by MARGOT COCHRAN
The Montclair High School boys varsity eight remain undefeated as they crushed the competition last Saturday and Sunday at the USRowing Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships on Mercer Lake in Mercer County Park, West Windsor, on May 12 and 13.
Winning their qualifying race on Saturday with a comfortable eight-second lead over second place Lawrenceville, Henry Vecchione, Kenny Coplan, Owen King, Paul Mihalis, Alex Abuhoff, Max Pursche, Djoume Traore and George Vrotsos-Rogers, with cox Julianna Langhorn, took an early lead in the final on Sunday and crossed the finish line, 1500 meters later, with a 10 second lead over Gonzaga.
The Mountie boat is the defending Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) Nationals Champions from last year. Winning this Mid-Atlantic Championship qualifies them to compete in the USRowing Youth Nationals on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, CA, June 8 to 10.
“We proved we were the best of the high school teams,” said head coach Jeremy Michalitsianos. “But in California they will compete against not only the best high school teams and the best club teams in the nation. The club teams out west, as in Florida, can train all year around and each club can pull the best rowers from a very large area, not restricted by town residency. It will be tough, but we are very excited to see how our skills measure up out West on a 2000-meter course before we head over to the Henley.”
July 4 to 8, the boys varsity eight will return to the Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames in England for a second year.
Before these boys and their cox, Julianna Langhorn, head to Sacramento, they will join with the rest of their Montclair teammates for the Stotesbury Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia this weekend, May 18 and 19. The Stotesbury Cup Regatta is the largest high school regatta in the world and has always been the capstone of the Mountie season.
Following Stotesbury, the boats that qualified will compete in this year’s SRAA National Championships on the Cooper River in Camden, on May 25 and 26.