Freshman Crews Shine in TBC Tussle Regatta

Yorktown’s freshman and novice crews put their local competitors on notice Saturday, winning a series of tough races against some of their fastest competition of the year on another beautiful day for racing on the Potomac River.

The women's freshman 8 came back from a second place finish in the opening heat versus Whitman and McLean to win the final race over National Cathedral and Whitman. The winning margin for the gals in the Class of 2015 was four seconds over a very skilled and determined crew from NCS.

In a tremendously tough and tight race, the men's freshman 8 fought back in their final to win over St. Albans in a huge comeback in the last 500 meters. The determined YHS crew had given up almost a length to the Bulldog 8 by 750 in, but edged back into contention over the last half of the race. With both crews tiring in the last 500 meters and YHS moving up, the St. Albans crew caught a crab and the Patriot 8 slipped by to win by almost four seconds, another "never been done before" event for the men.

In the varsity racing the women's 3V cruised to a powerful 27 second win over McLean and looks to be a favorite for a medal going into the lower boat championship regatta May 5.

The men's 3V was a close match-up among the favorites for medals with St. Albans handing the Patriot 3V its first loss against a VASRA opponent in a close and tough race with STA on top at 4:50.6, YHS at 4:53.5, and McLean way back at 5:11.1.

The women's 2V race for YHS was tough, with Whitman and McLean battling to the finish before Whitman emerged with a one second victory while the Patriot 8 finished 10 seconds back. In the B final, the YHS gals topped Wilson easily by more than 10 seconds.

The men's 2V was a rematch of the McLean lightweight 8 and the YHS 2V, with Whitman 2V in the mix as well. The Patriot 8 got off to a good start and held the lead going into the 500 meter mark, but hit a boat wake and faltered a bit and the McLean lights scooted by and ended up holding on after a furious sprint by the YHS crew with the finish going McLean 4:50.1, YHS 4:53.6, and Whitman trailing at 5:00.0. The YHS crew still advanced into the afternoon second round with St. Albans and McLean. STA is the only VASRA 2V to best the Patriot 2V so far this year, but the margin was big, with the Bulldogs chugging home in a blistering 4:41.5, the McLean lights at 4:50.4 and YHS at 4:55.4. Pending its performance at the Charlie Butt Regatta this coming weekend, STA and YHS could go into states ranked first and second.

The two 1V rounds for boys and girls saw some great racing by very fast crews. The St. Albans boys 1V, defending Stotesbury and VASRA champs, looked primed for a repeat with a blistering 4:22.6 in the final round versus a game YHS crew that went 4:32.9 to finish second, open water up on Whitman at 4:38.8. The YHS boys had earlier topped both Whitman and McLean in the morning round by more than a length.

The girls 1V match of Whitman, McLean and YHS was a classic grudge match. Both Whitman and YHS pushed out well up on McLean and went into the final 500 neck and neck. Whitman prevailed barely by about half a length in a time of 5:14.2, with YHS at 5:15.9, and McLean well back at 5:22.9. This was a great showing by the YHS women against a non-VASRA opponent.  In the second race in the afternoon, NCS joined the mix with Whitman and YHS and put on a great race that left the rivals from the morning more than a length back. The Patriot women's V8 keeps improving week to week and going into what will be a tough but critical rematch with Madison and NCS this coming week at CBR, the Lady Patriots are looking to earn a top six ranking going into States with a strong showing this coming Saturday.

"I just cannot say enough about our freshman and novice crews this year," commented Head Coach Andy Bacas.  "Coaches Steve Cauffman and Heather Young have done a marvelous job getting these athletes ready for this season and the crews themselves are showing some great courage and speed against some fast opponents.  Both freshman and novice crews should be favorites for medals at Ted Phoenix on May 5.”