By Kara Ward
After advancing a record 10 boats from the Virginia state championship to the Scholastic National Regatta, the Western Albemarle High School crew team rowed to six national titles. The 55-member Western Albemarle team of was one of 156 clubs from across the nation to qualify and compete in the regatta held May 24-25 in Dillion Lake, Ohio.
The second-fastest boats in the nation were awarded silver medals, earned by the women’s senior quad (Caroline Allison, Heather Deacon, Tori Sanborn, Clare O’Connell), the women’s lightweight quad (Casey Callinan, Madison Reisch, Noa Kipnis, Adelaide Bragaw) and the men’s junior quad (Lucas Farmer, Andrew Sime). Bronze medals were earned by the women’s lightweight double (Madelyn Abrahamson, Eva Massarelli), the men’s senior double (Val Burguener, Cove Haydock) and the men’s freshman quad (William Donovan, Jeremy Burke, Tate Kessler, Tilden English.)
Additionally the team had four other boats that finished in the top ten: the women’s junior quad (Lily Argenbright, Kate Landis, Mary Robertson, Mia Henderson), the women’s junior double (Ellie Ward, Claire Helgerson), and the men’s senior quad (Cooper Devito, Will Plummer, Tee Dickinson, CK Keller), and the women’s freshman quad (Ravenna Barber, Emma Sexton, Haley Lenox, Meghan Byrne). The women’s junior single (Sloan Strong) also placed in the top ten. Strong attends Staunton High School, which does not have a team, so she trains with the WAHS team and was entered as the only Staunton HS rower.
Head Coach Craig Redinger said, “The importance of this success cannot be underestimated. To be able to compete, place among the top two boats in each event against the best competition from across the nation, takes an enormous commitment of time, training, character and dedication that is nothing short of remarkable. Our athletes and coaching staff embody those values on and off the water and generate an atmosphere in which our rowers excel. We got to prove that to the nation by leaving as one of the most medaled sculling teams at the event.”
The team will take a break before resuming their fall season in August. If you are interested in learning more about the sport of rowing, the team will host its learn-to-row program July 15-26. Visit their website, wahscrew.org, for details.