MAYS LANDING — The favored varsity eights of St. Augustine Prep and the Holy Spirit High School girls showed no letup Sunday as they pulled away at the ninth annual Atlantic County High School Rowing Championships on Lake Lenape.
When the regatta’s team points were totaled, the Prep and Holy Spirit girls, the two Press Elite 11 leaders, were well-ahead there, too.
Holy Spirit captured the girls varsity-eight race by more than eight seconds over rival Absegami in 5 minutes, 17.50 seconds. The Braves were second in 5:25.70 and Atlantic City placed third in 5:29.45 in the five-boat race.
The Holy Spirit crew included bow Michelle Smith, Danielle Larotonda, Tara Puhalski, Lauren Turner, Amanda Reale, Samantha Stoll, Christine Wojciechowicz, stroke Lauren Slattery and coxswain Claire McLenna.
Only Smith was part of the Spartans crew that was upset by Absegami at the Atlantic County event last year. Holy Spirit’s young varsity eight has only one senior in Turner, three sophomores and the rest juniors.
“There was no mention of last year’s race because it’s a different crew,” Holy Spirit girls coach Joe Welsh said. “The kids did a nice job. They’re a young crew so they have to keep their focus. They’ve been pretty consistent.”
The St. Augustine varsity-eight crew powered to victory by more than seven seconds in 4 minutes, 36.35 seconds. Absegami, the Prep’s closest rival so far this year, finished second in 4:43.82, and Holy Spirit was third in 4:48.69 in a four-boat race.
The Prep crew consisted of bow Austin Neri, Zach LaBarth, Dan Stinson, Zack Seither, Shane Dickson, Dan Capone, Alastair Watson, stroke John Ruskey and coxswain Brett Barry.
“They had a great row. They were relaxed and kept (the stroke rate) low,” St. Augustine coach Ray D’Amico said of his crew. “The varsity eight rows for speed. They try to row as fast as they can every day.”
Holy Spirit took the girls team points championship with 179 points. The Spartans girls team also won the lightweight eight, second eight, junior eight, freshman eight and lightweight quad divisions.
“We have a great group of kids,” Welsh said. “They’re really starting to come into their own and getting the program back to where it should be.”
The Spartans also won the overall combined boys and girls title with 239 points.
Smith felt a bit different than her teammates about the varsity-eight win.
“Last year was on my mind, and I wanted us to redeem ourselves,” said Smith, a 16-year-old junior from Brigantine. “It was exciting. We were confident, though not overly. Each week we’ve been getting better.”
Slattery, a junior, was in the second eight last year, but finished the season in the varsity eight.
“The water was choppy today, but that’s what we’re used to, training in Brigantine,” said Slattery, 17, an Egg Harbor Township resident. “I’m very surprised that we’ve done so well, since we lost so many seniors.
St. Augustine scored 158 points to easily win the boys team title. The Prep also won the second-eight and the lightweight.
“Our guys rowed with passion today,” D’Amico said. “They rowed for their moms (on Mother’s Day). They were also fired up by Drexel (University) winning the Dad Vails, because four guys from St. Augustine are on that team.”
Neri, a senior, was a novice rower for St. Augustine last year, and this year earned a seat in the big boat.
“This is a big milestone for us, and we can build upon it for the Stotesbury Cup (Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia),” said Neri, 18, of Wildwood Crest. “We came together today. We were relaxed and focused on getting (a bigger lead).”
Barry, a senior, was also the coxswain when the Hermits won last year’s County race.
“Today was awesome,” said Barry, 18, of Galloway Township. “You could feel that we were connected, rowing at a fast pace. We were rowing for our mothers.”
The Mainland Regional girls varsity-four crew scored one of the most dominant victories of the day, winning by just under 12 seconds in 5:45.20. The Mustangs team included stroke Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann, Amanda Ryan, bow Stacey Price and coxswain Morgan Gerety.
“I told our seniors (everyone but junior Price) that this is the last time they’ll row at home on Lake Lenape, so really focus and go get it,” said Mainland girls coach Jeff Garbutt.
Vineland captured the boys varsity-four race in 5:13.16. The lineup featured stroke Kyle Liemiester, Michael Bowen, Josh Marcacci, bow Ian Fay and coxswain Siani Sanchez. It was the program’s first County regatta win in a major category.
