EHT, Holy Spirit, Oakcrest, Mainland win gold at Garden States

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crewstates1 Submitted photo/EHT lightweight four (left to right) Kristine Auble, Alex Bossi, Nicasia D'Allesandro, Bea Eribal, Brittany Winkler and Coach John Pope. It was a great day on the water for local crews at the Garden State Scholastic Championship on Saturday, April 27.

Boats from four local schools dominated their respective classes, in the first medal race of the season, to claim titles on the Cooper River in Camden.

Both Egg Harbor Township girls and Holy Spirit girls had three boats win state championships. Oakcrest girls had two boats and Mainland Regional girls had one boat earn the distinction.

Holy Spirit’s varsity eight, second eight and lightweight eight claimed gold. The varsity eight boat posted a 5:14.50, just 2.73 seconds ahead of Absegami.

After earning second place two years in a row, the lightweight eight finally broke through, finishing 15.53 seconds better than rival Montclair and posting a winning time of 5:23.22.

The second eight finished in 5:31.02, which was 3.52 better than Atlantic City’s second eight.

EHT’s junior four, lightweight four and lightweight quad all claimed gold medals on Saturday. The junior four posted a 5:54.06 beating second place Kearney by seven seconds. The boat comprised of sophomores and juniors has been gelling well together lately.

The win came as no surprise to coach Dan Welsh. The EHT lightweight four, rowing in lane five, stunned second place Montclair, winning by 3.48 seconds. That win did surprise Welsh and boat coach John Pope.

They lost their semifinal race Saturday morning to Montclair, which hadn’t happened all year. The loss had Pope questioning whether he should make any changes to the boat.

Ultimately, he and Welsh decided not to make any changes. Instead, they relied on the kids to respond to the loss. And the kids did just that.

“They weren’t too happy losing even though it was a qualifying round,” Welsh said. “We got a lot of answers about that group of girls from that race. They responded exactly the way we expect a championship boat would - they dominated the whole race.”

The lightweight quad was better by 5.91 seconds over second place Holy Spirit.

crewstates2 Photo submitted/Oakcrest Junior eight lineup: (L to R) coxswain Lindsey Prychka, Jessica Lindsay, Brianna Knight, Michaela Allen, Victoria Thies, Alonna Bennett, Taylor Phy, Emily Cameron and Meghan Guerrieri. Oakcrest’s junior eight and novice eight won gold. The junior eight posted a 5:23.00, defeating second place Montclair by four seconds. The novice eight won by 5.61 seconds over Mainland Regional.

“The girls executed their races really well and they were having fun doing it,” said Oakcrest coach Justin Weiner. “It gives us momentum and gives the kids confidence going into the bigger races.” Weiner expects his junior eight to have the same success at the Philadelphia Races this weekend.

Mainland’s varsity four boat won gold for the second year in a row.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Mainland coach Jeff Garbutt. “They are five very dedicated kids.”

The Lady Mustangs got out to an early lead and fended off a few challenges by EHT’s varsity four before ultimately clinching the race with a time of 5:47.30. EHT was just 2.43 seconds behind. The two boats will face one another again on May 5 at the Philadelphia City Rowing Championships. Garbutt says they will also have to contend with Harriton, who defeated Mainland two weeks ago.

“It should be a really great race between those three boats.”

What’s Next: On Sunday May 5, local boats will row in the Philadelphia City Championships on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

Here is a look at other local top finishers at the Garden States:


Holy Spirit freshmen eight, 2nd place; 5:36.97

Absegami freshmen eight, 3rd place; 5:42.24

EHT varsity two, 2nd place; 6:16.41

Holy Spirit junior eight, 3rd place; 5:29.06

Atlantic City second eight, 2nd place; 5:34.54

Absegami second eight, 3rd place; 5:36.49

Oakcrest lightweight four, 3rd place; 6:08.41

EHT lightweight eight, 3rd place; 6:14.75

Holy Spirit freshmen four, 2nd place; 6:47.65

EHT varsity four, 2nd place; 5:49.73

Holy Spirit junior four, 3rd place; 6:16.90

Mainland senior quad, 2nd place; 6:26.14

Mainland novice eight, 2nd place; 6:07.43

EHT novice eight, 3rd place; 6:15.50

Holy Spirit lightweight four, 2nd place; 6:06.52

Absegami senior eight, 2nd place; 5:17.23


Oakcrest junior four, 3rd place; 5:19.00

Holy Spirit junior eight, 2nd place; 4:45.74

Absegami second eight, 3rd place; 5:01.35

Oakcrest lightweight eight, 2nd place; 5:02.88

Mainland lightweight eight, 3rd place; 5:20.75

Absegami senior eight, 2nd place; 4:36.23


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