Fairfax Station, VA
Two course records fell at the Occoquan Challenge today, and Virginia’s varsity 8 (C: Katie Garrity, 8: Jon Furlong, 7: Ben Hammond, 6: Perry Cox, 5: Scott Stuard, 4: Peter Malm, 3: Steven Lee-Kramer, 2: Garrett Thomas, and 1: Ed Crocker) lead the way.
With a strong average split in the Championship 8 event, the V8 beat, among others, Navy‘s varsity lightweight 8 by 16 seconds over 4,300 meters to claim the gold and to set a new course record.The split is all the more interesting considering that the Challenge course features a full 180-degree turn, in which one side of the boat stops rowing entirely—while checking the boat down—for approximately 20 seconds!
In a tuneup for the Head of the Charles in two weeks, Virginia’s varsity 4 (C: Sarah Zillioux, 4: Ty Saitta, 3: Forrest Brown, 2: Gage Wells, and 1: Will Courtney) set the second course record of the day, narrowly edging Navy’s top boat by 2.4 seconds.
Virginia’s varsity lightweight 8 (C: Charlene Friel, 8: Nick Hine, 7: John McNulty, 6: Charlie Hanley, 5: Nate Brown, 4: Edwin Nieves, , 3: Jon Byington, 2: Ethan Bauer, and 1: Bert Udler) brought home another gold medal for Virginia in the Club 8 event, barely edging the Virginia 2nd varsity 8 (C: Dan Schwartz, 8: Christian Salcedo, 7: Sam Kush, 6: Stephen Lincoln, 5: Ian Feeney, 4: Matt Schilling, 3: Dylan Staples, 2: Thom Hammond, and 1: Alfred Hubbard) by 7/10th of a second.
Continuing the medal haul, Virginia entered a quad (4: Scott Stuard, 3: Steven Lee-Kramer, 2: Peter Malm, 1: Jon Furlong) in the Open 4X event, and won the event handily.
The lightweight 4 also raced, in the Lightweight 4 event, finishing second, and the 2nd varsity 4 raced in the Club 4 event, finishing third.
The 1st novice 8 started their race in the second position, and beat Navy’s novice 8 to the halfway mark. Just as they completed the final strokes of the 180-degree turn, however, they were hit broadside by Navy’s other 8. The Navy boat speared the Virginia boat, putting a hole clean through the shell. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the novices had to stop rowing, untangle from Navy, and then row home by 6. The crew was very disappointed.
But there was a bright side! The 2nd novice 8 finished second, behind Navy, and the 3rd novice 8 finished third, ahead of every other school’s 1st novice 8s.
All in all, it was a great day for the Hoos!