Gold, Three Silvers, and Bronze for HHS Crew at MA State Championships

Gold for the HHS boys 3V boat, from L-to-R: Owen Franklin, Alex Hart, Will Cassidy, Joe Cassidy, Torbjorn Tennebø, Will Barry, A.J. Rubel, James Donnelly, Cullen Moriarty, and Coach Tyler O’Connell

June 2, 2023 By Holly Moriarty

The Hingham High School Crew team brought home a haul from the Massachusetts Public School Racing Association (MPSRA) Spring Championship Regatta last Sunday—gold for the boys third varsity boat, silver medals for the girls second and third varsity and boys first varsity crews, and bronze for novice boys.

The team competed on the Merrimack River in Lowell in 1,500 meter races, with time trials in the morning and finals in the afternoon. Athletes raced in calm conditions in the morning, with stronger tailwinds and currents in the afternoon, and sunshine throughout the day.

All Hingham boats qualified for finals. The boys third varsity boat won their trial by a solid five seconds, the boys second varsity pulled the second fastest time in their trial, and the girls second and boys first varsity boats placed third in their trials.

Boys novice raced first in the finals—and HHS earned bronze. Duxbury High School and Brookline Academy took gold and silver, and Hingham crossed three seconds later, beating out Wayland-Weston, Shrewsbury High School, and Boston Latin.

Hingham boys novice boat starts passing the competition to place third at MPSRAs

“The boys rowed one hell of a race,” said Abi Kornet, boys novice coach for HHS Crew. “A rough start put them at the back of the pack, but they didn’t let that faze them. Instead they really turned it on and went for it, upping the rate halfway through, walking on several boats, and not letting up until they crossed the finish line—medaling by half a second. They couldn’t stop smiling and talking about the race afterwards. And that’s what it’s all about: pushing yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of and basking in its rewards. An awesome way to wrap up the year. I’m so happy for them.”

The Hingham boys novice boat included Will Whitrap, Aqueel Bharmal, Hanley Stroka, Walker Bogen, Lachlan Knies, Brian Magner, Liam Connolly, Owen Lefort, and coxswain Tyler Bastia.

HHS boys novice crew wins bronze at MPSRAs, from L-to-R: Coach Abi Kornet, Aqueel Bharmal, Lachlan Knies, Hanley Stroka, Walker Bogen, Tyler Bastia, Will Whitrap, Brian Magner, Liam Connolly, and Owen Lefort

HHS’s boys third varsity boat won their race by a commanding seven seconds, surpassing their time trial and beating out Duxbury, Brookline, Bromfield Acton-Boxborough, Wayland-Weston, and Boston Latin.

“This boat has been incredible the last few weeks,” said Alix Howie, head coach of the boys HHS Crew team. “They’ve been focused and determined to crush every race. Despite a tough NEIRA race the day before, where they missed the Grand Final by 0.2 seconds, they came out ready to jump Sunday morning for MPSRA. They flew through their time trial, claiming the sought-after middle lane for finals. They led the A Final right off the start, jumped ahead and walking away the whole race. They were clean and calm and absolutely dominated.”

The boys third varsity boat included coxswain Torbjorn Tennebø and rowers Owen Franklin, Alex Hart, Will Cassidy, Joe Cassidy, Will Barry, A.J. Rubel, James Donnelly, and Cullen Moriarty.

HHS boys 3V crew takes the lead to win gold at MPSRAs

“This past race will be one of my most memorable moments in high school,” said A.J. Rubel, senior in the 3V boat. “That was the first time I ever won gold at the MPSRA Regatta, and it felt good to finally win it on my very last race.”

Cullen Moriarty, junior in the 3V added, “Finishing that race, seeing we were the first to pass the finish line, and knowing we were now state champs was an indescribable feeling. After the race, our whole boat was ecstatic, shouting and hugging each other. The season could not have ended in a better way.”

The HHS boys fourth varsity crew competed in the third varsity time trials in the morning, and while they didn’t qualify for the A Final, they placed first in the B Final.