“We’re definitely doing good things,” Vineland boys crew coach Joe LaRosa said. “To be honest, I think they have even more speed than that. They were really fast in practice (Saturday).”
Contact Guy Gargan:
Overall—1. Holy Spirit (HS) 239; 2. Egg Harbor Township (EHT) 201; 3. Absegami (ABS) 160; 4. St. Augustine Prep (SA) 158; 5. Mainland Regional (MAIN) 145; 6. Oakcrest (OAK) 140; 7. Atlantic City (AC) 99; 8. Ocean City (OC) 95; 9. Vineland (VIN) 65; 10. Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) 25; 11. Cedar Creek (CC) 23.
Boys—1. SA 158; 2. OC 84; 3. ABS 73; 4. OAK 63; 5. MAIN 61; 6. HS 60; 7. EHT 57; 8. VIN 48; 9. AC 33; 10. CC 11.
Girls—1. HS 179; 2. EHT 144; 3. ABS 87; 4. MAIN 84; 5. AC 66; 6. OAK 77; 7. OLMA 25; 8. VIN 17; 9. CC 12; 10. OC 11.
Teams—St. Augustine Prep, Vineland, Mainland Regional, Holy Spirit, Atlantic City, Absegami, Ocean City, Egg Harbor Township, Oakcrest, Cedar Creek, Our Lady of Mercy Academy.
Women’s single—1. EHT (Kristin Auble) 7:01.96; 2. CC 7:22.77.
Men’s single—1. MAIN (Z Dothe) 6:28.99; 2. SA 6:32.04; 3. EHT 6:36.59; 4. ABS 6:42.47.
Women’s double—1. EHT (stroke Rachel Reinhard, bow Carlie Cohen) 6:08.51; 2. HS 6:35.71; 3. VIN 6:41.03; 4. OAK 6:52.03.
Men’s double—1. ABS (Franco Huynh, Zeeshawn Ali) 5:52.58; 2. OAK 5:56.86; 3. EHT 6:18.44.
Women’s varsity quad—1. MAIN (stroke Jaclyn Thompson, MariaElena Gambino, Tricia Garrett, bow Devon Deveney) 5:51.71; 2. OLMA 7:06.47.
Women’s lightweight quad—1. HS (stroke Emily Kane, Kasey Maguire, Kelsey Poley, bow Calli Malia) 5:52.10; 2. EHT 6:27.75.
Women’s novice four—1. VIN (Bethany Malench, Jasmine Hernandez, Emma King, bow Carly Steen, coxswain Elisa Hernandez) 8:29.85; 2. OLMA 8:52.48; 3. CC 8:57.72; 4. EHT 9:51.33.
Men’s novice four—1. CC (stroke Drew Logan, Tristan Bacha, Mike Baldwin Jr., bow Dan Smith, coxswain Mico Manalang) 5:52.00; 2. SA 5:57.05; 3. OC 6:11.85; 4. VIN 6:19.03.
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) 5:50.91; 2. AC 6:00.96; 3. ABS 6:03.11; 4. OC 6:06.49; 5. MAIN 6:10.79; 6. EHT 6:11.73.
Women’s freshman eight—1. HS (stroke Sara Miller, Tarryn Slattery, Kylie Magee, Erin Welsh, Kalli Reganato, Richie Atkinson, Olivia Torres, bow Nicole Wenzel, coxswain Nicole Mayer) 5:25.26; 2. OC 5:33.23; 3. ABS 5:37.17; 4. AC 5:39.03.
Men’s freshman eight—1. OC (stroke Nick DiMarco, Evan Nathan, Colin Stewart, Christian Baumgardner, Chris Delgrande, Ryan Fisher, Roman LaRosa, bow Brendan McClure, coxswain Chase Devlin) 6:49.60; 2. SA 4:51.68; 3. MAIN 5:04.58; 4. EHT 5:19.51; 5. CC 6:03.56.
Women’s junior four—1. EHT (stroke Rebecca Suthard, Emily Woods, Antonia Maffia, bow Madison Barbieri, coxswain Vida Torres) 5:59.50; 2. ABS 6:25.31; 3. AC 6:30.91; 4. CC 6:34.94; 5. HS 6:39.82; 6. OLMA 7:38.56.
