MAYS LANDING — The 14th annual Atlantic County High School Rowing Championships got about halfway through Sunday on Lake Lenape, but the windy conditions caused the cancellation of the rest of the regatta.
Part of the disappointment was that the biggest divisions, including varsity eights and varsity fours, did not get to run. There were no team championships, and the regatta will not be rescheduled.
Just before noon, the race officials got together with the coaches and decided to end the day for safety reasons.
“The wind was bad at the starting line and at the boathouse,” said Sue Peterson, the event director. “(The lake) was starting to have waves. Dennis Smith, the chief referee, Dan Jones, the official at the starting line, and Michael Murphy, the head referee on the water, got together with me and the coaches and we made that decision. The safety of the athletes is always our No. 1 concern, as much as we wanted the kids to race.”
Not everyone was disappointed because many got to race. Others got to race once, but not twice. The Atlantic County event allows for athletes to compete in more than one race, so some varsity-eight rowers raced in smaller categories in the first part of the regatta.
Sean Blair and Chris Feliciano are two senior members of the Absegami boys varsity eight. That boat has led the Braves to the No. 1 ranking of The Press Elite 11. The Absegami eight-crew didn’t get a chance to race, but Blair and Feliciano won the boys double race in 5 minutes, 57.63 seconds.
“We came out in the double, and we didn’t know how we’d do,” said Feliciano, a 17-year-old Galloway Township resident. “We had a race plan and executed it and came out on top.”
Absegami boys coach Dan Salerno thought the boys varsity eight would have either won their race or been in contention.
“It definitely takes the wind out of our sails,” Salerno said. “I also think our second eight would have been in contention (in its division). We haven’t raced a lot of times this year, so the boat can’t measure themselves. Next weekend is a big regatta (the Stotesbury Cup in Philadelphia), and we haven’t met a lot of the teams.”
The Holy Spirit boys varsity quad won a three-boat race by more than 24 seconds in 5:29.54. The Spartans lineup included stroke Dylan Gattini-Patel, Joe Glenn, Phil Seeger and bow Will Hoffman.
Hoffman, a senior, will row for NCAA Division III Marietta College next year.
“We only got to race once,” said Hoffman, a 17-year-old Brigantine resident. “We were supposed to race a varsity four too, and we were looking good in practice. We were looking forward to medaling. The wind pushed the boat sideways at first, but then we ran a good course.”
Absegami’s Frances Deibert won a four-boat girls single race in 7:31.31.
“I was really upset that they had to cancel it, because I was going to be in a varsity four, and I think we would have at least gotten second,” said Deibert, a 16-year-old junior from Galloway Township. “The (single) race wasn’t too hard until the end, when it got a little choppy.”
One division, the girls junior four, had preliminary heats but didn’t get to race a final. Cedar Creek won heat one, and Ocean City won heat two.
The Holy Spirit boys team won the junior quad and single races. The Spartans girls team took the varsity quad and freshman quad races.
Adaptive double-1. (Joseph Dietterick, Jason Wheeler) 2:54.33 (500 meters).
Girls freshman quad-1. Holy Spirit (Ashley Nicholas, Joselyn McDevitt, Cassidy Ross, Megan Baldwin) 6:55.04; 2. Vineland 7:31.27.
Boys junior quad-1. Holy Spirit (Owen Gresham, Thomas Hunter, Dillon Knoff, Aidan Driscoll) 5:24.21; 2. Absegami 5:48.47; 3. St. Augustine Prep 6:44.64.
Girls single-1. Absegami (Frances Deibert) 7:31.31; 2. Egg Harbor Township 7:35.21; 3. Atlantic City 7:52.25.
Boys single-1. Holy Spirit (Jake Curran) 6:18.71; 2. Absegami 6:28.80; 3. St. Augustine Prep 6:56.70.
Boys double-1. Absegami (Sean Blair, Chris Feliciano) 5:57.53; 2. Vineland 6:00.37; 3. Holy Spirit 6:06.63.
Girls lightweight quad-1. Egg Harbor Township (Madeline Pitale, Ava McDonough, Julia Hammer, Adriana Celano) 6:11.81.
Girls varsity quad-1. Holy Spirit (Bailey Harris, Riley Hackett, Julianna Lynch, Tara Stanley) 5:49.87; 2. Egg Harbor Township 6:01.89.
Boys varsity quad-1. 1. Holy Spirit (Dylan Gattini-Patel, Joe Glenn, Phil Seeger, Will Hoffman) 5:29.54; 2. Absegami 5:54.16; 3. St. Augustine Prep 6:43.69.
Girls double-1. Vineland (Joy Asselta, Alaina Merighi) 6:44.45; 2. Holy Spirit 7:06.86; 3. Egg Harbor Township 7:09.80.
Boys freshman four-1. Mainland Regional (Blaise Valentino, Steven Fisher, Kosta Kontonikolas, Joe Downey, coxswain Zach Podolnick) 6:00.57; 2. Egg Harbor Township 6:04.53; 3. St. Augustine Prep 6:58.63.
Girls novice four-1. Girls novice four-1. Absegami (Adrianna Feliciano, Sarah Ghazaz, Radwa Awad, Hannah Silipena, coxswain Sara Duran) 6:15.52; 2. Egg Harbor Township 6:42.24; 3. Holy Spirit 6:54.91.
Girls novice eight-1. Egg Harbor Township (Isabella Spena, Emma French, Ally Seiverd, Rachel Spencer, Abby Armstrong, Amber Martinez, Ashley Timm, Kaitlyn Rice, coxswain Belen Rosales) 5:40.33; 2. Ocean City 5:53.21; 3. Atlantic City 5:56.29.