Flick/Horvat crew competitions, but by the time the boys took to the Schuylkill early in the afternoon, the weather was the warmest it’s been so far at any of the 2017 regattas.

Germantown Friends had a very successful outing all around, with three first-place finishes, a second and a third. The top performances occurred at opposite ends of the experience spectrum.

The Tigers’ rookies made a positive first impression with Finn Cassell Osborne’s 20-second victory in the novice single race that opened the boys’ schedule, and with the subsequent win for Doulin Appleberry and Owen Keim, racing their freshman/novice double in the supposedly unlucky outside lane that skirts Peter’s Island.

The other first-place showing for GFS was produced by junior veteran James Wright in the varsity single. After excelling in the opening race of the Flick series and then appearing off his game just a tad on April 2, the Tiger soloist was clearly back in form last Sunday. Dueling with Strath Haven’s Ethan Subers, who’d beaten him by a fraction of a second a week earlier, Wright won by three seconds in the first of three flights and registered the best time of 16 entries overall (5:35.68) in the process.

The GFS lightweight quad (Eric Shen, Raz Allon, Wiley Corlett, Seve Reitano) was runner-up in its event, and third place went to the Tigers’ novice quad (Jack Miller, Quentin McNight, Avi Kulkarni, Jesse McIlhenny) in the first flight of their event. The pace was not as rapid in the second flight in this category, where third place went to Germantown Academy rookies Dylan Robertson, Charlie Shafer, Carmen Sinker, and

Daniel Krausz.

Traditional rivals GA and Penn Charter were both entered in the same flight of the lightweight double. Here, the Patriot pair (Pedro Sobral and Decker Wentz) won out for third place in 5:44.70 over Charter’s combo (Tristan Laurencio and Mitch Sibson), which arrived in 5:53.18. Both boats have a ways to go to approach the top of the class, since their Inter-Ac rival Malvern Prep won the first flight in 5:08.42, and the Shipley Gators from the Friends Schools League won the other race in 5:08.98.

The previous Sunday, GA’s Derek Walkush had teamed up with Isaac Wilkins to win in a lightweight double, and last weekend Walkush raced in an open weight varsity double with a new partner, Nick Moeller. They won the second flight easily in 5:16.31, the third-fastest time overall out of a field of 11.

The varsity single event won by Germantown Friends’ Wright also featured Stephen Fleming in the last Penn Charter boat to come down the river on Sunday. He placed third in the second flight, and his time of 5:54.95 ranked him ahead of nine other competitors.

Springside Chestnut Hill is the only school which has raced a varsity quad all along this spring, and the Blue Devils are trying to figure out how to get some traction in that event. Junior Sean Edling, who rowed in the JV quad last season and started out in a quad this year, has recently been in a JV double along with his classmate Austin Gedrich. They finished fourth in their flight last weekend.

The SCH varsity quad was crewed by seniors Will Newbold (bow) and Mike Wrede (three), junior Thomas Leichner (two), and sophomore Theo Gregson (stroke). This group placed fifth in the single flight of the event in Flick Four. With a break in the action for Easter next weekend, the next two weeks will feature a lot of tweaking by SCH and other schools as the May medal races creep closer.

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