Just as in previous years, the Egg Harbor Township High School girls crew team's smaller boats have gotten bigger results.
The EHT fleet features more four-boats than eights, and the Eagles are nearly always contenders.
The Egg Harbor Township girls team has entered 12 boats in the Atlantic County High School Rowing Championships on Sunday at Lake Lenape in Mays Landing. The Eagles' top crews include their varsity four, lightweight four and junior four.
"We have a medium-sized team (about 50 girls), and we concentrate on the smaller boats," Eagles girls crew coach Dan Welsh said. "We have a lot of freshmen and novices. Overall, we're doing well."
The EHT girls varsity four has been overshadowed by Mainland Regional's crew this season but hasn't been far behind. The Eagles were second to the Mustangs by 2.43 seconds at the Garden State Scholastic Rowing Championship on April 27 on the Cooper River in Camden. Last Sunday, the Mainland varsity four won the division at the Philadelphia City Championships on the Schuylkill River, with Egg Harbor Township 4.13 seconds behind in third place.
The EHT girls varsity four lineup includes bow Amanda Auble, Mackensie Logue, Hadley Irvin, stroke Sydnie Pennington and coxswain Meredith Wray. All are seniors except Pennington, who is a junior.
"It's always tough to be in second place," said Welsh. "They (EHT) have been getting a lot faster. I told the girls they were doing everything right. Mainland, Harriton and us jumped out from the pack at (Philadelphia) Citys. No doubt we'll all be pushing for medals at the big events (such as the Stotesbury Cup and Nationals later this month)."
Logue is a third-year member of the varsity four. She will row for George Mason University (Va.) next year, and Irvin will compete for the University of Massachusetts. Both will receive partial scholarships that are both athletic and academic.
Irvin was in the junior four as a sophomore, and she's in her second year in the varsity four.
"We look forward to seeing (Mainland) on the race course every weekend," said Irvin, 18. "They always push us. They're nice girls. They were about six seconds ahead of us last year, and now it's about a 2- or 3-second gap."
The Egg Harbor Township girls team won the lightweight-four, junior-four and lightweight-quad divisions at the Garden State regatta. The EHT girls lightweight four includes stroke Brittany Winkler, Bea Eribal, Alex Bossi, bow Kristine Auble and coxswain Nicasia D'Allesandro.
Eribal and D'Alesandro also will continue their crew careers in college next year. Eribal will row for Temple University and D'Allesandro for the University of Oklahoma. Among the others who will compete in college are Carlie Cohen (Old Dominion University), Rachel Reinhard (Florida Institute of Technology) and coxswain Anna Cannone (University of Tulsa).
The Eagles' junior four crews consists of stroke Rebecca Suthard, Emily Woods, Antonia Maffia, bow Madison Barbieri and coxswain Vida Torres. The girls lightweight quad features stroke Taylor Cass, Danielle McCormick, Brook Gaskill and bow Julia Hendricks.
"We've done a little better than last year so far this year," said Woods, 17, a junior and the only returning rower from last year's junior four. "We try to concentrate on ourselves and row our own race."
Reinhard and Cohen make up the Eagles' competitive varsity double crew.
Egg Harbor Township has a tradition of success in smaller boats in both girls and boys crew.
The 2010 EHT girls varsity four won all the championship races that season, and lost a close race a month later in the final at the Henley Women's Regatta in England.
Atlantic County preview
The St. Augustine Prep varsity eight and the Holy Spirit girls varsity eight are favored to win the big races Sunday at the Atlantic County Championships. The five-hour, 30-division event starts at 10 a.m.
Absegami upset the Spartans in the girls varsity-eight race last year, and the Braves could challenge. The Absegami boys varsity eight should be the Prep's closest competition.
The St. Augustine boys and Holy Spirit girls could each win several divisions.
The boys varsity-four race could be an interesting battle among Vineland, Holy Spirit and Egg Harbor Township. The girls junior-eight race could be close between Holy Spirit and Oakcrest. The girls lightweight-four race has rivals Oakcrest, EHT and Mainland.
Contact Guy Gargan: