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BAB Rowers Win Gold to Qualify for Nationals

BAB Girls Lightweight team places first in Lowell to qualify for Nationals.
BAB Girls Lightweight team places first in Lowell to qualify for Nationals.

Eleven athletes planning trip to California in June

By Allen Nitschelm

The Bromfield Acton-Boxborough (BAB) Rowing Club sent our varsity and two novice crews to race in this past weekend’s Junior National Qualifying regatta, held on the Merrimac River in Lowell. This regional event qualified two BAB crews and one individual sculler to go to the national competition next month in California.

“The placement (top 3) was the key to qualifying. Each of the three qualifying crews had significant performances,” said Head Coach Holly Hatton.

The BAB Girls 4+ Lightweight boat of Courtney Oka, Sylvia Sarnik, Anna Dawley, and Meghan Glade, with coxswain Amanda Sundheimer, came in first place in the finals in a time of 7:00 flat, two seconds ahead of second-place Saugatuck of Westport, CT. To enter, each member of the lightweight team must weigh 130 pounds or less. This same squad also won at last weekend’s Lowell Invitational rowing event.

“This was a highly contested race with fours crews vying for 3 spots. Our girls had an outstanding sprint which gave them just enough to win. At the end of last year's Nationals race, this crew knew they could have done more. They needed to train harder and come back even stronger. For the past year they have done the work. This is an exception crew both physically and technically,” said Coach Hatton.

The second qualifier from the Bromfield squad was the Boys 4+ Varsity boat which came in second in Lowell with a time of 6:18.4, just one second out of first place. The race was won by Community Rowing of Boston, one of the largest rowing organizations in New England. BAB Rowers were A.J. Higgins, Chuck Watt, Kyle Hayes, and Liam Mackin, with Coxswain Anya Plucinsky.

“Qualifying the boys' 4+ was not something that was done this weekend by five people. It was the work of the entire boys varsity squad over their years of rowing. This sport is about the process, not the result. I couldn't be more proud of what they've done,” said Boys’ Varsity Coach Pat Scott.

Finally, Molly Hart placed third in the finals for the 1x sculling competition, good enough for a berth at the nationals. Scullers use two oars while sweep rowers use one. “With only a handful of practices in the single, Molly took on the best in the New England sculling world and showed amazing poise in what seemed insurmountable odds. I was really impressed with her effort and her natural ability to move a single,” said Coach Hatton. 

The team also had strong showings in the Girls 2x, another sculling event. They placed sixth in the semi-finals with a time of 7:59. “Our entry in the 2x was comprised of two freshman, Ally Goldsher and Michelle Ginouves. The goal of their entry was for development. Placing in the top 12 overall was an exciting moment for this young crew,” said coach Hatton.

The 2014 US Rowing Youth National Championships presented by Rancho Cordova Travel and Tourism will be held Friday, June 13-Sunday, June 15, 2014, at Lake Natoma, nestled between Rancho Cordova and Folsom, Calif. The Sacramento State Aquatic Center will host this event for the first time.

Bromfield did not enter many races during this regional event, as novice boats are not eligible to qualify for the nationals. However, Bromfield did enter several novice teams for the experience, with all entrants advancing from the preliminary rounds on Saturday to the finals on Sunday.

The Novice 2 Boys 8+ placed 2nd in their finals with a time of 6:35. The Novice 1 Boys 8+ also made it into the semifinals but had equipment trouble in the final heat. “Our 1st Novice boys had some bad luck with a loose oar handle which really compromised their effort to get in to the finals, but they kept fighting to the very end,” said coach Hatton.

This weekend’s state championship will be held on the Merrimac River in Lowell on Sunday, May 25th, with the entire team scheduled to compete in the final meet of the spring season.


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