Several new teams are emerging in New Jersey high school crew, but two established powers, St. Augustine Prep and the Holy Spirit High School girls team, showed Saturday why they're both ranked No. 1 in The Press Elite 11s.
Both teams won their varsity-eight finals at the Garden State Scholastic Rowing Championship on the Cooper River in Camden. The two teams also won the regatta's respective team points championships for the seventh straight year.
The Garden State event is the first of the five major regattas in the high school crew season.
St. Augustine won its sixth straight varsity-eight final at the event in 4 minutes, 30.28 seconds. Absegami finished second in 4:36.23 and Moorestown third in 4:40.39.
Holy Spirit took the girls varsity-eight final in 5:14.50, with Absegami second in 5:17.23 and defending champion Bishop Eustace third in 5:20.19.
The Spartans' crew consisted of bow Michelle Smith, Danielle Larotonda, Tara Puhalski, Lauren Turner, Amanda Reale, Samantha Stoll, Christine Wojciechowicz, stroke Lauren Slattery and coxswain Claire McLenna.
"It was thrilling the way they pulled it out," Holy Spirit girls crew coach Joe Welsh said. "They're really like a junior eight, with three sophomores, only one senior (Turner) and the rest juniors. They're really excited, and that's good. 'Gami rowed a real nice race as well."
The Holy Spirit girls also took the lightweight-eight and second-eight titles. Eight of the Spartans boats placed in the top three.
"The kids are doing real well," Welsh said. "The overall program is coming into its own now. It's nice to get recognition (the team title) for all the kids."
The St. Augustine varsity eight included bow Austin Neri, Zach LaBarth, Dan Stinson, Zack Seither, Shane Dickson, Dan Capone, Alastair Watson, stroke John Ruskey and coxswain Brett Barry.
"We finally got to row on a flat river. The weather was perfect," said D'Amico. "The varsity eight rowed a great race, but we have to get about four seconds faster to compete (against crews in the biggest regattas). Our second eight came from behind and stole the race in the last five strokes. Our lightweight boat has been consistent all year.
The Hermits boys lightweight eight and second eight also won their division. All six of the Prep's eight-boats finished in the top three.
"It (winning the team title) was a great accomplishment for our boys," said St. Augustine coach Ray D'Amico. "They really worked as a team today."
The Holy Spirit girls lightweight eight was bow Danielle Peck, Sofia Iaconelli, Nicole Maslowas, Caroline Bradley, Victoria Light, Katie Bainbridge, Shannon LaSala, stroke Cailin McCully and coxswain Kiersten Stone.
The Spartans girls second eight was bow Michaela Baldino, Rachael Klaiss, Megan Gleason, Erin Coffman, Lauren Thomas, Melissa Clark, Sally Widmann, stroke Karli Libbey and coxswain Nicole Kilar.
St. Augustine also won championships in the boys second-eight and lightweight-eight divisions.
The Prep second eight-crew was stroke James Boney, John Livingstone, Nick Slusher, Brian Tindall, Ryan Gerace, Kieran Hughes, Joe Farnoly, Dan Magro and coxswain Jake Snyder.
The Hermits lightweight eight was stroke Vittorio DiPentino, Conor Murphy, Kevin Motylinski, R.J. D'Amico, Josh Power, Connor Burbridge, Bill Mayer, bow Thomas Puhalski and coxswain A.J. Parra.
The Egg Harbor Township girls lightweight four of bow Kristine Auble, Alex Bossi, Bea Eribal, stroke Brittany Winkler and coxswain Nicasia D'Alessandro won its final. The EHT girls junior four and girls lightweight quad also won titles.
The Oakcrest girls team won the junior-eight and novice-eight finals.
The Mainland Regional girls varsity four-crew of Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann, Amanda Ryan, Stacey Price and coxswain Morgan Gerety captured the girls senior-four final.
Teams-Holy Spirit, St. Augustine Prep, Atlantic City, Absegami, Cedar Creek, Oakcrest, Egg Harbor Township, Ocean City, Mainland Regional, Vineland, Our Lady of Mercy Academy.
Women's freshman eight-1. Montclair 5:32.39; 2. HS 5:36.97; 3. ABS 5:42.24; 4. OC 5:44.56; 5. AC 6:03.09.
Women's senior double-1. Ridgewood 5:53.76; 2. EHT 6:16.41; 4. HS 6:45.55.
Men's freshman eight-1. CBA 4:53.46; 3. SA 4:55.75; 4. MAIN 4:57.14; 5. OC 4:59.72.
Women's junior four-1. EHT (stroke Rebecca Suthard, Emily Woods, Antonia Maffia, bow Madison Barbieri, coxswain Vida Torres) 5:54.06; 5. VIN 6:10.05.
