May 24, 2023 By Holly Moriarty
The Hingham High School Crew team dominated at the Hanover Invite this past weekend in New Hampshire against Hanover High School and Tabor Academy. Five HHS boats took first place—the girls second and fourth varsity crews and the boys first, third, and fourth varsity boats. An additional five Hingham crews placed second in their races.
Hingham faced a challenging week of practice before the regatta, with low tides, strong winds, athlete injuries, and new lineups. Many boats practiced early morning and late evenings on the water and on the ergs.
“Our team has been working so hard all season and it paid off this weekend,” said Sydney Blasetti, head coach of the girls HHS Crew team. “The beauty of our sport is that you have nine people in a boat that become one. These athletes out of necessity become selfless for the betterment of the team as a whole, but the rewards far outweigh any individual accolades. I am beyond proud.”
The crews competed in 1,400 meter upstream races on the Connecticut River with favorable conditions, temperate weather and mild tailwinds and crosswinds.
HHS Crew started the day with three first place finishes—the first one very close. The Hingham girls fourth varsity crew inched out Hanover by half a second. Tabor followed 44 seconds behind. Rowing for the girls 4V were Grace Ji, Shauna Arseneau, Taylor Sargent, Grace LaFond, Lauren Newth, Aubrey Fairfield, Anne Kryiss, Jordan Peterson, and coxswain Ella Poggenburg.
The HHS boys third varsity boat was up next and won their race handily with open water, 23 seconds ahead of Tabor and 36 seconds ahead of Hanover.
“With a quick, clean start they jumped out with an early lead and continued to push the whole race,” said Alix Howie, head coach of the boys HHS Crew team. “They remained calm while the competition made a move in the middle of the race and countered with their own, walking away and winning the race by more than two boat lengths.”
Torbjorn Tennebø coxed 3V rowers Owen Franklin, Alex Hart, Will Cassidy, Joe Cassidy, Will Barry, Trevor Steiner, James Donnelly, and Cullen Moriarty.
“I’m extremely proud of the team after such a difficult week due to unfavorable tides,” said senior Alex Hart. “As a boat, everything clicked and it gave us a huge boost to pull ahead of Tabor and Hanover in the early stages of the race. It was a very important race for the boat as our first place finish solidified the team’s qualification into NEIRAs. We’re all feeling very confident going into the final week of the season.”
The HHS girls second varsity boat added another first place finish to the tally, half a boat length ahead of Hanover and two boat lengths ahead of Tabor (five and 19 seconds respectively). The girls 2V included rowers Louisa Orth, Dania Thayer, Grace Desai, Isabelle Wagner, Ava Sugrue, Nina Murphy, Sadie Neidecker, Lydia D’Arcy, and coxswain Alexa Fox.
“I could really feel the energy, excitement, and confidence in the boat in a new kind of way. I’m so proud of how everyone’s races went and it felt like such a positive turning point in our season. It also was a great boost for this week getting ready for NEIRAs and MPSRAs, and I can’t wait!” said Sadie Neidecker, captain and senior on the team.
In the boys second varsity race, an official miscalled the boat alignment, starting the race before the Hingham boat was set. Hingham’s 2V responded quickly and pulled off an extremely tight finish, ultimately taking second place just half a boat length behind Hanover and one second ahead of Tabor.
Alex Jacob coxed 2V rowers Slater Fairfield, Jack Burns, Nick Germain, James Barry, Colin Menuchi, A.J. Rubel, Michael Magner, and Arlo Maxwell.
“Even though our boat’s start didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked, we came back together and ended up having a great race overall,” said Jack Burns, junior on the boys team. “The Hanover boathouse is in such a beautiful spot and being able to row there is an amazing experience.”
To qualify for the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) Championship Regatta next weekend, the girls first varsity boat needed to beat Tabor—and they did, by a second and half. They crossed the finish line a boat length behind Hanover to take second place.
“I am incredibly proud of my teammates and their determination this weekend. We wanted this one and put the work in to get it,” said Maddie McPhillips, senior on the team.
Maddie coxed 1V rowers Sophie Kerr, Maisie Knies, Maeve Schnorr, Elena Vasilakos, Marissa Matthews, Jane Betti, Sophia Santarelli, and Lynnayah Ryan.
“I honestly have never felt that kind of heart in any boat I’ve been in before,” said junior Sophie Kerr. “During the whole race you could tell every single one of us wanted it so badly, and we took it for ourselves. I’m so proud of how far our boat has come, but also know there’s always more work to do.”
