ROWING — New Trier women’s crews won two national championships Saturday, sweeping the first and second varsity eight events for the second time in three years.
Racing in the scholastic national championships on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., New Trier rowers took second in the women’s freshman eight event and third in the men’s freshman eight. That gave the team of total of four medals.
The victories by the women’s varsity eights duplicated a double New Trier win in the 2009 scholastic national championships in Princeton, N.J.
Since 2007, New Trier women’s teams have won a combined eight scholastic national titles in the first varsity, second varsity and freshman eight categories.
“I am elated with the results across the board, but the girls varsity eight’s race was the most impressive,” said head coach Rose Marchuk. “Not only is it the most competitive category of the regatta, but a flawless race was needed as any of the finalists had the potential to win the event.”
The two-day Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championships Regatta drew 559 entries from 14 states and Canada. The teams rowed on a 1,500-meter course. Conditions were hot and humid. Racing conditions were good.
New Trier sent a total of 10 crews to the event. Its women’s lightweight eight took fifth while the men’s varsity eight finished ninth overall, taking third in the so-called “petite,” or consolation, final.
The women’s varsity four finished 10th overall, taking fourth in the petite final. Other New Trier crews that raced but didn’t advance to finals included the men’s lightweight eight, men’s JV eight and men’s JV four.
With senior Hemingway Benton in the stroke seat, the women’s first varsity eight finished its final a little more than a second ahead of second-place Radnor High School from Villanova, Pa., in 5:03.95.
This crew raised the level of its game in the final after posting the fourth fastest time in the semifinals.
“We had a really determined boat and even when our time wasn’t the best one posted, we still went for the gold every race,” Benton said.
The women’s second varsity eight, stroked by Maddie Hedstrom, won its final in a time of 5:20.87, besting Absegami High School of Mayslanding, N.J., by 2.5 seconds.
The second varsity boat had gone through several lineup changes. The winning crew had only raced together “a couple of times” before nationals, according to coach Sandy Culver. “That made it even more exciting to have such an important win,” Hedstrom said.
“We were able to get an early lead on the other crews,” said cox Bianca Jackson. “However, it was our energy drive and sheer determination that got our bow ball across that finish line in first place.”
The women’s freshman eight, stroked by Hannah DePorter, came in second in its final, with a time of 5:18.63, behind first-place Holy Spirit High School of Absecon, N.J.
New Trier’s freshman eight, stroked by Mick Donahue finished third in its final, behind St. Joseph Prep from Philadelphia and Canisius High School of Buffalo, N.Y. The Trevians’ time was 4:48.07.
“The varsity eight had incredible races and gave a lot of fight on the course,” said coach Nate Kelp-Lenane. “I was very proud to see everyone put out their best races of the season. The future of New Trier boy’s rowing is very bright.”
These are the lineups of the New Trier crew that won medals.
Women’s varsity eight: Jenn Maley; Hemingway Benton; Megan Marchuk; Mell Eckert; Meredith Fischer; Merritt Denham; Rachel Crosley; Alex Swift; and Caroline DeWeirdt.
Women’s second varsity eight: Bianca Jackson; Maddie Hedstrom; Emily Swift; Anna Melio; Briana Prosniewski; Liz Mathis; Claire Clark; Gabby Meyer; and Claire Marquardt.
Women’s freshman eight: Ann C Grace D’Amico; Hannah DePorter; Carolyn McShea; Claire Peterson; Arielle Mann; Alexis Braunrot; Katie Lashmet; Caroline Going; and Madi Cruger.
Men’s freshman eight; Michael White; Mick Donahue; Paul Kokes; David Stimson; Peter Straub; Ryan Evenson; Henry Zimmerman; Nemanya Pavlovski; and William Stogin.