Men's junior four-1. CBA 5:08.91; 3. OAK 5:19.00; 5. OC 5:37.30.
Women's junior eight-1. OAK (Jessica Lindsay, Brianna Knight, Michaela Allen, Victoria Thies, Alonna Bennett, Taylor Phy, Emily Cameron, Meghan Guerrieri, coxswain Lindsay Prychka) 5:23.00; 3. HS 5:29.06; 4. MAIN 5:31.28; 6. AC 6:02.21.
Men's junior eight-1. Montclair 4:41.73; 2. HS 4:45.74; 3. SA 4:50.43; 5. MAIN 4:59.55.
Women's second eight-1. HS (bow Michaela Baldino, Rachael Klaiss, Megan Gleason, Erin Coffman, Lauren Thomas, Melissa Clark, Sally Widmann, stroke Karli Libbey, coxswain Nicole Kilar)5:31.02; 2. AC 5:34.54; 3. ABS5:36.49; 5. OC 6:15.73.
Men's second eight-1. SA (stroke James Boney, John Livingstone, Nick Slusher, Brian Tindall, Ryan Gerace, Kieran Hughes, Joe Farnoly, Dan Magro, coxswain Jake Snyder) 4:51.11; 3. ABS 5:01.35; 4. HS 5:12.47.
Women's lightweight four-1. EHT (stroke Brittany Winkler, Bea Eribal, Alex Bossi, stroke Kristine Auble, coxswain Nicasia D'Alessandro) 6:00.99; 3. OAK 6:08.41; 4. MAIN 6:10.16.
Men's lightweight four-1. CBA 5:18.49; 4. EHT 5:29.28; 6. OC 5:49.86.
Women's lightweight eight-1. HS (bow Danielle Peck, Sofia Iaconelli, Nicole Maslowas, Caroline Bradley, Victoria Light, Katie Bainbridge, Shannon LaSala, stroke Cailin McCully, coxswain Kiersten Stone) 5:23.22; 3. EHT 6:14.75.
Men's lightweight eight-1. SA (stroke Vittorio DiPentino, Conor Murphy, Kevin Motylinski, R.J. D'Amico, Josh Power, Connor Burbridge, Bill Mayer, bow Thomas Puhalski, coxswain A.J. Parra) 4:55.57; 2. OAK 5:02.88; 3. MAIN 5:20.75.
Women's senior four-1. MAIN (Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann, Amanda Ryan, Stacey Price, coxswain Morgan Gerety) 5:47.30; 2. EHT 5:49.73; 5. CC 6:26.29.
Men's senior four-1. Montclair 5:03.73; 3. VIN 5:13.25; 4. HS 5:14.02; 5. EHT 5:25.23.
Women's junior quad-1. Ridgewood 5:43.16; 3. HS 6:16.90.
Women's senior quad-1. Montclair 5:46.53; 2. MAIN 6:26.14; 5. OLMA 6:45.23.
Women's novice eight-1. OAK (stroke Vanessa Simon, Jazlyn Quish, Ashley Ellsworth, Maren Ross, Melissa Cruz Lino, Shannon Russell, Kaitlyn Bradley, bow Gabby Corso, coxswain Karlee Carrigan) 6:01.82; 2. MAIN 6:07.43; 3. EHT 6:15.50; 4. OC 6:16.01.
Men's novice eight-1. Don Bosco Prep 5:05.45; 2. SA 5:08.64; 4. OC 5:14.10; 6. HS 5:47.04.
Women's novice four-1. Montclair 6:40.12; 4.OLMA 6:55.08.
Men's novice four-1. Don Bosco Prep 5:43.81; 3. VIN 5:51.07.
Women's lightweight quad-1. EHT (stroke Taylor Cass, Danielle McCormick, Brook Gaskill, bow Julia Hendricks) 6:00.61; 2. HS 6:06.52.
Women's senior eight-1. HS (Michelle Smith, Danielle Larotonda, Tara Puhalski, Lauren Turner, Amanda Reale, Samantha Stoll, Christine Wojciechowicz, stroke Lauren Slattery, coxswain Claire McLenna) 5:14.50; 2. ABS 5:17.23; 4. AC 5:25.93; 7. OC 5:39.88.
Men's senior eight-1. SA (bow Austin Neri, Zach LaBarth, Dan Stinson, Zack Seither, Shane Dickson, Dan Capone, Alastair Watson, stroke John Ruskey and coxswain Brett Barry) 4:30.28; 2. ABS 4:36.23; 4. AC 4:47.39; 5. HS 4:47.76.