by Tom Utescher
Last weekend, the 2018 City Championships in crew brought medals all around for the boys of four area sculling programs. Germantown Friends won four of them, including gold in the …
by Tom Utescher
Last weekend, the 2018 City Championships in crew brought medals all around for the boys of four area sculling programs. Germantown Friends won four of them, including gold in the novice quad, the JV double, and the varsity single.
One of Germantown Academy’s two medallions was a gold in the freshman/novice double, while Springside Chestnut Hill’s lightweight quad continued its season-long win streak and Penn Charter picked up a silver medal in the varsity double.
Instead of the six-abreast racing format, the city championships began on Saturday with head races, in which the boats proceeded single file down the river at set intervals and then were graded on time. In most cases, the fastest six in each category advanced into the final round on Sunday.
In one event with relatively few entries, the lightweight quad, the crew from SCH (Elliott Cunningham, Eliot Rusk, Gyre Jaeger, Ian McLelland) was sent directly to a finals race with three other boats.
Area schools made an auspicious start with GA’s Andreas Moeller and Alex Walkush continuing their successful spring with a second-place outcome in the freshman/novice double time trials. In the novice quad, all three local crews advanced. Germantown Friends (Robert May, Ethan Rupp, Jekeun Jung, Bailey Greenwald) was the fastest boat in the field, while GA (Diego Carrasco, Anthony Kostacos, Jamie Werther, Ian Cummings) was ranked fourth on time and SCH (Edward Gu, Yofi Guy, Will Percy, Jake Scholl) was fifth.
Penn Charter’s freshman quad made the cut for the finals in their event, with Kees Lynch, Taylor Whitehead, Jack Glomb and James Tanner qualifying sixth.
When JV racing commenced, Max Donches of the GA Patriots came in fourth in the single, and his schoolmates Charlie Shafer and Dylan Robertson earned the second spot in the double. However in the top spot, more than two seconds ahead of the Patriot pair, were Owen Keim and Doulin Appleberry of Germantown Friends. Two Springside Chestnut Hill Academy boats were alable to reach the finals in this event; Justin Xin and Austin Youngren were fourth on time, while Dane Hoffmann and Theo Gregson were sixth.
Two crews hung in to make the Sunday final in the lightweight double, number five Germantown Friends (Seve Reitano, Finn Kassell Osborne) and number six SCH (Phil Wrede, Thomas Leichner).
The fastest man in the varsity single, as expected, was the GFS Tigers’ James Wright, who clocked in 13.5 seconds ahead of the second-fastest qualifier. Also moving on, with a fourth-place time, was GA’s Isaac Wilkins.
Two qualifying doubles rounded out the varsity head racing for area boys. Penn Charter’s Matt Kestenbaum and Matt Groshens turned in the number five time, and SCH Blue Devils Sean Edling and Austin Gedrich secured the sixth spot to join Sunday’s medal race.
Germantown Academy’s Moeller and Walkush, who both followed older brothers into the Patriots’ crew program, started out the finals by winning the gold medal by a four-and-a-half second margin. The GFS Tigers were impressive in their gold medal effort in the novice quad, winning by six seconds over the silver medalist from Conestoga High School, a traditionally strong sculling program. GA was fourth in this race, and Springside Chestnut Hill was fifth.
Moving on, Penn Charter’s freshman quad was sixth in its final, and GA’s Donches was fourth in his single in one of the first of the JV races. The Patriots in the JV double made a late charge in their race, but Germantown Friends held them off to win the second of the Tigers’ gold medals. GA secured the silver, while the two finalists from SCH came in fifth and sixth.
There weren’t any fireworks for area fans in the lightweight double final (GFS was fifth and SCH was sixth), but the Blue Devils then lit up the rest of the field in the lightweight quad. The SCH lights hit the wire almost 20 seconds ahead of the silver medal vessel from Malvern Prep.
The outcome in the varsity single was pretty much another foregone conclusion, as U.S. Junior National Team sculler and Stanford signee James Wright cruised to victory. It was the third gold medal for the GFS boys.
In the varsity double, PC’s “Matt Squared” Kestenbaum and Groshens combo improved their standing from their number four qualifying spot, stepping up to a silver medal behind victorious Holy Spirit High School. SCH’s Edling and Gedrich were in the running for a medal, but finished fourth, just three-tenths of a second behind Ridgewood (N.J.) High School.
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