Camden, NJ - The Rockland Rowing youth team competed in its second race of the spring schedule on Sunday when it competed at the Cooper Cup Regatta hosted by the South Jersey Rowing Club. Senior Alexander Arcasoy (Northern Highlands/Northeastern) won a bronze medal in the varsity boys singles event. "It was a tough day in terms of rowing small boats in the chop but we overcame it. The varsity crews were able to identify things from the last race that we wanted to improve on for this one, and all of our novices learned about competing since this was only their first or second race ever," said head coach Melissa Boyd.
The varsity girls double posted fourth in their heat with a time of 9:10.05. The boat was made up of Frankie Fradianni (Nyack/UNC) and Ariel Deljanin (N Valley Regional 2018). "All the technique work we did at practice last week definitely paid off," said Ariel. "The girls were able to close the gap on teams they raced at Mercer by rowing better and improve their overall standings. This was a step in the right direction for them," said Boyd.
In the varsity girls single, Juliette Frank (Ramapo/UCLA) advanced to the final where she finished sixth with a time of 11:22.64. "It was great to see Juliette row more aggressively and find a better racing rhythm in the single which is still relatively new to her," said Boyd. Julia Nelson (Tappan Zee/Lehigh) also raced in the same event and finished fourth in the heat with a time of 10:48.30.
In the varsity boys single, Alexander Arcasoy edged out Haddon Twp by one second to advance to the final where he won bronze with a time of 9:30.38. "It went as well as I could have hoped. I'm very happy with my results," stated Alex. At Mercer Sprints Alex narrowly missed advancing to the final. "Alex went into this race with the mentality that he could be more gutsy and dig deeper than last time. He treated this race with championship caliber effort," said Boyd.
The varsity girls lightweight double of novice rowers Gabriele Welp (IHA 2019) and Vanessa Even-Chen (Ramapo 2019) advanced to the final despite catching a boat stopping crab in the heat and went on to show their tenacity by finishing fourth overall despite a missed cue to start. "We felt strong in our races and even though we faced some setbacks, we weren’t willing to accept defeat," said Gabriele. Stroke seat Vanessa said, "Cooper was a great learning experience, that you can always row faster than you think you can, and that the race isn't over until you cross the finish line regardless of any setbacks you face in the middle."
The varsity boys lightweight double of Dilan Lakhani (Clarkstown 2018) and Alex Bondorowksy (Northern Highlands 2019) finished fifth in their heat with a time of 9:24.65. "The boys had a disappointing result and allowed the conditions to affect their rowing. Hopefully this experience is going to make them hungrier to keep their composure next time around," said Boyd.
The boys novice quad finished third in their flight with a time of 9:28.27. The lineup included two rowers new to the water this season and comprised Aidan Bohan (Briarcliff/RIT), Anthony Rostek (Tappan Zee 2020), Kevin McCabe (N Valley Demarest 2020), and Billy Grippi (Tappan Zee 2020). Billy recapped his experience at the regatta, "I enjoyed this . . . It was great to see so many people that were interested in rowing. Even though it was competitive everyone was friendly and helpful towards one another. It was also a good time as to we were able to hang out and bond more as a team. We did much better than I expected and I hope to improve even more than I have so far this season."
The girls novice 4x finished fifth in their flight with a time of 10:16.05. Three of the four rowers began rowing on the water last month. The lineup was Leyla Arcasoy (IHA 2020), Isabel Wecht (Nyack 2018), Emilie Mazzola (Briarcliff 2018), and Lucinda Carroll (Nyack 2019). Lucinda described the experience as "extremely fun" and she "felt an incredible sense of camaraderie."
Kate Bushell (Pascack Hills 2018) and Celia Bernhardt (Nyack 2018) raced in the girls novice 2x and finished fourth in their flight with a time of 13:26.45. Celia described what it was like to row with Kate, "Working together made the two of us more powerful - we pushed each other to be stronger and were able to support each other throughout the process."
The girls JV 2x of Lucy Jackson (Nyack 2018) and Michaela Davidson (Clarkstown 2019) finished fourth in their flight with time of 10:41.40. "I enjoyed yesterday's race and I definitely think that Lucy and I work well together," said Michaela. "I know we can pull harder next time in order to catch up to the other boats." This was their first time racing a double together.
The boys JV 2x finished fifth in their flight with a time of 11.57.19. Alex Karanikitas (N Valley Regional 2019) shared his experience racing with partner Matthew Davidson (Clarkstown 2019), "The race itself was an exhilarating one. Matt and I communicated almost perfectly when racing. It showed how good of a team people could be together."
"Thanks to South Jersey Rowing Club for hosting," said Boyd. "Today's racing was a good tune up for what to expect when we get to our regional championships. If we can keep the focus and continue taking little steps forward I think we will race well at the regional championships."
Rockland's third and final race of the spring season is the Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships on May 13-14.