“Although encountering a bit of a rocky time trial start, this boat remained determined and came back together in the afternoon, reenergized for their final. They emerged refocused and strong, handily beating the competition and claiming first in the B Final. They fought all year to get water time and get in races, and to see them marching down the final course in first was amazing,” said Coach Howie.

Hingham boys 4V wins first place in the B Final

Jack Levy coxed rowers Brendan Engel, Asher Baynes, Ryan Kost, Finn Bias, Ethan Parnell, Trevor Steiner, Owen Weinstein, and Kyle Strauss in the 4V.

“My boat specifically had a rough time trial in the morning, but we got it back and killed it in the afternoon. I’m so proud of all of the boys in that boat, and we all earned that win over Shrewsbury,” said junior Ryan Kost.

The HHS girls third varsity crew kept the streak going, taking silver in the next race. They crossed the finish line half a boat length behind Boston Latin, one second ahead of Duxbury, and 10 seconds before Hingham’s fourth varsity boat.

“I had such a great time this season,” said Thea Migliaccio, freshman in the 3V crew. “I was brand new this spring, and everyone was so welcoming and kind. This season was so much fun and we all worked so hard. I was lucky to experience my first NEIRAs and MPSRAs with the best girls. This sport is unlike anything I’ve done before, and I am excited to continue to row throughout high school.”

HHS girls 3V boat racing into second place finish (photo courtesy of Jack Burns)

The HHS girls 3V crew included Ava Green, Mazie Neidecker, Ellie Dodd, Thea Migliaccio, Bridget Sandler, Genevieve Vale, Madeline Kittinger, Madelaine Owens, and coxswain Nora Pluto.

“We worked super hard this season. We all had a good time and are ecxited for the fall season to come,” said Anne Kryiss, freshman in the 4V.

Silver for the girls 3V boat, from L-to-R: Madelaine Owens, Madeline Kittinger, Genevieve Vale, Bridget Sandler, Thea Migliaccio Ellie Dodd, Mazie Neidecker, Ava Green, and Nora Pluto

In the girls 4V boat, Ella Poggenburg coxed Grace Ji, Shauna Arseneau, Taylor Sargent, Grace LaFond, Anne Kryiss, Aubrey Fairfield, Dillon Turner, and Abrielle Beaudoin.

HHS girls 3V and 4V boats racing on the Merrimack River

The boys second varsity crew placed second in the time trials and missed out on bronze in the final by just half a boat length behind Wayland-Weston. Brookline and Duxbury took first and second respectively, while Boston Latin and Shrewsbury placed fifth and sixth.

“I can say with confidence that it was a rough weekend for 2V,” said Nick Germain, senior captain on the 2V boat. “NEIRAs was a very hard race, and we weren’t able to swing a win against the private schools. Trying to bounce back, we went to MPSRAs and did very well in the qualifying race in the morning. That made us feel very confident, and we went into our final race that way. Unfortunately, we missed out on a medal and came in fourth place. That result was an upsetting way to wrap up senior year. It felt like all this time I’d spent since freshman year, 12 seasons later, was a waste. It felt like despite the early mornings and grueling erg workouts, I lost. Although that sounds a little dramatic, that’s just how it felt. As I had more time to think, I realized that I most definitely hadn’t wasted my time at all. Although I didn’t make it out with a medal, I had the opportunity to fight for that goal with the guys in my boat.”

Hingham boys 2V crew in tight competition at MPSRAs

Nick continued, “We all did our best to get a win, and I’d never want to redo that, never. I owe them all a debt of gratitude, especially the sophomores and juniors who fought for the seniors, knowing it was our last race. Arlo, Jack, Alex, and James all deserve credit. I’m also so appreciative of the seniors who are in the same spot as me. Alex led us as a coxswain, always fighting for us when we needed it. And the other seniors, Mike, Colin, and Nathan, fought the hardest they could until the end. Although we didn’t get the win we wanted, we put ourselves on the line for it, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’ll always be grateful for the privilege of being a captain, fellow rower, and a friend to these amazing people.”

The boys 2V crew included rowers Jack Burns, Arlo Maxwell, Nick Germain, Alex Doggett, Nathan Tesler, James Barry, Colin Menuchi, Michael Magner, and coxswain Alex Jacob.

