The Holy Spirit High School girls lightweight-eight crew placed third in a 2,000-meter preliminary heat in its division Friday at the USRowing Youth Nationals on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Spartans finished in 6 minutes, 34.13 seconds.

The St. Augustine Prep varsity eight finished fifth in its preliminary heat in 5:55.65, and the Prep lightweight placed sixth in its heat in 6:03.34.

The annual regatta brings together many of the fastest high school and rowing club crews in the nation. The event has 18 divisions, and four first-round heats were held in each division Friday.

Racing resumes at 8 a.m. today. All of Friday’s winning crews advanced to today’s semifinals. The non-winning boats will each be in the repechage (second chance) races, with the top two finishers in each repechage advancing to the semifinals.

There will be “C,” “B” and “A” finals in each division Sunday, starting at 8 a.m.

The Holy Spirit crew had the fifth-fastest time out of 20 boats in the women’s youth lightweight eight category. Wayland-Weston (Mass.), won the Spartans’ heat 6:28.86, the fastest time in the division. Long Beach Juniors (Cal.) was second in the heat in 6:30.91.

“We had a good start and then a little sag in the middle of the race,” Holy Spirit girls lightweight eight coach Rory Roberts said. “We finished strong. We should be able to turn it around (today).”

The St. Augustine varsity eight’s heat was won by Sarasota (Fla.) in 5:41.77. St. Augustine had the 17th -fastest time out of 22 boats in the division.

“They (the Prep varsity eight) didn’t have a great row, but they did break 6 minutes, so they were excited about that,” St. Augustine coach Ray D’Amico said.

The St. Augustine ligihtweght eight’s heat was won by Community Rowing (Mass.) in 5:50.10.

“The lightweights were in a real tough heat,” D’Amico said. “Their time (6:03.34) is real fast for them. The varsity eight usually beats their time by 20 seconds.”

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