Amory Park (left) and Sophia Ortega pull down the course in Germantown Friends School’s varsity double. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

With the schedule for the fourth races in the Manny Flick crew series split along the lines of gender, it was ladies first last Sunday as area rowers returned to the Schuylkill. Mount St. Joseph sweep rowers gave their usual strong performances, athletes from the sculling schools also excelled and Germantown Academy tried a bit of both.

In one of the earliest races, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Avery Allen and Ashley Keough finished third in the freshman/novice double, and then in the freshman four event a Mount St. Joe entry (Giovanna Consiglio – cox, Evelyn McGreevey – stroke, Sophia Lundin, Olivia Schleeper, Sonia Marhefka) triumphed by more than 17 seconds over the runner-up boat.

Dipping a toe into sweep rowing as it sometimes does, Germantown Academy sent out a novice eight (Annabel Hellman – cox, Blythe Berlinger – stroke, Paige Whitman, Rebecca Zaki, Charlotte Harobin, Lucy Harobin, Saanvi Bhatia, Grace Good, Christine Meng) and placed third in the first of four flights.

The best overall time out of the four races in this category belonged to the Mount, with its crew of Eimilie Scibelli (cox), Devon Lasky (stroke), Sarah Burns, Cassie Koestler, Francesca Fede, Ella-May Creighton-Reddington, Kate Kelly, Maeve Carmody and Liz Dolich. Newcomer Gwynedd Mercy challenged the Mount alongside Peter’s Island near the end of the race, but the Magic’s sprint gave them the victory by a little under four seconds.

A four-second margin also separated first-place Germantown Friends from runner-up Sacred Heart in the novice quad. Here, the Tigers won with a quartet consisting of Lana Lee, Sara Cherubini, Harlem Rogers and Nora Lee. In the girls’ freshman quad, SCH’s Gaby Leon-Palfrey, Pere Jaeger, Ella Ward and Kaia McTigue came in second in the second of two flights.

In the middle race in three freshman eight heats, Mount St. Joseph was the runner-up, less than a second behind the leaders. The Magic vessel was staffed by Annmarie Wallis (cox), Julia Geib (stroke), Caitlin O’Reilly, Grace McDonough, Christina Kelly, Sarah Powell, Leah Manzo-McCottry, Maggie Horgan and Reilly Peters.

Next it was on to the junior varsity races, and in the JV single Penn Charter’s Julia Veith won in convincing fashion.

In the first flight in the JV double, PC (Gabby Mancini, Riley McDade) and Springside Chestnut Hill (Iris Alex, Ellie McLelland) came in first and second, respectively, with the Quakers posting the second fastest time out of all three sections.

Mount St. Joseph’s novice eight (background) is shown fending off a challenge from a new rival, Gwynedd Mercy Academy. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

There were four races in the JV four class, with Mount St. Joe sending two crews into the fray. The Magic’s designated “B’ boat (Arlen Kryst – cox, Hannah Rossmeisl – stroke, Michaela Donato, Sarah Gorovitz, Julia Norton) won the third flight with the third best time overall, while MSJ A (Libby Fecak – cox, Olivia Guza – stroke, Maddy Donahue, Emma Dougherty, Luca Bixby) placed second in the final flight.

Out of a number of area entries, the best outcome in the JV quad belonged to Ella Webb, Polly Sweeney, Kiley McTamney and Olivia McHugh of the SCH Blue Devils. They won the second flight comfortably while still turning in the third-best time in the category.

Third place also went to the Mount’s JV eight (Caroline Donahue – cox, Kaitlyn Squadrito – stroke, Ruby French, Julia Ianieri, Molly McKenna, Claire Hanycz, Ena Altier, Nora Broderick, Sydney McKernan) which raced in the fastest of three flights.

In the lightweight portion of the race program, a double from Germantown Friends and a four from Mount St. Joe each won their flights with the second fastest times overall. Amelia Sanchirico and Isabel Mehta formed the Tigers’ tandem, while the MSJ light four contained Lauren Walsh (cox), Ainsley Morasco (stroke), Moira Ferry, Grace Morrow and Brigit Ferry.

Germantown Friends’ Annika Ehrlacher kicked off the varsity races for area schools with a second-place showing in the varsity single, while two other Tigers, Sophia Ortega and Amory Park, came in a close third in the fast heat of the varsity double, timed a fraction of a second behind the race runner-up. The second flight here was a bit slower, and coming in first and second were Springside Chestnut Hill’s Amber Stallworth and Nahla Turner and Penn Charter’s Sydney Nixon and Lucy Alter.

The second sweep rowing entry from Germantown Academy, a varsity four, found rough going in a large and talented field of competitors.

As in previous Manny Flick’s, the Mount entered a number of eights in the varsity category. In the first of three flights, the regular varsity eight (Katie Greed – cox, Maggie Newell – stroke, Katie Edling, Hannah Lemanowicz, Cate Van Stone, Mae Sweeney, Caroline Timoney, Riley Gorman, Gia Hunt) emerged victorious with the best time in the entire category. In the same race was a vessel which is actually the Magic’s second eight, and these Mounties (Izzy Mina – cox, Julia Woodrow – stroke, Aine Playdon, Emily Lubinski, Eva Timoney, Maureen McGreevey, Aydin McPhilemy, Ilsa Maguire, Eileen McKenna) placed fourth in the flight with the fifth best time overall.

The area girls’ crews finished up with another Mount eight competing in the third varsity flight. Going up against openweights, the Magic’s lightweight crew (Sofia Bernal – cox, Izzy McCafferty – stroke, Claire Broderick, Shayne McKernan, Caroline Kyle, Nora Hogan, Harriett Blatney, Caitlyn Lawson, Nicole Uzzo) turned in a quite respectable second-place finish.