The Ocean City High School girls junior eight was the only area winner Saturday at the 93rd annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
The Red Raiders beat Branksome Hall, of Toronto, by about 4 feet in the final in 4 minutes, 54.50 seconds.
The O.C. crew included stroke Ryleigh Mack, Alexis O’Keefe, Vanessa Karayiannis, Michaela Carroll, Juliana Giardina, Maggie Clunn, Carly Dougherty, bow Alexia Schmidt and coxswain Mackenzie Thurlow.
Branksome Hall (4:54.96) made a late run, but O.C. held on.
“The junior-eight race was close the whole way, but our girls stayed cool, calm and collected,” Ocean City girls coach Ian Tapp said. “Our kids work really hard, and they deserved it. It was four boats across at the end, a real barnburner to the end.”
The two-day Stotesbury Cup, which bills itself as the largest scholastic crew regatta in the world, has more than 5,000 competitors from the U.S. and Canada.
The Red Raiders’ girls varsity eight placed fourth in its final in a 32-boat category. The crew was the only area varsity-eight finalist for girls or boys on the weekend. The crew consisted of stroke Claudia Scherbin, Eve Chiarello, Jenevieva Mulhall, Alexa Japzon, Margaret Kane, Avery Panico, Kira Tracy, bow Samantha Perro and coxswain Lucy Greene.
“The girls came off the water after the race, and they said it was their best race of the year,” Tapp said. “They’re a young crew, one senior, seven juniors and a sophomore. There are some really fast boats in the varsity-eight category, so it was a really good day for them.
“Now, we’ll try to get faster in a week. That’s the plan.”
The Holy Spirit boys junior double lost only to E.L. Crossley Secondary School, of Fonthill, Ontario, in a 31-boat division. Crossley won in 5:00.71, and the Spartans were second in 5:01.53. The Spartans’ crew consisted of stroke Joe Glenn and bow Phil Seeger.
“It was close,” Holy Spirit boys coach Mike Giegerich said. “Our guys rowed a great race, but we have a week to get a little faster before, and we’ll try to win Nationals (May 24 and 25 at Nashport, Ohio). The Canadians come down (to be in the Stotesbury Cup) when they’re really fast.”
The Ocean City girls second eight placed third in 5:13.83. Mount St. Joseph won the 19-boat division in 5:04.24. The O.C. crew consisted of stroke Elaina Guido, Sophie Gartner, Courtney Sigmund, Emma Finnegan, Zofia Driscoll, McKenna Howells, Rebecca Dubbs, bow Haley Strickland and coxswain Riley Fisher.
The Holy Spirit girls senior (varsity) four placed fourth in the final in 5:31.20. The Spartans were second Friday in a 57-boat head race and had the second-fastest time Saturday in winning its semifinal heat. E.L. Crossley won the final in 5:25.98.
Holy Spirit’s boys lightweight double finished fifth in its final in 5:10.17.
The Oakcrest girls lightweight four placed sixth in 6:01.81. The division had 22 boats. The Vineland boys adaptive double crew finished fourth.
The Absegami and Ocean City boys varsity eights were eliminated in the semifinals, as was the Mainland Regional girls varsity eight. In varsity fours, the Atlantic City boys crew and the Absegami and Egg Harbor Township girls crews reached the semifinals.