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Radnor girls star at Stotesbury

On the final day of the Stotesbury Cup Regatta along the Schuylkill, the Radnor girls rowed to first-time glory Saturday.

On the final day of the Stotesbury Cup Regatta along the Schuylkill, the Radnor girls rowed to first-time glory Saturday.

The Red Raiders were the only area team to win a senior eight race and they did it in style, crossing the finish line with about a boat-length lead in 4 minutes, 38.43 seconds. Mount St. Joseph was second in 4:44.03.

And that's not all. The Red Raiders set a personal precedent at Radnor.

"It was one of the most exciting points in our club's history," Radnor coach Megan Biging said. "We're about 15 years old, and we never won a varsity eight [at Stotesbury]."

From coxswain Sophie Faude to bow Kirsten Fitch, the Raiders celebrated on the dock. The winning boat also included Kendall Chapin, Chandler Lally, Alli Webster, Lexie Katz, Sophia Blair, Emma Burke, and Hannah Edelmann.

Meanwhile, the boys of St. Joseph's Prep had a bittersweet experience. The defending senior eight champions were defeated in the event not only by St. Andrew's (Del.), which they had edged by three-tenths of a second in the preliminaries, but also by St. Alban's (Washington, D.C.), which won in 4:07.63.

St. Andrew's placed second in 4:09.63. St. Joseph's Prep was third in 4:09.80.

However, the Hawks won all the other boys' eights: the freshman race in 4:23.65, the junior event in 4:20.12, and the lightweight final in 4:16.92.

"St. Alban's was ahead start to finish," St. Joseph's coach Jim Glavin said. "They rode a beautiful race.

"We had a great day. The freshmen, junior varsity, and lightweights had impressive wins, and it's a shame for these guys [varsity eight]. It doesn't take away anything from the other three boats.

"It was really a special day for us and the Prep and a bunch of good guys."

Conestoga's boys and girls had one of the most productive days in memory at the famed regatta, billed as the world's biggest high school rowing competition.

The Pioneers advanced nine boats to the finals, five girls' and four boys'. All but one medaled, and one won.

"I'm ecstatic," Conestoga coach Paul Coomes said. "It was an excellent team effort. This is one of the longest, toughest races in high school.

"Since I became head coach in 1998, we've never had nine in the final. We never had that many boats medal. This is the best overall team performance we've ever had."

Rebecca Simonetti, Maddy Tessier-Kay, Anne Graf, and Meaghan Hudson rowed to victory for Conestoga in the girls' freshman four in 5:14.55.

Malvern Prep won the boys' lightweight double and the boys' senior quad.

"It was a pack of three [boats] fighting for the lead, and they punched it in at the end," Malvern Prep lightweight coach Art Post said of the 4:49.35 finish by Jeremy Gonzalez and Austin Velte.

Friars Pat Donohue, Austin Bury, Alec Somers, and Dan Schwarz were clocked in 4:21.69 to win the senior quad.

In the morning semifinals, St. Joseph's Prep clocked the fastest boys' senior eight time in the first of three races, 4:10.50.

The Radnor girls had the fastest senior eight time in the first semifinal, 4:39.33. Mount St. Joseph finished first in the second semifinal in 4:40.63.

Mount St. Joseph varsity eight coach Mike Kennedy said his crew was undersized but good technically.

"This is probably the best technical crew I've coached since we started the team in 2000," Kennedy said.

The Bishop Eustace girls, which had won three consecutive varsity eight crowns before last year, had no varsity eight team this year.