Alexandria’s Old Dominion Boat Club Rowers Wrap Up Fall Season

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Womens First 8 caps a great run, Mens Light 8 enjoys late surge

      High school rowers on the Old Dominion Boat Club Select Crew team finished a successful fall season in a flurry of four regattas from Boston to Chattanooga.

On October 22, the ODBC Womens First 8 competed in the prestigious, invitation-only Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, the premier fall U.S. regatta that draws entries from around the U.S. and overseas. On a day with almost ideal weather and river conditions that produced over a dozen new event records, shattering times that had stood for 20 years or more, the ODBC elite Womens 8 placed 23rd out of 85 boats in their event with a time of 17:20.58, a minute and a half better than their time from the wind-whipped, whitecapped HOCR race in 2016. Their finish ensures an invitation back to Boston for the ODBC Women’s First 8 in the fall of 2018.

The ODBC Womens 1V8s are guided by veteran coach Jaime Rubini and include coxswain Paige St. John and rowers Celia Lane, Grace Vannatta, Shelby Pierson, Grace Asch, Astrid Henkle, Grace Fluharty, Rachel Saez Knapp, and Blythe Markel.

On October 29, the ODBC squad travelled to Philadelphia for the rain-soaked Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, another important fall East Coast event that draws a wide field of first tier boats. Once again, the ODBC Womens First 8 rose to the challenge, notching a third-place finish in a 43-boat field with a time of 14:37.13.

Stroking to the finish in a downpour and their best race of the season, the surging ODBC Mens Frosh 8 also captured third place in their HOSR event with a time of 15:02.06 in a 49-boat field.  The ODBC Frosh 8, many of whom will be competing for a seat on the always competitive TC Williams Spring Frosh 8 boat, include coxswain Jacob Solomon and rowers Clifton Longobardi, Noah Schuerhoff, Luke Depeyrot, Barry Najarro-Blancas, Richard Bavin, Tim Chen, Matthew Posson, and Patrick Kenny.

In a season in which they raced against the “heavy” 8 boats in most regattas, the ODBC Mens Light 8 boat began an end-of-season rally at the HOSR with a 4th place finish among the 65 boats in their event with a time of 14:07.47. The following weekend, on Nov. 5 at the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, the Light 8s competed for the first time this fall against only other light mens boats in their event and scored a 4th place finish among 22 boats with a time of 16:26.05.

Also at the Hooch, the ODBC Womens First 8 put the finishing touch on a great run this fall with a race time of 17:16.09 and a 10th place finish among 78 boats. On the same day, the ODBC Mens First and Second 8 boats raced against 74 other boats and scored solid 21st and 22nd place finishes with times of 16:03.21 and 16:04.49, respectively.

Finally, in one of the last races of the ODBC fall season closer to home at the Head of the Occoquan on Nov. 5, sophomores Maddie Toaso and Maddie Allen captured a 3rd place finish in the 13-boat Womens Doubles event with a time of 22:33.88.