The girls second varsity boat added silver to Hingham’s medal count, crossing the finish line half a boat length behind Duxbury and beating out Wayland-Weston by less than a second. Boston Latin and Bromfield Acton-Boxborough took fourth and fifth.

HHS girls 2V boat sprinting for the finish line to place second (photo courtesy of Jack Burns)

Alexa Fox coxed 2V rowers Louisa Orth, Dania Thayer, Grace Desai, Isabelle Wagner, Ava Sugrue, Nina Murphy, Sadie Neidecker, and Lydia D’Arcy.

Louisa Orth, freshman on the 2V boat reflected, “Crew is so important and special to me. I can’t begin to express how much I love the sport. It has really changed my life. The team bonding, fun practices, and the amazing feeling of finishing a race that felt incredible is something unlike I had ever experienced before. I will never forget the feeling of crossing the finish line.”

Silver medals for the HHS girls 2V boat, from L-to-R: Coach Sydney Blasetti, Lydia D’Arcy, Sadie Neidecker, Nina Murphy, Ava Sugrue, Isabelle Wagner, Grace Desai, Dania Thayer, Louisa Orth, Alexa Fox, and Coach Pat Houle

The boys first varsity boat had a come from behind finish to bring home another silver medal for Hingham. They were trailing in fifth place halfway into race, then steadily began passing other boats, sprinting in the last few hundred meters to cross the finish less than a second ahead of Brookline and just four seconds after Wayland-Weston. Duxbury, Shrewsbury, and Boston Latin took fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

“We worked so hard in the off season to be a successful team, and being able to go out and leave everything on the water to get second place felt amazing,” said senior captain Gabe Wagner. “For me and the other seniors, the race on Sunday was a good ending to our high school rowing careers. With all the 5 a.m. practices, winter ergs, and post-practice Chipotle runs, this year’s 1V really showed me what a team can accomplish when everyone shares the same drive and passion. Although my personal rowing career is not over, I will most certainly miss all the guys on this team.”

HHS boys 1V boat about passing the competition to take second place (photo courtesy of Jack Burns)

Michael Wegener coxed 1V rowers Gabe Wagner, Sam Ackerman, Owen Burleigh, Will D’Arcy, James Feeley, Slater Fairfield, Josh Bradshaw, and Dylan Drew.

“Going in to it, we all knew it was our last race with our seniors. Everyone gave it everything they had, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way. Although it was bittersweet, it was the perfect way to end this season,” said junior Dylan Drew.

Silver for HHS boys 1V crew, from L-to-R: Coach Alix Howie, Michael Wegener, Michael Wagner, Sam Ackerman, Owen Burleigh, Will D’Arcy, James Feeley, Slater Fairfield, Theo Grossman, Josh Bradshaw, and Dylan Drew

The girls first varsity boat placed sixth behind Wayland-Weston, Boston Latin, Brookline, Bromfield Acton-Boxborough, and Duxbury, just one boat length out of medal contention. Rowing for the 1V were Sophie Kerr, Maisie Knies, Maeve Schnorr, Elena Vasilakos, Marissa Matthews, Jane Betti, Sophia Santarelli, Lynnayah Ryan, and coxswain Maddie McPhillips.

“Even though we didn’t end up placing where we wanted to, we had a great season, awesome races, and we gave it our all. I’m super proud of my boat and excited to crush it in the fall,” said junior Maisie Knies.

The boys 1V crew cheers on 1V HHS girls at the MPSRA Regatta (photo courtesy of Jack Burns)

The girls and boys first, second, and third varsity boats competed in the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) Regatta the day before on Lake Quinsagamond in Worcester. The six boats raced in heats in the morning, followed by finals in the afternoon. The girls 2V and boys 1V each took fourth in the petite finals.

“I am beyond proud of these athletes and all of the hard work they have put in this season,” said Sydney Blasetti, head coach of the girls HHS Crew team. “The regattas we had this Memorial Day weekend really portrayed the potential of our program along with the strength, determination, and camaraderie of our athletes. After such a successful season, I’m excited to see what’s to come.”

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