ROWING — New Trier rowers on Sunday dominated the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships, winning medals in 14 events and taking the overall points trophy for the fifth consecutive year.
A dozen of the school’s crews qualified for the scholastic national championships Friday and Saturday in Camden, N.J. Another three qualified for the USRowing Youth Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in June.
The women’s first varsity eight and second varsity eight both secured easy victories. New Trier’s men’s varsity eight finished a strong second to Central Catholic of Pittsburgh.
“Next weekend, 87 boys and girls will be racing the best high schools from around the country,” said New Trier coach Rose Marchuk. “They are well prepared and motivated to face their greatest competition of the season in what should be some very close races.”
A total of 282 crews from 33 clubs in seven states competed in the regatta, held on Melton Hill Lake. The crews rowed on a 1,500-meter course, flanked by gently rolling hills. The regatta was shifted to Oak Ridge from Cincinnati because of severe flooding on the Ohio River.
On Saturday, qualifying and semifinal races were delayed two hours because of fog that enveloped the course. On Sunday, a slight headwind slowed times.
The New Trier women’s team won the first-place points trophy in its category.
Besides the first and second varsity eights, the women’s winning crews were the varsity four, freshman eight and varsity lightweight eight.
Taking second was the novice eight. The JV varsity eight took third place.
The New Trier men’s team won the second-place points trophy in its category.
Winning men’s teams were the freshman eight and the novice lightweight four. Joint the varsity eight in second place were the junior eight and the lightweight eight.
Third-place men’s teams were the junior four and the second varsity eight.
The qualifying crews will race in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta in Camden, N.J., on Friday and Saturday.
In addition, three varsity boats also qualified to race at the USRowing Youth Nationals on June 10 and 11. The women’s varsity eight, varsity four, and lightweight eight all advanced by winning their events.
Caroline DeWeirdt, a captain of the women’s teams, and a rower on the winning varsity eight, said: “I think I saw every rower on our team go out to the course, race, and pull their hearts out. This proves how hard we have worked and how much we want to be National Champions.”
Alex Swift, also a women’s captain, said: “I was incredibly impressed with how our entire program rowed this weekend. Every girl from novice to varsity brought an intensity and focus that was truly inspirational. The same goes for our men’s team. It was amazing to be a part of such a strong dedicated team of athletes and I couldn’t be prouder of our performance.”