November 2, 2022 By Holly Moriarty
The Hingham High School Crew team came away with two gold, three silver, and one bronze medal at the Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association’s (MPSRA) Fall Championship Regatta last Sunday. The MPSRA brings together public schools from across Massachusetts to compete, making it one of the biggest races for Hingham Crew. Six of HHS’s 10 boats medaled.
“It has truly been a great season,” said Alix Howie, head boys coach for Hingham Crew. “Head racing can be quite onerous—you’re not next to other boats, but rather in tandem, racing against the clock. These races are often about internal boat motivation. Remaining steadfast throughout the whole of 5,000 meters is a difficult skill to master. This team really came together in spite of these challenges.”
The regatta took place on the Merrimack River in Lowell on a sunny day that hit the low 60s, with limited wind and flat water, ideal conditions for rowing.
The boys first novice boat started the day for HHS Crew. Soon after the race began, the wheel of three-seat came off and the steering cable broke. Coxswain Hanley Stroka reached through the porthole behind him and used the rudder yoke to manually steer the boat for the rest of the race. Incredibly, the crew took fourth place out of seven boats, missing bronze by only five seconds.
“The boys demonstrated resilience and some serious grit as they were determined to row a great race in spite of equipment failure,” said Abi Kornet, boys novice coach for Hingham Crew. “That’s medal-material in my mind; that kind of hunger for a finish line is part of what makes a great team.”
Hanley coxed rowers Zakary Robbins, Liam Connolly, Brent Strauss, Owen Lefort, Walker Bogen, Asher Baynes, Lachlan Knies, and William Barry.
The HHS boys second novice boat followed up with bronze medal for rowers Ned Buckley, Owen Cerrato, Nicolas Mangili, Aqueel Bharmal, Caio DaSilva, Jack O’Leary, Oliver McLucas, Will Whitrap, and coxswain Tyler Bastia.
“This was the first race for many of them and the best row they’ve had yet—I’m so proud of them,” said Coach Kornet.
The girls novice crew was up next and beat out six other boats to earn gold for Hingham. Nora Pluto coxed rowers Lydia D’Arcy, Grace Ji, Abrielle Beaudoin, Ava Sugrue, Isabelle Wagner, Sophia Santarelli, Lynnayah Ryan, and Louisa Orth.
A streak of silvers followed for the boys first, second, and third varsity boats. In each of these races, Friends of Brookline took first and Duxbury High School third. The HHS first varsity boat faced a crowded start chute and were forced to come to a full stop by a race official and then jump back up to race pace right at the starting line. The crew took back meters the entire race to finish only five seconds after Brookline and 13 seconds ahead of Duxbury.
The boys first varsity boat included Josh Bradshaw, Dylan Drew, Michael Magner, Theo Grossman, Owen Burleigh, William D’Arcy, Gabe Wagner, Sam Ackerman, and coxswain Michael Wegener.
Starting the race behind Duxbury and Brookline, the boys second varsity crew walked on both boats over the course of the race. This veteran crew of five seniors and four juniors has raced together for a few years now and synced up to cross the finish in second place.
Winning silver for the boys second varsity boat were rowers Cullen Moriarty, Colin Menuchi, A.J. Rubel, Nick Germain, Alex Doggett, Nathan Tesler, James Feeley, Jack Burns, and coxswain Alex Jacob.
“The most motivating thing before a race and the most rewarding thing after is rowing for your teammates,” said Nick Germain, senior captain on the team and rower in the second varsity boat. “This race was the last 5K for the seniors, so it felt great medaling for myself and the guys I’ve been rowing with for years.”
HHS’s boys third varsity crew was the last boat through the start line of their race. According to the athletes, they used the crews ahead of them as motivation and took back meters with each stroke. The boat was calm and powerful, maintaining a consistent stroke rate and solid set throughout the race.
The boys third varsity boat took silver with coxswain Quinn Gainey and rowers Kyle Strauss, James Donnelly, Trevor Steiner, Owen Franklin, Finn Bias, William Cassidy, Arlo Maxwell, and Slater Fairfield.
HHS’s boys fourth varsity boat started ahead and pulled away the entire race. A new lineup for the race, the crew had never raced together before. They came together quickly and beat out Friends of Brookline to take gold.
The boys fourth varsity boat included rowers Jake Robbins, Owen Weinstein, Jack Pilotte, Ethan Parnell, Sean Barry, Ryan Kost, Kai Hawes, Brendan Engel, and coxswain Torbjorn Tennebo.
“The team has pushed each other all season to be faster and get stronger. In tough weather or disappointing race conditions, their determination is unwavering. I am so proud of every single one of them,” said Coach Howie.
The HHS girls first varsity boat just missed medal contention—taking fourth out of eight boats—and included rowers Maisie Knies, Sadie Neidecker, Jane Betti, Marissa Matthews, Elena Vasilakos, Maeve Schnorr, Abigail Brown, Sophie Kerr, and coxswain Maddie McPhillips.
Missing bronze by 0.1 second, the girls second varsity boat took fourth place just behind Duxbury. Alexa Fox coxed rowers Mazie Neidecker, Ellie Dodd, Dania Thayer, Sasha Coleman, Julia Lopes, Ava Green, Genevieve Vale, and Grace Desai.
The girls third varsity boat took third place in a field of three boats and included rowers Mae Mahoney, Madeline Kittinger, Patricia Ricci, Taylor Sargent, Grace LaFond, Audrey Jones, Ella Poggenburg, Kaylee Araujo, and coxswain Greta Campbell.
“I am beyond proud of all of our athletes. All season long they have been putting in so many hours of hard work on and off the water. It’s amazing to watch them grow and succeed,” said Sydney Blasetti, girls head coach for Hingham Crew.
The HHS Crew team wraps up the fall season with the Frosty Bow Sprints this Sunday, November 9 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in Bare Cove Park. All are welcome to come watch the team take on Duxbury High School in this hometown regatta!