Yorktown Strikes Gold (and Silver) at Ted Phoenix

In what likely was the team's best showing ever, Yorktown won six medals--three golds and three silvers--in the eight races they competed in during Saturday's Ted Phoenix regatta, the state championship event for the lower varsity, freshman, and novice crews. CONGRATULATIONS ALL!! This outstanding performance bodes well for years to come!

Morning Qualifiers

The Yorktown men’s 3V was the first to race in the qualifying heats. The men entered the regatta ranked third, which earned them a lane 4 draw in the second heat.  Instructed by coaches Steve and Sean to make a statement in qualifying, the men did not disappoint, rowing away from second-place Robinson and finishing 13 seconds up. Their time was the fastest of the heats, besting Thomas Jefferson, the top seed and the winner of the first heat, by 5.6 seconds. With a Lane 4 draw secured for the final, the men went back to the bus to rest and prepare for the final later in the day. 

Next to race was the men’s novice 8. In a closely contested race, the men held on to win against a tenacious Langley crew, winning their heat by 1.7 seconds and moving on to a lane 3 draw in the finals.  Two events; two crews advancing.

The ladies of the Yorktown novice 4 were up next.  In the faster of the two heats, the ladies were overmatched, finishing 5th in their heat and not advancing to the final.  

The freshman eights, the premier event of the lower boats championships, were up next. Rowing first, the men’s freshman eight squared off against Madison, Thomas Jefferson, West Springfield, TC Williams, and Woodbridge. The Yorktown men finished second in their heat to Madison, but they were just 1.2 seconds down. The times of all six qualifiers for the final were within five seconds of one another during the two heats, portending an exciting and hotly contested final.

The women’s freshman 8s were next to race. Yorktown, seeded fourth, raced in lane 4 of the first heat and in a close race the ladies finished second behind TC Williams. Like the men’s races, the top three boats in the two heats were closely spaced, setting up an exciting final for the end of the day.

With the other three Yorktown boats advancing straight to finals, the morning’s performances set the stage for a record-setting afternoon of racing.

Afternoon Medalists

The first final of the day was raced by the women’s 4V, and they turned in a gold-medal performance, rowing away from second place TC Williams to win by an impressive 10 seconds. The champion 4V boat included four 8th graders.

The men’s 4V was up next, again rowing in a straight-to-final event.  While the men could not keep up with a fast crew from Robinson, they were able to hold off Thomas Jefferson for second, earning a silver medal.

Next to race were the men’s novice 8s. In a repeat of the morning’s heats, the Yorktown men found themselves battling Langley for the gold. Although they had topped the scrappy Langley crew in the morning, it was not to be in the final. At the finish, Langley had about a boat-length lead to take the gold, with Yorktown crossing second for the team’s second silver of the afternoon.

The third eights were up next, with both the men and women’s crews eager to race for gold. The men went first, with Yorktown, Thomas Jefferson and Robinson establishing themselves early on as the crews to beat and battling down the length of the course.  As the crews approached the 250 meter mark, Yorktown had built a slight advantage over Robinson with TJ close behind in third. The Yorktown men then began to dig in, and without raising their stroke rate significantly they began to move away, ultimately crossing the finish line with 2-3 seats of open water. The men had won gold, marking the fourth consecutive Yorktown victory in the event.

Not to be outdone, the Yorktown women’s 3V put together a beautiful race, pulling away from second-place TJ to win by almost 7 seconds. Members of the gold-winning boat included six 8th graders, a great building block for next year.

The final two events of the day featured the freshman 8s.  The men went first and in what was perhaps the most exciting racing of the day, the top five crews finished overlapping, with no open water.  The Yorktown men rowed a beautiful race but it was not quite enough.  In a race where the third-fifth place crews were separated by just 1.2 seconds, the men came up short, finishing fifth. There are races that are long remembered by athletes regardless of the outcome, and for these young men this will doubtless be one such race.

The last race of the day featured the women’s freshman 8s. This was a fast field, featuring the crews from TC Williams, National Cathedral School, Oakton, Madison, and W-L along with the Yorktown women.  Slotted into lane 5 based on the morning’s results, the ladies rowed a great race, nipping a very good NCS crew for second place, with TC Williams taking the gold by about one length.

The freshman women’s silver medal performance brought Yorktown’s medal tally for the day to six, a performance unmatched in recent memory.

Full regatta results can be found here.

Next up for Yorktown crew are the upper boat championships May 11 at Occoquan.