Men’s junior four—1. OAK (stroke Jeremy Nale, Zachary Hartman, Matt Dragotto, Robert Tewell, coxswain Jenna Mancini) 5:16.28; 2. OC 5:38.10; 3. MAIN 5:47.07; 4. SA 5:57.91; 5. EHT 6:19.91.
Men’s novice eight—1. OC (stroke Eric Lam, Greg Fischer, Shane Cummings, Thomas Lonergan, Davie Delgrande, Ryan Shannon, Joseph Delgrande, bow Fritz Dubbs, coxswain Evan Megargee) 5:13.61; 2. AC 5:17.93; 3. SA 5:19.08; 4. HS 5:35.98; 5. VIN 5:54.12.
Women’s junior eight—1. HS (stroke Brianna Stone, Nichole Vizthum, Olivia Valiante, Kelly McDevitt, Madeline Oleksiak, Caitlin McGettigan, Kristi Spicer, bow Catie Vesper, coxswain Onora Labrum) 5:14.44; 2. OAK 5:16.05; 3. MAIN 5:18.20; 4. AC 5:45.03; 5. EHT 5:46.55.
Men’s junior eight—1. HS (stroke Brett Hanson, Pat Shober, Jack Marczyk, Harrison Gargel, Jacob Fabel, Steve Brown, Austin Theuret, bow Andrew Light, coxswain Giovanni Magro)4:42.97; 2. SA 4:46.40; 3. VIN 4:55.34; 4. MAIN 5:00.09; 5. EHT 5:06.41.
Women’s lightweight four—1. OAK (stroke Connie Capone, Nicole Littlefield, Morgan Osborn, bow Danielle LaPergola, coxswain Becca Adamo) 5:57.89; 2. EHT 6:01.31; 3. MAIN 6:11.71; 4. VIN 6:18.14.
Men’s lightweight four—1. EHT (Daniel Warrell, Bryan Scheeler, Greg Diggins, Eric Battisti, coxswain Matthew Erlandson) 5:14.20; 2. VIN 5:22.71; 3. OC 5:25.09; 4. SA 5:45.37; 5. CC 6:06.45.
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) 5:10.00; 2. EHT 6:01.30.
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) 4:42.65; 2. OAK 4:51.94; 3. MAIN 4:58.52.
Women’s second varsity eight—1. HS (bow Michaela Baldino, Rachael Klaiss, Megan Gleason, Erin Coffman, Lauren Thomas, Melissa Clark, Sally Widmann, stroke Karli Libbey, coxswain Nicole Kilar) 5:29.23; 2. ABS 5:35.12; 3. AC 5:44.43; 4. OC 6:15.75.
Men’s second varsity eight—1. SA (stroke James Boney, John Livingstone, Nick Slusher, Brian Tindall, Ryan Gerace, Kieran Hughes, Joe Farnoly, George Steffa, coxswain Jake Snyder) 4:41.40; 2. ABS 4:47.20; 3. HS 4:51.04.
Women’s varsity four—1. MAIN (stroke Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann, Amanda Ryan, bow Stacey Price, coxswain Morgan Gerety) 5:45.20; 2. EHT 5:57.10; 3. OAK 6:20.73; 4. CC 6:32.56; 5. VIN 7:04.06.
Men’s varsity four—1. VIN (stroke Kyle Liemiester, Michael Bowen, Josh Marcacci, bow Ian Fay, coxswain Siani Sanchez) 5:13.16; 2. EHT 5:18.50; 3. HS 5:42.33; 4. CC 6:23.18.
Women’s varsity eight—1. HS (bow Michelle Smith, Danielle Larotonda, Tara Puhalski, Lauren Turner, Amanda Reale, Samantha Stoll, Christine Wojciechowicz, stroke Lauren Slattery, coxswain Claire McLenna) 5:17.50; 2. ABS 5:25.70; 3. AC 5:29.45; 4. OC 5:38.92; 5. EHT 6:12.18.
Men’s varsity 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) 4:36.35; 2. ABS 4:43.82; 3. HS 4:48.69; 4. AC 5:01.90.