Wins and Close Finishes Mark Last of Regular Season Regattas
In the last weekend of races before the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association State Championship starts on May 6, TC Williams rowers hit the water on April 29 and faced the heat from a June-like day and season-toughened competition.
At the Charlie Butt Regatta on the Potomac River adjacent to the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront Park, the TC Men’s Varsity First 4 started the race day at 8:00 with a convincing 21.1-second win over the closest boat in their qualifying heat.
While the competition got tougher in their final just before noon, with fans cheering from the waterfront and overhead on the Key Bridge, the 1V 4s still won with open water and a time of 5:00.5, 5.9 seconds over St. Albans. Heading into the postseason, the Men’s First 4 – Connor McGivern, Asher Elkins, Julian Depeyrot, Jacob Souza, and coxswain Michaela Gleeson – have a record of 3 wins and a second place finish.
At the same time the Men’s 1V 4s were winning their final, the Titan Women’s Varsity Lightweight Double was cruising to a commanding victory in Al Urquia Regatta at Occoquan. In their second doubles race of the season, and their first against only lightweight rowers, TC’s Cecelia Fernandez and Lauren Kelly recorded a winning time of 6:05.9, 20.5 seconds ahead of West Albemarle.
Lightweight Double’s Coach Shannon Hoff noted that after the duo “returned to the water this week following injuries, they immediately set the pace in the race and put their boat in front. Their 6:05 winning time was only 5 seconds off the winning time of the non-lightweight 2x category. These two young women are tough competitors, and they look forward to postseason races at States, Stotesbury [in Philadelphia], and Nationals.”
Back at Georgetown, the TC Varsity Women’s Second 8 placed a close second in their qualifying heat with a time of 5:03.5, 1.8 seconds behind National Cathedral School. In their final, as the afternoon heat and humidity started to build, the TC 2V 8s dug deep in an exciting sprint to a 4:59.5 finish and a 1.1-second win over NCS. The jubilant Titan Women’s 2V 8 includes Ailysh Motsinger, Grace Fluharty, Grace Hogan, Caroline Hill, Tori Cook, Emma Carrol, Charlotte Carey, Ella Benbow, and Camila Cardwell (Cox).
The TC Women and Men’s Frosh 8s also provided regatta attendees exciting finals. The Frosh Women cleared the field in their morning heat with a winning time of 5:21.4, while their classmates on the Frosh Men’s 8 also won their heat with a 4:46.7 posting.
In their final, Frosh rowers Ava Elkins, Lydia Greenwood, Madeline Toaso, Madeleine Allen, Julia Clements, Felicity Brock, Lila Arnold, Alaina Browand, and coxswain Sara Rider battled roughly evenly down the course with Washington & Lee, but had more kick in the end and won with a time of 5:14.0, 2.4 seconds ahead of W&L.
The Frosh Men’s 8 final provided the only true photo finish of the day, with the Titan oarsmen closing strong at the end in their best race of the season and finishing only 0.08 seconds behind St. Albans. The race was so close that VASRA race officials initially called it for TC.
Strong second-place finals postings also were recorded by the Varsity Men’s Second 4, who finished behind West Potomac with a time of 5:33.6, and the Men’s Novice 8s, who clocked in at 5:01.5, only 2.1 seconds behind Yorktown, as the afternoon heat and humidity taxed the rowers.
Other notable TC performances at the Charlie Butt Regatta included the Varsity Women’s First 8, who claimed second in their morning heat and third place in their final with a time of 5:04.1. The Titan Women’s Junior 8, racing up in the 2V 8 final won by their teammates, came in third at 5:12.7. Also placing third in their final were the TC Varsity Men’s Third 4 and the Women’s Novice 8s.
VASRA stages the first day of their State Championship series at Occoquan on May 6 with competitions for Novice, Frosh, Second 4 and Third 8 boats, among others. The Titans’ upper boats make their run at State titles on May 13.