Montclair’s varsity eight proudly wears their gold medals after winning at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships. From left: Henry Vecchione, Kenny Coplan, Owen King, Paul Mihalis, cox Julianna Langhorn, Alex Abuhoff, Max Pursche, Djoume Traore, George Vrotsos-Rogers, and coach Jeremy Michalitsianos.

by Andrew Garda

Even when it’s not crew season, the Montclair High School program keeps winning. Head coach Jeremy Michalitsianos was just named Junior Coach of the Year in 2018’s USRowing Fan’s Choice Awards.

The award, voted on by the public, named Michalitsianos as the winner after tallying the votes on Wednesday, November 28. According to the USRowing website, “The USRowing Fan’s Choice Awards embody excellence in rowing by showcasing top performances over the current year. The seven winners were nominated and voted for based on their contributions to the sport and achievements on the water. This year, a record 42,153 votes were cast across the seven categories.”

The award puts a bow on what was another impressive season for Montclair High School rowing. The Mounties finished their second undefeated scholastic season, took bronze in the boys varsity eight during the 2018 USRowing Youth National Championships and went to the England to take part in the Henley Royal Regatta for the second year in a row.

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Founded in 1839, the Henley Royal Regatta was held from Wednesday, July 4, to Sunday, July 8, at Henley-On-Thames, England. This year saw the Mounties scramble due to injuries to a pair of rowers in a car accident, which required the team switch to the adult event as they had to use non-high school rowers to round out the team.

Despite the different competition, the Mounties beat the Upper Thames Rowing Club, and the London Rowing Club’s ‘B’ boat before taking on and defeating the Cork Boat Club. Hailing from Ireland, the Cork Boat Club was one of the top-seeded teams, but Montclair crossed the finish line three-quarters of a length ahead of Cork. Their time of 6:20 was the fastest time for the four teams remaining in the competition for the Thames Challenge Cup.

For more information, as well as an interview with Coach Michalitsianos, check out the print and digital copies of this week’s Montclair Local on Thursday.