Wayland-Weston Crew qualified two boats for US Rowing Youth Nationals while racing this weekend (May 19-20) at the Northeast Junior District Championships in Worcester. Nationals will be held June 8-10 in Oak Ridge TN. As often happens, this race conflicted with Prom. Many athletes sacrificed limo rides and photos to support their team. In the end, it paid off.
The novice squads both brought home medals. The boys entered two fours and the girls entered an eight and a four. For the boys, the B four was able to beat out other team’s A entries and advance to the semi final where they placed 5th. The novice boys A entry was able to gain lots of speed from last week and advance to the event final where they placed 3rd overall, bringing home a bronze medal.
The girl’s novice 4 rowed a tough race and pushed through some equipment issues to come in 5th in their heat. There will be another chance for Novice girl’s four redemption next week at the MPSRA Championships. The Novice girls 8 took on some big competition and placed 3rd over all, brining home a bronze medal, and representing the only HS among the club teams in the final.
The varsity girls started the day off with Sarah Perry and Kyle Robb taking on some more club teams in the pair. They placed 5th in their heat and did not advance but gained some valuable experience rowing in one of the toughest boats to race. The girl’s lightweight 8 has been holding off challenges from local rivals CRI all season and were able to confidently do it again this weekend, bringing home a gold medal and earning the weekend’s first bid to Youth Nationals. In the Girls light four, the crew advanced out of the heat and placed 5th over all while the girl’s 2nd 4 placed 4th in their heat just missing a spot in the final. Finishing off the entries for the varsity girls were “A” and “B” entries in the youth four category. The B four advanced to the semi final, where they placed 5th and the A entry advanced to the grand final where the placed 6th overall out of a large field of 20 boats.
For the boys, the light 4 worked its way up from behind in it’s final. With about 250 meters left to the race the boat went from a bow length behind Saugatuck Rowing Club to nearly a boat length ahead by the finish. The effort pushed them from 4th place to 3rd, giving the team its second bid to Nationals. The boy’s light 8 fought it’s way through a very tough heat and placed 4th over all in the final falling just short of a Nationals spot.
The rest of the boy’s boat were rounded out by entries in the fours and eights categories. The boy’s four placed 4th in their heat after a strong start but did not advance. And in the eight, when injuries caused last minute line-up changes, Ankit Maewall took one for the team and rowed the race on his opposite side to fill in the empty seat. The crew came in 5th in their heat but was not far off the pack.