MAYS LANDING — The Absegami High School boys varsity-eight crew started the season with a three-boat-length victory Saturday at the Lake Lenape Sprints II regatta.

The event began the local crew season because the Lake Lenape Sprints I and the Manny Flick-Horvat Series regatta were cancelled last weekend due to high winds.

Saturday’s regatta consisted of 23 races, and area crews competed against the guest teams of Merion Mercy Academy, South Jersey Rowing Club, The Hun School, St.Joseph (Metuchen), Kearny and St. Peter’s Prep.

The Egg Harbor Township boys varsity four and novice eight were heat winners. The Holy Spirit boys team took the quad race and won the fastest of two heats in the boys double category.

In the girls division, winners included the Cedar Creek junior four and the Oakcrest novice eight and novice four. Girls heat winners included the Absegami junior eight, the Atlantic City junior eight and the Cedar Creek varsity four.

The Absegami varsity-eight crew dominated its six-boat, 1,500-meter race, winning in 5 minutes, 24.13 seconds. The crew included stroke Sean Blair, Tyler Lancaster, Avi Desai, Austin Reeder, Evan Taylor, Christian Gunn-Saye, Adam Kabala, bow Chris Feliciano and coxswain Camryn DeWolfe.

“Today was a really nice way to start off,” said Kabala, an 18-year-old senior from Galloway Township. “There was a little headwind at first, but we got through it. The body of the piece was really strong, and overall it went really great. We’re hoping to go really far and get first in nationals, too.”

The Absegami B crew took second in 5:40.63, edging St. Peter’s by 0.44 seconds.

“I was really pleased across the board,” Absegami coach Dan Salerno said. “I told (the winning boat) to go out and execute your (stroke) rate and you’ll be in a good position. Do that and it will work out.

“I was also really happy with our second boat. They’re all lightweight rowers.”

The Absegami varsity eight could be one of the leading area boats of the season. Many of its rowers were part of the Braves’ 2018 junior eight that took second at the Stotesbury Cup and fourth at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Regatta (commonly called the nationals). Kabala spent some of the 2018 season in the junior eight.

The EHT boys varsity four topped Cedar Creek in a two-boat heat in 5:53.25. The Eagles’ lineup consisted of stroke John Pickard, Jacob Shobe, Scott Zimmerman, bow Adam Sarhan and coxswain Jacqueline Phan.

“It feels really good to win,” said Shobe, a 17-year-old senior and EHT resident. “I was in the varsity four last year, and we’re a lot faster this year.”

The Cedar Creek girls junior-four crew included stroke Hannah Goolden, twin-sister Paige Goolden, Francesca Murrell, bow Emma Bankovic and coxswain Kaya Hamilton.

“We pulled out strong at the beginning, and then Merion Mercy got up close to us,” said Murrell, a 17-year-old junior from Mullica Township. “We pulled away at the end.”

The Absegami girls junior eight won its heat in 6:03.82, the fastest time in the division. The crew consisted of stroke Frances Deibert, Victoria Axelsson, Marcella Sacchetti, Courtney Stokes, Olivia Lewandowski, Sophia Medolla, Alexis Domiano, bow Madison Albanese and coxswain Cassandra DeStefano.

“We had a good start and got out really fast,” said DeStefano, a 16-year-old sophomore from Galloway Township. “We had a good sprint at the end and kept a steady rate.”

Other results

Boys double (heat 2)-1. Holy Spirit (Phil Seeger, Joe Glenn) 5:44.57

Boys quad-1. Holy Spirit (Charles Murray, Jake Curran, Owen Gresham, Dylan Gattani-Patel) 5:37.59.

Girls novice eight-1. Oakcrest (Natalie Napoli, Stephanie Power, Jaylin Moore, Kara Irwin, Jessica Austin, Janiyah Wheeler, Morgan Lake, Rylie Smith, coxswain Mikayla Tropiano) 7:04.47.

Boys novice eight (heat 2)-1. Egg Harbor Township (Ronnie Sansom, Jimmy Curry, Carter Hubbard, Noah Levering, Gage Thomas, Max Berg, Faddy Omar, Nikolas Simone, coxswain Crystal Luo) 5:51.30.

Girls novice four-1. Oakcrest (Jordan Palmeri, Haley Citron, Olivia Labastida, Alivia Mullery, coxswain Dicky Chen) 7:23.60

Girls junior eight (heat 2)-1. Atlantic City (Kara Graybill, Catherine Scott, Nina LaVigna, Madolin Bergman, Luisa Pimienta, Karen Paz, Sarah Tran, Serena Su, coxswain Mollie Share) 6:16.20.

Girls varsity four (heat 2)-1. Cedar Creek (Alexis Mathis, Katie Kurtz, Jazlyn Farrell, Izabelle Del Ross, coxswain Sophia Romano) 7:10.70.

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Contact: 609-272-7210

Staff Writer

I’ve been at The Press since January of 1983. I cover all sports in general, but mostly lifeguard racing, and high school field hockey, football, swimming, basketball, crew, baseball and softball.

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