by MARGOT COCHRAN
for Montclair Local
Montclair High School’s rowing team brought the heat to a very cold day, winning six of their 10 races at the 3rd Manny Flick on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River last Sunday, April 8.
With temperatures that never climbed out of the 40s, accompanied by a bone-chilling and sometimes very strong wind, the Montclair team had a great showing in their first regatta of the season.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had such a bizarrely cold and snowy start to a season,” said assistant coach Julian Canha. “It’s been tough to practice on the river where it’s even colder to prepare for this first regatta.”
At 9:30 a.m., the girls’ novice eight was first to race for Montclair. Setting the pace for the day, they were first to cross the finish line with greater than a boat’s length lead (9 second) over second place Mount Saint Joseph. Winning their first race in their first regatta were Orla Duffy, Amira Mutakabbir, Hailey Robinson, Meliz Kurtulus, Francesca Meyer, London Abreu, Kasey Evans Farkas, and Samantha Bloomstein, with their cox Ava Scandalios.
Montclair dominated the girls JV eight category with a 17 second lead over Holy Spirit in their heat and 13 seconds faster than the category’s second place boat from Mainland Regional High School. Pulling their boat to the win were juniors Roisin Cahill, Kimmy Troeller, Marley Pradieu, Maddie Barnett and Kathleen King, with sophomores Efi Mihalis, Isabella Hummel, Estee Goel and Cox Amelia Cataldi.
Seniors Emily Kaloudis and Kaya Adelman, junior Sydney Shulman and sophomore Davida Task, with sophomore Cox Aubrey Ashbrook, proved too powerful for the lightweight varsity girls four from Absegami High School. The Montclairions finish in 5:41.55 was enough to win their heat and the category.
Montclair’s fourth win of the day was taken by seniors Madeline Pitera, Beate Kaz and Isobel Wastler, with sophomore Kate Mihalis, and senior cox Chloe Rosenberg in the girls varsity four. Third place Holy Spirit High School from Absecon, NJ, and second place Lower Merion from Ardmore, PA, couldn’t catch Montclair’s finish in 5:25:030.
“I’m very pleased with the girls’ performance for their first regatta of the season,” said coach Lorna Rundle. “They’ve trained hard and proved it out on the river.”
Montclair’s freshman boys in the four hit the water at 1:55 in the afternoon with a 3.77 lead over Haddonfield Crew in second and The Haverford School in third for the category. Rowing a successful first race in their first regatta were Charles Abrahams, Conor Howland-Kruse, Lukas Williams, Gavin Gammon, and cox Ted Wilson who crossed the finish line in 5:25:03.
Having to wait until 5:50 PM, for the last race of the regatta did not diminish the energy or strength of Montclair’s boys varsity eight. Seniors Henry Vecchione, Kenny Coplan, Owen King, Paul Mihalis, Djoume Traore, George Rogers, with juniors Alex Abuhoff and Patrick Schroeder, coxed by senior Julianna Langhorn, ripped down the 1500 meter course in 4:14.46 with a definitive 13.31 second lead over DeMatha Catholic High in their heat. Their time was the fastest of the day and enough to beat the category’s second place finisher, St. Joseph’s Prep.
Also noteworthy was the second place finish in the boys freshman eight category by Ethan Coplan, Stephen Stamas, Ryan Phariss, Diego Goldfrank, Curtis DeSmith, Jack Miller, Ben Rose, and Valentin de la Pena, with cox Lance Gutin.
And, in the fastest heat of the girls freshman eight category, Montclair’s Amelia Snyder, Chelsea Obade, Masha May, Sophie King, Niamh Cahill, Lucy Mann, Sehaye Luks and Dede Troeller, with Cox Maeve Hannan, took third behind Mount Saint Joseph’s first and Merion Mercy Academy’s second-place finish.
“This is our first regatta of the season and our first opportunity to gauge how successful our winter training will be against the competition,” said head coach Jeremy Michalitsianos. “We’re proud of our team’s racing today against a strong, and cold, headwind. We all are looking forward to all regattas this season.”
The team will compete at the St. Andrews School Invitational Scrimmage this Saturday on Noxontown Pond in Middletown, Delaware, before returning to the Schuylkill again on Sunday for the 4th Manny Flick.