Yorktown Steps Forward at Stotesbury

Yorktown took a big contingent to Philadelphia to compete in the 83rd annual Stotesbury Cup regatta. The Patriot women's 1V, 2V, junior 8, freshman 8 and lightweight 4 all made the trek north, while on the men's side the 1V, 2V, freshman 8 and junior 4 were entered.

YHS advanced four crews out of the Friday time trials, one more than last year—the two 1Vs, the men's 2V and the women's junior 8. The two men's boats and the women's 1V earned spots in lane 1 for the
semifinals, while the women's junior 8 drew a tougher spot in lane 6. In a series of hard-fought races, the Patriot crews faced down some tough competition and all three of the lane 1 crews finished 4th, with the junior 8 in lane 6 coming in 6th.

In a courageous performance, the men's 2V, in a 3-to-advance semi, finished fourth behind eventual gold medalist Winter Park and eventual bronze medalist St. Alban's, with a time that would have come in second in the other semifinal.

The women's 1V battled hard from lane 1 but eventually succumbed to solid crews from Bishop Eustace and Mount St. Joes, the eventual gold and bronze medalists respectively. This performance was a huge
improvement over both 2007 and 2008 and showed that the Patriot women are ready to row with the country's best. With only one senior rower out of eight in this year's 1V, the YHS women will be force to be reckoned with next year.

In the men's 1V semifinal, after a solid start that put them in second place trailing a hot starting crew from Gonzaga, the Patriot men fell into a 600-meter battle with Florida powerhouse Winter Park for the
coveted second slot and a trip to the final six. But as the race progressed past 750 meters, the strength and conditioning of the year-round crew from Orlando began to tell and Yorktown began to fall back. The last 500 meters was another head-to-head battle with New York state stalwart Chaminade, another year-round program. The Patriot men ended up fourth in a time of 4:34.81, seven seconds behind Gonzaga, the event's eventual silver medalist.

Essentially all of the final six qualifiers in the men's senior 8 are year-round programs; YHS was the highest finishing spring-only program. Fellow TBC tenant St. Alban's, though finishing 5th in their semi, did record the faster time of 4:33.36 and was the fastest VASRA representative in the semifinals.

All in all, a great and challenging learning experience for all our athletes.

Also our sincerest congratulations to the following local medalists who showed everyone DC can still produce fast crews even on our crowded waterways and boathouses:

  • McLean women's lightweight 8-Silver,
  • St. Alban's men's second 8-Bronze, and
  • Gonzaga men's freshman 8-Bronze.

Most of all, congratulations to the Gonzaga men's first 8, which came within .73 seconds of winning the Stotesbury Cup. The school’s silver medal was the first for the team’s senior eights in their program's history. Had they held on for the win they would have been the first Potomac/Anacostia crew to win the Stotesbury Cup since Washington-Lee's undefeated and Henley-winning season in 1969. Needless to say, a huge achievement.

We can't wait for Stotesbury 2010, it should be better than ever.