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2022 Season Review- 2022 NCS Head Coach Jonathan Crist

Caroline Osborne

Jul 1, 2022

As with any year the season started with winter conditioning. Following two drastically altered years winter conditioning began in eager anticipation. Covid has altered the landscape of training indoors so winter training featured the usual fan-favorites along with some outdoor sprint pieces and indoor masked weight-room sessions. The team came out of winter training with depth - fielding 43 athletes - happy about the training and hungry to bend the oars.

Thanks to our hosts Mike Smith and Plant High School our Tampa training trip was again a much loved and essential element for team speed. Rolling three varsity 8’s, a jv 4, and a freshmen 8 deep the team spent time in mixed lineups, shaping technique, and racing each other. It was there the freshmen got a real sense of how fast they could be and the varsity came away confident in their base pace. Racing at the end of the week in the Florida State Rowing Association West District championships all boats performed very well with the frosh winning and all varsity boats posting good pace and placing 2nd to Sarasota Crew and Sarasota Scullers.

Early racing back on the Potomac and Occoquan saw the freshmen continuing to go strength to strength. The varsity boats were moving well and gaining speed on traditional strong programs in the region - Wilson (Jackson-Read) and Whitman.

WMIRA championships showed that the team was in the regional and national mix.

The freshmen, coached by Erin Briggs, pulled off a ripper of a race to be crowned WMIRA Champions for 2022. The Junior 4+ had a thrilling race in the heat, finishing 2nd to advance to the final where they placed 4th overall in the Varsity event and first in the Junior 4+ event. The 3rd Varsity 8+ event showed the depth of NCS Rowing. The margin to Wilson was not what the boat wanted, but the boat did make progress on their internal goals of taking cohesive strokes and moving the boat together. The 2nd Varsity 8+ was a straight to final event between B-CC, Wilson, Whitman, and NCS. The 2V had a great race, closing the gap to Wilson from the TBC Tussle and internally closing the gap to the 1V.

The 1st Varsity 8+ had a solid piece in the heats to go through to the final. In the final, Wilson moved out clearly from the start and kept going to take a well-earned victory. Whitman took a length over NCS right off the line and were able to hold it through to take second in a well-fought race. As a program, NCS Rowing came in 2nd in the overall women's points trophy and was one of only 2 programs to field a 3rd Varsity 8. We will only send the 1V to the Scholastic National Championship Regatta on May 27/28

NCS has an incredible coaching staff. Erin Briggs has taken the reins with the Freshmen - from recruiting, to organizing winter conditioning, and leading the young student athletes in their development as rowing athletes. Erin has also been of great assistance to me, helping navigate this first year with the team. Tressa Vitus has been the attitudinal center of the varsity this year. She has brought her experience and mentoring capacity to be with these developing athletes, helping them navigate the challenges of high performance rowing, high performance school and keeping it fun along the way.

Stotesbury 2022 was the target regatta set at the beginning of winter conditioning. I am very happy to report that NCS boated 42 athletes in the Freshman 8+, Junior 4+, 3rd 8+, 2nd 8+, and 1st 8+. ALL NCS boats qualified for semi-finals out of time trials in the top 10 positions coming out of Friday racing. Due to conditions out of our control, the river raged, and the Stotesbury Cup officials decided to run only a select number of semis.

Unfortunately, the 3rd 8+ was not one of those semis. Amidst it all, they came together and had a great performance in the time trial. We are very proud of their efforts. The Junior 4+ qualified 2nd out of the time trials, convincingly securing a spot in the semi final, one of the most subscribed events in the regatta. The young student athletes rowed well in the semi, managing conditions as well as possible. All gained valuable racing experience. The 2nd 8+ earned a top 4 position in the time trial which meant they qualified for the final once their semi was also eliminated. In the final, the crew raced hard and came out in fourth overall and in a tight 4-way battle for 2nd-5th positions. The 1st 8+ put together a gutsy race and sprint to earn a 6th place overall in the regatta. It has been a long road to get here and the athletes are proud of each other and proud of how they raced. We are very proud of the freshmen and are looking forward to how they develop and grow this summer and beyond. WELL ROWED!

Grounded in the proven speed of an unbeaten season and Stotesbury victory the CCCRC in conjunction with NCS Athletics petitioned to allow the NCS Freshmen boat entrance in the U17 Women’s 8+ event for the USRowing Youth National Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL. The petition was accepted and the Freshmen traveled to Florida to race. In a tough field of club teams the Freshmen placed 12th in the time trial to earn a spot in the A/B semis. Racing in the petite final the freshmen had a great start, ground out consistent rhythm and split in the middle 1K and had their fastest 2k of the regatta and earned the highest placed boat from the DMV at the regatta.

The 1V finished their year by putting together four of their best pieces of the year for an 8th overall in the SRAA National Championships. In the petite final the 1V had a gutsy race; jumping out to a lead and going back and forth with Whitman all the way down the track. Everyone in the BOAT left it all on the course. The support from the shoreline and from all the supporters back home and from you the alumni was felt and realized in those moments.

Jonathan Crist

NCS Head Coach

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