Marietta High crew had two boats that were silver best on the water at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association Regatta at Dillon Park Reservoir.
Now, the Tiger Navy's boys junior 4 and girls varsity lightweight 8 are hoping for a gold outing at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. Friday and Saturday.
"I am very excited for nationals," said MHS boys coach Tanner O'Connor, whose Tiger Navy's departure for the east coast will be today. "Sending a boat to nationals is always the goal set at the beginning of the year and it is really exciting watching these kids achieve their goals, especially a goal that is so difficult to achieve."
The Marietta Tiger Navy girls’ lightweight eight boat poses after claiming the silver medal at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association Regatta at Dillon Park Reservoir. They will be advancing to the SRAA (nationals) at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., Friday and Saturday. The MHS girls shell includes Barrett Hupp (bow), Avery Wisenbarger (2 seat), Dava Clark (3 seat), Courtney Clark (4 seat), Emma Stubbe (5 seat), Erin Mahaffey (6 seat), Olivia Wesel (7 seat), Charleston recruit Hailey Carman (8 seat), and Jasmine Metcalf (cox). Leah Martin and Mariah Bloomingdale will be the alternates.
The Marietta boys have not qualified a crew to nationals since 2010, and the boys and girls together in the same year have not competed in the main event since 2005, O'Connor believed.
"These kids bust themselves all year long to stay in shape," O'Connor continued. "Clearly all of that work is paying off.
"I think the most exciting part for me about this whole experience is seeing how much these kids want to win. They are an ultra competitive group and that is going to make them hard to beat in Princeton."
The Princeton National Rowing Association will be hosting the 2014 Regatta with all the racing action taking place on the marina side of Mercer Lake.
The Tiger Navy boys junior 4 shell will be featuring Chrissy Billingsley (coxswain), Matthew Blauser (bow), Erik Derkies (2 seat), Lucas Danford (3 seat), and Connor Bargeloh (stroke).
The alternates will be Jonathan Mahaffey and Jacob Mahaffey.
At Midwest, this MHS crew was runner-up to Orchard Lake St. Mary's of Michigan.
"We have been working tirelessly (in practice) to try and make up some ground," said O'Connor, whose boys 4 finished three seconds out of first place at the Dillon Park Reservoir.
The Joe Tewkesbury-coached girls boat was also narrowly nipped at the finish by New Trier of Chicago.
At nationals, the Marietta girls varsity lightweight 8 will include Barrett Hupp (bow), Avery Wisenbarger (2 seat), Dava Clark (3 seat), Courtney Clark (4 seat), Emma Stubbe (5 seat), Erin Mahaffey (6 seat), Olivia Wesel (7 seat), Charleston recruit Hailey Carman (8 seat), and Jasmine Metcalf (cox).
Leah Martin and Mariah Bloomingdale will be the alternates.
"There has been a lot of attention on rowing in Marietta for the last few months as we celebrate our 50th anniversary," O'Connor said.
"Being able to take two crews to nationals and represent this community on our 50th anniversary is something none of these kids will ever forget."