Weather conditions, bracelets and a dockside dance party were a few of the topics of discussion during the first day of the 81st annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta yesterday on the banks of the Schuylkill.
Billed as the oldest and largest high school rowing competition, the regatta features 177 high school teams from the United States and Canada and more than 5,000 athletes who give just enough on the first day to qualify for today's semifinals and finals.
"There is no second day without making it on the first day," St. Joseph's Prep coach Bill Lamb said with a smile.
Lamb had reason to be happy. The coach, who has guided the Hawks since 1992, said he was pleased that St. Joseph's team had advanced in all eight sweep events.
"That speaks to the level we're at," said Lamb, who guided the Hawks to the Catholic League championship on April 29 and the Philadelphia City Championship on May 6. Winning the varsity eight today would be a sort of triple crown of rowing in the Philadelphia area.
Weather conditions may have a lot to do with the outcome. Yesterday's conditions were conducive to fast times because of a slight tailwind and tail current.
Some coaches, such as Bishop Eustace's Chris DeYoung, like it fast because they train on the rapid Cooper River. Others, such as Mount St. Joseph coach Mike McKenna and Lamb, would rather have it rough because that is the usual condition on the Schuylkill.
Rowers in the lightweight events have to wear yellow plastic bands on their wrists to signify that they made weight. They're not permitted to remove them until the finals.
So Moorestown's Matt Jungclaus went to his junior prom last night with the bracelet tucked under the sleeve of his suit. Emily Nixon, a member of the Moorestown girls' team, said the team planned to wear corsages atop the wrist bands if they had advanced. But they didn't.
Mount St. Joseph senior Stephanie Farris and junior Megan Schluckebier, whose varsity eight crew qualified for today's event, spoke about their way of loosening up before their race yesterday.
"We had a dance party on the dock to get warmed up," Schluckebier said. "It gets us pumped."
"The focus is always on the varsity eight," Lamb said. "And this will be only their second race [together] since the city championship."
Coxswain Pat Dolan, Brad Adams, Mike Gennaro, Dan Morison, Mike Protesto, Kevin Kennedy, Nick Barnes, John Scanlon and Matt Horn today will attempt to lead the Hawks to their second varsity eight crown since 2005.
Boys' freshmen eight: 1, Winter Park, Fl., 4:42.67. 2, St. Joseph Prep,4:46, 08. 3, La Salle, 4:47.23. 4, St. Augustine, 4:47.23. 5, Monsignor Bonner, 4:47.82. 6, Central Catholic, 4:50.23.
Girls' junior double: 1,Woodbridge, 5:44.51. 2, Episcopal Academy, 5:45.24. 3, St. John, 5:52.91. 4, Montclair, 5:56.79. 5, Springside, 6:01.26. 6, Port Dover, 6:04.10.
Girls' freshmen eight: 1, Mount St. Joseph, 5:11.61. 2, BCC, 5:17.17. 3, Saratoga, 5:17.38. 4, Holy Spirit, 5:20.10. 5,Merion Mercy, 5:20.40. 6, Merion Mercy, 5:20.40.
Boys' junior double: 1,Christian Brothers, 5:06.47. 2, Conestoga, 5:08.61. 3, Malvern Prep, 5:14.16. 4, La Salle, 5:15.65. 5, E.L. Macchesney, 5:16.44. 6, Haverford, 5:18.56.
Boys' junior four: 1, E.L. Crossley, 4:58.09. 2, Blair Academy, 4:58.30. 3, Haverford, 5:00.83. 4, Shipley, 5:02.67. 6, Denis Morris, 5:02.94.
Girls' junior four: 1, Gloucester, 5:29.24. 2, Peddie School, 5:37.59. 3, Blair, 5:40.90. 4, Germantown, 5:41.02. 5, Mount St. Joseph, 5:44.03. 6, Kearny, 5:45.97.
Boys' junior quad: 1, Haverford, 4:43.80. 2, Roman Catholic, 4:48.59. 3, Conestoga, 4:51.67. 4, North Allegheny, 4:52.67.5, Malvern Prep, 4:53.48. 6, Chestnut Hill, 4:53.91.
Girls' junior quad: 1, Springside, 5:20.40. 2, Conestoga, 5:28.61. 3, Ridgewood, 5:31.75. 4, Ursuline Dallas, 5:34.37. 5, Friends Academy, 5:34.95. 6, Montclair, 5:36.15.
Girls' senior double: 1, Churchill, 5:29.07. 2, Gloucester, 5:36.50. 3, Episcopal Academy, 5:39.99. 4, Shipley, 5:43.51. 5, North Allegheny, 5:51.73. 6, Notre Dame Academy, 5:54.63.
Boys' senior double: 1, E.L. Crossley, 4:56.58. 2, Haverford, 5:01.63. 3, Malvern Prep, 5:04.31. 4, Simcoe, 5:06.20. 5, Montclair, 5:07.94. 6, Conestoga, 5:10.21.