Crew takes second at Sculling States

Tegan Smith

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Leading up to the FSRA State Sculling Championship, the men’s lightweight quad did a lot to prepare. They each worked on individualized training before beginning to row together in the same boat. For three hours a day almost every day, the group trained together in order to place in States and move on to Nationals. To prepare, they practiced on the channel in order to build strategies for the races, focusing on conserving energy for the final 250-meter sprint.

However, they placed second out of all of the other schools and fourth out of both schools and rowing clubs. They were runner-up to Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, who was one of their biggest competitors leading up to States. “[I was] disappointed, but I knew we gave it our all and I’m proud of our boat,” said senior Alex Wang.

The members of the quad haven’t always been in the same boat, but they each have some experience rowing with each other. Senior Max Hernandez has been rowing with Wang and senior Brandon Mahoney all four years he has been on the team.

“They are one of the closest group of friends I have. I wouldn’t say we know everything about each other, but we know a lot,” Hernandez said.

The men’s lightweight quad will not be rowing together at their next meet, Sweepstates, in Sarasota on Saturday, April 25.

The three seniors in the boat chose to prioritize and focus on studying, which deprives them from the opportunity of competing together in states. Andy Whittaker is the only junior in the boat, but still has another year in crew and rows in a double with sophomore Jacob Kirchheimer.

The women’s lightweight double finished second scholastically and 10th. Had they rowed in the junior category, which the team’s other women’s double raced in, they would be going to Nationals with a first-place trophy. However, junior Gillian Boyce and sophomore Caroline Suddath were placed in the lightweight category, so they will not be going to Nationals.
“I’m only a sophomore, so I still have time to make it to Nationals,” Suddath said. “I’m just really happy that I got to be in that boat.”

At Sweepstates, Suddath will be racing in a quad with freshman Madison Forbis, Boyce and sophomore Allie Snow. Heading into Sweepstates they are working to unify as a boat and improve their sprints in order to achieve their goal of qualifying and performing as best as they can.

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