Three RowAmericaRye Boats Earn Gold, Six Race at Nationals
By Melanie Cane
Their stellar performance at the NY State Championship Regatta in Saratoga earned six RowAmericaRye boats the opportunity to compete in the US Rowing Youth Nationals Regatta in Sacramento, California June 8-10.
At States, three RAR boats brought home gold medals: Men’s Varsity 8+, Women’s Varsity Lightweight 8+, and the Women’s Varsity 4+. The Women’s Varsity 4X and the Women’s Varsity pair both won silver medals. The Men’s Lightweight 4+ came in so close to the second- and third-place boats that they too went to Nationals.
Due to the rising popularity of RAR with Rye High School students, Rye High School Crew merged with RAR. At States, the RHS Men’s Junior 4 + qualified for the Scholastic Nationals in Camden, New Jersey, where it competed May 25-26. Garnet boys Chase Henjes, James Keller, David Lewis, Zach Johnson, and Kellan Repetto came in second at States and fourth in the Scholastic Nationals. Rye High Coach Stan Nelson was very impressed by the boys’ performances. “Even though we came in fourth, we were first for New York and our time was very close to the second- and third-place winners from the Midwest.”
RAR’s gold medal-winning Men’s Varsity 8+ boat was comprised of a mix of seasoned racers and boys with little racing experience. Senior captains James Greer and Hamish Dubitsky welcomed guidance from Jimmy Cronin and Jack Hartman, who won gold in Nationals last year. Matthew Rose, Aaron Wenk, Eli Rabinowitz, Patrick Uglum, and Curtis Alter all contributed to the boat’s success this season. They placed 3rd in the Men’s B finals at Nationals. The Men’s Lightweight 4+ placed 5th in the B final.
Coach Aleks Radovic expected the boys to do well at Nationals, despite the fact that they were competing in a field of 23 of the best boats in the country. “The boys prepared hard for this competition.”
On the Girls’ side, Garnet senior captains Hanna Weingartner and Mackenzie Smith led the Women’s Varsity Lightweight 8+ to a sixth-place finish in the A final. The other girls in the boat were coxswain Izzy Aronin, Carolyn Soltz, Ashley Giannetti, Jane Reynolds, Katie McDermott, Emily Tonkel, and Kayla Patel. Weingartner knew she was in a difficult category and was proud of her boat’s performance. “We only missed silver by three seconds!”
The Women’s Varsity 4+ was the only RAR boat to medal in Nationals, with a second-place finish in the A final. Hannah Schaenman, Kelly Morrissy, Aidan McIntyre, Greta Filor, and coxswain Aronin said it was the most difficult race they have ever competed in. Schaenman explained that with the time change between coasts and the water in the Pacific being heavier than in the east, rowing was very challenging. “We had a lot of fun and I am so proud of our boat as well as the Women’s Lightweight 8+.”
Both the Women’s Varsity 4x and Women’s 2 placed 4th in the Women’s C final. The 4x was composed of Meghan Comstock, Ella Napack, Ciara Santry, Theo Caminiti. Melanie Holmes, and Clara Sutherland made up the Women’s Varsity 2 .
RAR girls’ coach Marko Serafimovski was proud to take more kids to Nationals than ever before. “We took six boats last year as well, but this year we took bigger boats with more kids.” Serafimovski thought all the rowers did a great job. “The boys exceeded our expectations and the girls showed tremendous improvement from time trial to time trial. I expected the Women’s 4+ to medal, and thought they may even win gold, but silver is fantastic. The Women’s lightweight 8+ made a lot of progress from the beginning of the season and considering this was the most competitive Youth Regatta in the country and we performed well with some great racing.”
The silver medalist Women’s 4+ team: Hannah Schaenman, Kelly Morrissy, Izzy Aronin, Aidan McIntyre, and Greta Filor
The RowAmericaRyeboys that went toNationals.