The Western Albemarle High School crew team capped its 2017 season with two silver medals at Nationals.  The girls’ senior quad, rowing the “Mama Pitts”, who dominated the Virginia State Championships, came in second four seconds behind the Stotesbury Cup winner which had edged them by five seconds the previous weekend.  The rivalry continued at Nationals and though leading for half the race, and though they were able to reduce the winning margin by one second, the senior quad could not quite catch their rivals from Conestoga.

In a very pleasant upset, the girls’ lightweight quad also brought home a silver medal.  With Noa Kipnis in bow, Paula Petersen and Caroline Allison providing the power in the middle two seats and Delaney Crotteau stroking a boat that the girls had rowed but once previously, the boat moved smoothly and powerfully to beat all but one other boat – it was a great testimony to these young rowers’ hard work during the season.

These successes highlight the growth and increasing success of the WAHS program.  Last year two boats qualified for Nationals; this year a total of seven boats raced, five of which made it to the finals; an admirable feat in any program.  But, special mention should be made of the fact that one of those seven was a double with two novice rowers.  Liam Kidd, a senior and Sam von Elton have just learned to row; to have progressed that far in such a short time deserves to be applauded.  Another extraordinary effort should be highlighted; James Mahoney, a lightweight, took on a field of single scullers that likely averaged a foot taller and 50 pounds heavier and rowed his single to within .7 seconds of qualifying!