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Strong Showing at Stotesbury
Yorktown had one of its strongest showings ever at the annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia this year. We were unsuccessful in breaking into the coveted "final six" in any category, but we qualified more crews for the semifinals than last year (and perhaps ever) and the athletes were able to see tangible evidence that the long regimen of training followed this year is paying dividends in speed. The team entered crews in the women's senior 8, second 8, freshman 8, junior 4 and lightweight 4; on the men’s side senior 8, second 8, junior 8 and freshman 8 crews participated in the 84th running of the prestigious regatta.
After a furious first day of time trials, that included more than 900 crews, FIVE Yorktown crews qualified to race again in the semis. These five were the men's freshman 8 (18th), the men's Junior 8 (14th), the women's 2nd 8 (11th), men's 1V (12th) and women's 1V (13th).
Not qualifying, but putting forth a valiant effort, was our men's 3V rowing in the 2nd 8 category. For most of this crew it was their first Stotesbury and they distinguished themselves finishing 19th in this 26-crew event.
For a bit of perspective for the two 1Vs, here is the order of finish in the time trials for some local DC crews:
Men's 1V: St Albans (4:33.7) [eventual 2010 silver medalist], Gonzaga (4:40.7) [2009 silver medalist], Thomas Jefferson (4:42.0) [4th in grand final], Yorktown (4:45.7), BCC (4:47.5), Wilson (4:49.1), Washington-Lee (4:51.6), Oakton (4:56.9), Walt Whitman (5:00.02), Bishop Ireton (5:01.7), and Forest Park (5:02.4).
Women's 1V: National Cathedral (5:22.3), TC Williams (5:27.1), Yorktown (5:27.94), McLean (5:29.6), Georgetown Visitation (5:32.6), Oakton (5:34.1), BCC (5:37.17), Washington-Lee (5:39.0), and TJ (5:42.3).
Our crews are getting very close to Stotes finalist level and are moving faster than the bulk of our local competition, even though we remain a spring-only program.
The first YHS semifinal saw our men's J8 come within two seconds of third place Gonzaga. In a furious sprint, that almost got them fourth ahead of Christian Brothers Academy, our J8 really showed some guts coming by the tents and grandstand, but the Patriot juniors had to settle for a close fifth. At the Charlie Butt regatta on April 24, that same Gonzaga crew was seven seconds up on our J8.
Our women's second 8 raced a great piece from Lane 6, but finished 5th, beating Radnor in Lane 1, a great achievement for any Stotes Lane 6 crew. Yorktown's women's 2V did not make the semis at Stotes last year.
Next up was the men's senior 8. Lining up with the Patriots in the first semifinal were crews from Shaker HS, St. Andrews, St. Joes Prep, TJ and Mainland HS. TJ got off to the best start, with St. Andrews close behind, but it was the St. Joes crew that took the race over in the middle 500 meters and won by about a length over TJ, who had only one seat on St Andrews. Yorktown was five seconds behind TJ in fourth, seven seconds back of St. Joes, and about a length up on Shaker and Mainland. The 1V men were also fourth in their semifinal last year, also seven seconds out of first and 5.5 seconds out of qualifying for the finals.
In the last semi of the day for Yorktown, the YHS women lined up against crews from Holy Spirit, Mount St. Joseph, National Cathedral, Atlantic City, and Oakton. The Patriot women fought hard and were only five seconds back of Holy Spirit who qualified in second but 12 seconds back on the eventual event winner Mt. St. Joes. Last year the YHS women's senior 8 was also fourth, 9.4 seconds out of first and 7 seconds out of qualifying.
The marginal differences are small, but both the 1Vs were closer to making the final six this year than last. Except for TJ, which is of course a special case, the only crews that were faster than our varsity crews in their Stotes semifinals in 2010 were private schools.
In the men's junior 8 final, the order of finish was St. Joes Prep, Chaminade, Churchill, Absegami, La Salle, and Upper Canada.
In the women's second 8 final, the order of finish was Mt. St. Joes, TC Williams, National Cathedral, Holy Spirit, Winter Park and Atlantic City.
In the men's senior 8 finals, the order of finish was St. Joes, St. Albans, Winter Park (Florida), TJ, The McCallie School of Chattanooga, TN, and St. Augustine.
In the women's senior 8 final, the order of finish was Mt. St. Joes, Merion Mercy Academy, Radnor, E. L. Crossley (Canada), Holy Spirit and Winter Park.
We had great weather at Stotes this year and all of the Yorktown rowing community in attendance had a great time cheering on our hard-charging athletes.
Five qualifying crews in 2010—hopefully growing to six next year!