West Windsor, NJ - Rockland Rowing youth rowers concluded their spring season Saturday at the regional championships hosted by PNRA. Due to an unusual May Nor'easter the racing format was adjusted from heats to time trials for the opening round. The rapidly deteriorating weather ended the racing before the conclusion of time trials and all finals were cancelled. "The weather was a key factor in our results today," said head coach Melissa Boyd, "however there were some bright spots for our team, specifically our upperclassman earned a bid to Youth Nationals, our younger rowers won a silver medal, and aside from the boys U17 4x which was cancelled everyone walked away with invaluable race experience."
Three seniors raced in the varsity singles event. Julia Nelson (Tappan Zee/Lehigh) and Juliette Frank (Ramapo/UCLA) competed in the girl's varsity single and finished 6th (9:41) and 7th (9:52) of 8 respectively. Julia will row at Lehigh this fall and recounted, "Mid-Atlantics felt like the strongest and best race this spring; it was a great way to finish the season." Juliette was recruited to UCLA this fall and concluded, "My last race as a high school senior was definitely not ideal. The weather was awful and it was not my best race, but I think it shows that regattas are unpredicable and you have to adapt and make the best of out it! It was a great run at Rockland Rowing as a high school student and I couldn't imagine rowing anywhere else!" Alexander Arcasoy (Northern Highlands/Northeastern) raced in the boy's varsity single and finished 10th of 15 in the time trial with a time of 8:29. Alex explained, "I felt as if I was cooled down before even starting and only felt on my A game after the first 1,000 meters." Alex will race on RRA's U23 team this summer before rowing at Northeastern in the fall.
The three varsity doubles all had last minute issues which required reworking the lineups. In the girl's varsity lightweight double, Gabriele Welp (IHA 2019) raced with Michaela Davidson (Clarkstown 2019) and they finished 5th of 6 with a time of 8:47; Lucy Jackson (Nyack 2018) raced with Vanessa Even-Chen (Ramapo 2019) in the girl's varsity double and they finished 12th of 14 with a time of 9:44; and in the boy's lightweight double, Dilan Lakhani (Clarkstown 2018) partnered with Ryan Almond (Clarkstown 2020) where they finished 10th, last in their time trial with a time of 8:36.
In the girl's varsity pair, Frankie Fradianni (Nyack/UNC) and Ariel Deljanin (N Valley Regional 2018) took third place with a time of 9:30. They finished 17" closer to the winning crew from Mountain Lakes from when they faced them last at Mercer Sprints and earned a bid to the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. "This duo improved all season long and I'm really proud of them," said Boyd. Frankie is a senior and was recruited to row at UNC. "Mid-Atlantics was a difficult race, we faced obstacles such as wind, rain, and cold. We put up a fight and I am so proud of us for qualifying for nationals. I have been rowing with RRA for almost six years now, so this race was bittersweet. I will miss all the memories and friends I have made, but I am prepared and excited to row in college. It has been a great experience rowing a pair this season," she concluded.
In the girl's U17 single, Michaela Davidson (Clarkstown 2019) had her second race of the day and narrowly missed a podium finish ending up fourth with a time of 11:33.82 behind Harvey's Lake (11:32.20).
In the girl's novice four with coxswain Emilie Mazzola (Briarcliff 2018) and rowers Lucy Jackson (Nyack 2018), Celia Bernhardt (Nyack 2018), Isabel Wecht (Nyack 2018), and Lucinda Carroll (Nyack 2019), the crew finished 9th out of 16 with a time of 9:58. This was the girls' first sweep race. "Having Emilie as our coxswain was beneficial . . . not only to give us commands but to provide us with that extra push of motivation for the last 500 meters," said bow seat Lucinda. "The resilience I felt with my boat though the rain and wind showed how committed our team really is."
In the girl's U17 double, Gabriele Welp (IHA 2019) and Vanessa Even-Chen (Ramapo 2019) were runner's up behind Whitemarsh, earning a silver medal with a time of 9:37. This was their highest finish all season. "I want to congratulate them for getting a medal. Their perseverance paid off and in their first season of rowing together they have already made a big impact on the team," said Boyd.
The boy's U17 4x time trial was cancelled for stroke seat Ryan Almond (Clarkstown 2020), who won gold in this event last year, and novice rowers Anthony Rostek (Tappan Zee 2020), Kevin McCabe (N Valley Demarest 2020), and Billy Grippi (Tappan Zee 2020). The crew made it as far as the starting line before being told all racing was canceled and to turn back. "The rain, wind, and cold temperature was awful and seeing people shivering everywhere made my 2nd regatta seem like a war zone," said Anthony. "However . . . in an outdoor water sport like rowing you have to be prepared for all types of weather."
“I am very proud of the positive attitude across the entire team. Today's racing demonstrated a lot of grit and with more time I'm sure we will see more strides,” said Boyd. "I want to thank all the parents for cheering for our athletes in the rain to day and for providing support for this program day in and day out this season," Boyd added. "We couldn't do it without you."
Next up is the USRowing Youth National Championships at Nathan-Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida June 9-11 for the girl's varsity pair.