Jul 1, 2022
The 2022 rowing season was the first in 3 years to have all the trappings of a normal spring. Our senior class had a strong freshman season and then endured a canceled sophomore season, a truncated and masked junior season and ultimately the chance to train, travel and race altogether at all our typical locations as seniors. There are always twists and turns in a rowing season and this one was no exception. The season began with one of the largest number of athletes we had ever taken on the team. A full group of varsity athletes, some novices sophomores and a group of freshman set the number of athletes at 43. Ultimately, we raced a 1st eight (1V) and 2nd eight (2v), a 3rd eight (3v at WMIRA and Junior 8 at Stotesbury), a Freshman 8, and a Senior 4. The large senior class was led by captains Tendai Ball, Carter Steinberg and Henry Mali. They provided great leadership and dedication to the program.
We started rowing on The Potomac River in February and then moved our operation to The Palm River in Tampa for our annual spring break training trip hosted by Plant High School. The training and selection of boats went smoothly and we competed successfully against Plant. We finished the week with a regatta at Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park on an official race course. Our boys fared well against a competitive field. Sarasota Crew, a nationally ranked club program, was a step ahead of our boys on that day, but we felt good about the progress that had been made in Florida.
Returning from the sunny skies and calm waters of Florida is often a shock to the system, and this year was no exception. The team soon embarked on our local racing program. We had a strong race at The Occoquan beating all VA schools in the 1v and 2v categories. Our 1v had an epic battle against Whitman losing by a few inches. On the Potomac we raced BCC and Wilson and finished a little off the pace of these experienced crews. The next weekend we traveled to St. Andrew’s School in Delaware where the 1v had an off race losing by a wide margin to Gonzaga and Kent School. In that race we turned over the Foley Cup to Gonzaga. The 2v raced well, but was behind Gonzaga by 7 seconds. Finishing off the racing season at the WMIRA championships the 1v finished a distant 5th behind BCC, Gonzaga, Wilson and Whitman. The 2v earned a bronze medal and the Freshman 8 also won a bronze.
The main goal of any rowing season is to peak in Philadelphia at The Stotesbury Cup regatta. Poor weather marred the event, but our boys did not advance to any of the final races for the first time in recent memory. Our 1V had an excellent semi-final and pushed the eventual winner, Wilson High School, all the way down the course, but fell a few seconds short of advancing to the final. The 2v, 3v, Senior 4 and Freshman 8’s either did not place high enough in the time trial to advance or were denied racing in the semi final as the top six boats progressed directly to the final. There was one more opportunity to test our 1v at the Scholastic Rowing Association Nationals in Cherry Hill, NJ. It was at that regatta that our seniors and the rest of the 1v had the race they had been working towards all season. The crew finished 4th in the 2nd level final, 10th overall, but competed at a very high level and left the season with a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes the results fall short of expectations, but the process of working as a group toward something special was achieved.
STA Head Coach