Golden Strokes

By Ron Johnston

The Marietta Times

MARIETTA – Marietta High’s rowers thrived on a cold day on the Muskingum River Saturday.

Make that a gold day for the host Tiger Navy as the orange and black boys and girls crew teams each won its respective division plus the all-points trophy at the annual Lindamood Cup Regatta.

“Overall, it was a really good day, winning all three trophies,” said MHS boys crew coach Tanner O’Connor.

“The Tiger Navy had a clean sweep and is walking out with all gold medals. It’s been a few years since we’ve done that.

“It was cold and windy, but we got all the races in and they were relatively on time. Everything was safe. No incidents.”

Added Marietta girls boss Joe Tewkesbury, “Everyone rows in the same weather. The lanes were fair. We moved the course down 125 meters to make it more fair and safer. And I think it worked out. It was easier to align. The crews had a little better target from the coxswain’s perspective. Even with a stronger current and quartering tail wind, the conditions weren’t ideal, but they were able to handle it.”

Parkersburg South finished second in a field of seven teams. Also on the water were Parkersburg High, Hilliard (Columbus), North Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Hampton (Pittsburgh) and Cardinal Wuerl (Pittsburgh). Two crews – Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh) and Shaker Heights (Cleveland) – withdrew from the competition.

“I thought we did very well,” said South girls skipper Justin Womack. “We were focused, which is good. I saw a lot of clean, good strokes on the water. We had good length and that’s always important. We definitely had a good drive. You could tell the effort was there and that’s a big thing.”

In Lindamood’s featured event, the varsity 8 race, the MHS girls won in a time of 4:37.06, avenging a setback to South in a triangular meet two weeks ago on the Muskingum waters. The Patriots were clocked in 4:45.81.

“South got us a couple of weeks ago,” Tewkesbury said. “We had a mishap in the boat, lost an oar part way down and that put us behind. Otherwise, I think it would’ve been close.

“Today, we were pushed. Anytime you have a contest with anybody, you’re going to get pushed. We hadn’t been rowing our best for a couple of days. But we put it together on race day and that’s what you have to do with any crew.”

Marietta’s winning varsity 8 boat included Madeline Hawkins (coxswain), Avery Wisenbarger (2 seat), Catherine Rauch (3 seat), Madison Whittle (4 seat), Emma Stubbe (5 seat), Marisa Smith (6 seat), Katie Kitchen (7 seat), Dava Clark (stroke) and Leah Martin (bow).

Tewkesbury said that overall his team’s “gotten better in the last week and hopes to continue to get better.”

“The varsity rowed really well today,” the MHS boys coach added. “I thought the novice 4 in their first race, they won it and they rowed a solid race. The double looked really good early. Our lightweights were in a junior 8 race and they won that one. The junior 8 rowed probably the best they’ve rowed all season.

“What can you say? When you win all the races you entered in, you can’t do any better than that. That’s what you hope to do on race day. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it makes you feel really good that you’re going in the right direction.”

The MHS ‘A’ boys varsity 8 also was first in the marquee event in a time of 4:08.40. South made it close in 4:08.87. Marietta’s V8 rowers were Patrick Elliott (coxswain), Jacob Mahaffey (2 seat), Wesley Ryder (3 seat), Hayden Carman (4 seat), Jacob Keaveney (5 seat), James VanDyk (6 seat), Malachi Vaughn (7 seat), Elijah (stroke) and Jonathan Mahaffey (bow).

“South gave us a good race in that one,” O’Connor said. “There was only a one-second margin between South and us. They picked up quite a bit of speed and closed that gap.”

Marietta is scheduled to compete at the Dillon Scholastic Sprints in Zanesville next Saturday.