WAHS ROWS TO 8 MEDALS AT STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS!!
Western Albemarle’s Crew team entered ten boats in the Virginia State Rowing Championships hosted this past Saturday by the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association and brought home eight medals: four gold, two silver and two bronze.
Both the women’s and the men’s senior quads dominated their races; a particularly satisfying accomplishment for the WAHS men’s quad as they had never won that event. Peter Dister, Noah Davis, both juniors, and seniors Spencer Hale and Wiley Martin rowed the quad to the win, automatically qualifying to compete at the Scholastic National Championships later this month.
The women’s senior quad had quite a legacy to uphold; it had not only won the State Championships, but had gone on to row to gold in the 2016 Scholastic National Championships. Two of the members of the 2016 quad graduated, but team captain Carrie Smith and Maggie Vidal, both seniors returned and the team added senior Grace von Elten and junior Hannah Carter to continue the quad’s winning tradition. They will defend that legacy at the Scholastic National Championships as well. In the closest race of the day, a true photo-finish, WAHS junior women’s quad with juniors Jordan Neuman, sophomores Clare O’Connell and Kira Martin and freshman Lilli Hansen fell to third by one tenth of a second! Rounding out the women’s quad contingent were juniors Paula Petersen and Noa Kipnis, sophomore Caroline Allison and freshman Delaney Crotteau coming in fourth.
Adding to the gold medal count were two men singles scullers: James Mahoney, a junior rowed to a win in the lightweight event, Christopher Keller, a sophomore took first place in the Junior event. While not officially a part of the WAHS team, Suzanna Stoneburner a single sculler travels daily from Lexington to train with WAHS, so the team views her as one of their own and was excited to see her take gold back to her home town in the women’s junior event.
WAHS’ two women’s lightweight doubles were second and fourth respectively; second place achieved by seniors Kelsey Tarleton and Leah Gillespie, fourth by Madelyn Abrahamson, a sophomore and freshman Eva Massarelli.
The women also rowed in the junior double event; Spencer Stevens and EmmaGrace Stokes, both sophomores, taking fourth place.
The men also rowed two doubles events, the men’s junior double with Cove Haydock, a sophomore and junior Ben Burroughs taking the silver. Newly minted varsity members, freshman Sam von Elten and senior Liam Kidd demonstrated their dedication to the sport by becoming quite competitive in their first season, rowing their double to a bronze.
The WAHS Crew team was founded by Myriam Pitts, who taught at WAHS and inspired a generation of young people with her passion and dedication to the demanding sport of sculling. Her death last November was a blow to the program, but has not stopped the rowers from continually improving, learning and winning.