The boys first varsity boat prevailed in another battle of a race, crossing the finish line two seconds ahead of Hanover and four seconds ahead of Tabor.
“With a quick, high start the 1V jumped a seat up on both Hanover and Tabor. Even though they remained ahead the whole race, the other crews never let up, and it was a dogfight all the way to the finish,” said Coach Howie.
The boys 1V boat included rowers Gabe Wagner, Sam Ackerman, Owen Burleigh, Will D’Arcy, James Feeley, Alex Doggett, Josh Bradshaw, Dylan Drew, and coxswain Michael Wegener.
“I was excited to race with our 1V for the first time on Sunday and wasn’t disappointed,” said Alex Doggett, junior on the team.
“We took a small lead at the start, and everyone gave their all for us to hold it through the finish. The whole experience was exhausting, but rewarding. We are all hopeful and excited going into next weekend’s state championships.”
Michael Wegener, senior and 1V coxswain added, “It was really not the outcome I expected. On the way up to the race everyone seemed tired, and our normal energy was not present. Although once we lined up and the announcer said ‘go,’ everyone’s energy level boosted from 0-100. At that point, all of us knew we were not letting off the throttle and we just had to go.”
The girls third varsity boat followed up with a second place finish, 13 seconds behind Hanover, and 9 seconds ahead of Tabor. Nora Pluto coxed rowers Ava Green, Mazie Neidecker, Ellie Dodd, Thea Migliaccio, Bridget Sandler, Maddie Owens, Madeline Kittinger, and Abrielle Beaudoin.
“When rowing with these teammates, I can feel how we are committed to the race from start to finish. The trust that we have in each other motivates us to get to the end,” said Ellie Dodd, senior and captain on the girls team.
The girls fifth varsity boat also placed second, just three seconds behind Hanover and six seconds ahead of a second Hanover boat. The 5V crew included rowers Grace Ji, Julia Lopes, Anne Kryiss, Genevieve Vale, Lauren Newth, Aubrey Fairfield, Dillon Turner, Shauna Arseneau, and coxswain Emily Gu.
The boys fourth varsity and novice crews competed in the same race taking first and second respectively, half a boat length apart. Tabor crossed the finish nine seconds later and Hanover six seconds behind Tabor.
“The 4V came down in the last race looking strong and long, handily beating the other varsity boats in the race,” said Coach Howie.
HHS’s boys 4V included rowers Brendan Engel, Finn Bias, Ryan Kost, Kai Hawes, Ethan Parnell, Asher Baynes, Owen Weinstein, Kyle Strauss, and coxswain Jack Levy.
Abi Kornet, novice coach for the boys HHS Crew team said, “Once again, the novice proved they are committed and determined to take every opportunity to get faster. After the previous race, we knew we needed to work on the sprint—and they made it happen Saturday; they got after it and held firm at a high rate, ultimately beating two varsity crews by open water. I am beyond proud of them.”
Tyler Bastia coxed rowers Will Whitrap, Owen Lefort, Hanley Stroka, Walker Bogen, Lachlan Knies, Brian Magner, Liam Connolly, and Brent Strauss in the HHS boys novice boat.
“Every boat launched with the normal mix of nervous anxious energy. But with each race, even just watching through binoculars, I could see a new intensity and determination. We’re excited to take that intensity through this week of practice and into NEIRAs and MPSRAs next weekend,” said Coach Howie.
HHS Crew will cap off the season with back-to-back regattas on Saturday and Sunday—NEIRAs and the Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association (MPSRA) Spring Championship.
“This weekend I really felt our boat and the entire team unite with one another,” said Grace Desai, senior and captain on the girls team. “It’s an unparalleled feeling to get off the water with confidence and pride in the piece you just completed. You can tell that all of us are pulling for each other, and I’m pumped for what this means for our team going into an important racing schedule at the end of this week.”
3 thoughts on “Five HHS Crew Boats Place First at Hanover Invite”
Informative report on the Hingham crew race on the Connecticut River. The teams sure do have HEART. Hingham should be very proud of these young men and women. They put dedicated time and effort into this beautiful sport. Bravo!
Very well written. Pictures of each boat to go with a recap of every race, commentary from coaches or athletes and the names of each rower. Lots detail so every parent and rower have something personal to relate to.
I have never written a comment before so this is not a duplicate