Hoos Enjoy Hooch Hospitality

November 3, 2012
Chattanooga, TN

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Virginia Rowing raced at the second largest regatta in the United States this weekend: the Head of the Hooch, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After enduring blustery conditions for Friday’s practice row, the nearly 2000 Hooch competitors enjoyed perfect conditions for Saturday’s racing. In the end, 50 VRA athletes brought medals (36 gold, 5 silver, 9 bronze) back to Charlottesville.

Instead of stacking the lineups, the varsity squad raced as classes. For example, a crew of, essentially, 4th year rowers represented VRA in the Championship 8 event. That lineup (C: Sarah Zillioux, 8: Jon Furlong, 7: Ben Hammond, 6: Peter Malm, 5: Scott Stuard, 4: Ian Feeney, 3: Thom Hammond, 2: Will Courtney, B: Ed Crocker) finished first in a field of 17 crews, 23 seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher.

VRA’s Club 8 was represented by 2nd and 3rd year rowers (C: Katie Garrity, 8: Garrett Thomas, 7: Gage Wells, 6: Perry Cox, 5: Stephen Lincoln, 4: Matt Schilling, 3: Dylan Staples, 2: Forrest Brown, B: Christian Salcedo), and they also won gold, from a field 16 crews, 42
seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.

The varsity lightweight 8 (C: Lindsay Sackellares, 8: John McNulty, 7: Charles Hanley, 6: Edwin Nieves, 5: Nate Brown, 4: Nick Hine, 3: Will Schwieder, 2: Jeff Young, B: Alfred Hubbard) had little trouble securing their 1st place win from a field of 10 crews. It was another sound technical row from the “Sticks.”

The 1st novice 8 was eager to simply complete a full race, after suffering a collision at the Occoquan Challenge. The 8 (C: Alex Yang, 8: Mike Becker, 7: Ian Crouse, 6: Alistair Wilson, 5: Isaac Mackey, 4: Alex Pilewski, 3: Andrew Richmond, 2: Andrew Heinzman, B: Kian Ivey) raced well, and finished first in the College Novice 8 event, from a field of 41 crews. It was the crew’s first gold medal of the fall.

The 2nd novice 8 (C: Bry Southan, 8: John Evans, 7: Scott Helgeson, 6: Ryan Bartels, 5: Eddie Tiernan, 4: Henry Maillet, 3: Ryan McElroy, 2: Ben McLusky, B: Justin Deaver) rowed aggressively, finishing 3rd in the College Novice 8 event, just two spots behind VRA’s 1st novice 8. The regatta announcer, when broadcasting the official results, said, “The University of Virginia appears to be blessed with a talented group of novice rowers this year. Either that or they’re cheating.”

The lightweight 4 (C: Charlene Friel, 4: Bert Udler, 3: Jon Byington, 2: Ethan Bauer, B: Elliott Oakley) also rowed well and won a silver medal, from of a field of 16 crews. Duke brought an especially strong crew to the Hooch, finishing 6 seconds ahead of the Hoos.

Finally, VRA’s Club 4 (C: Dan Schwartz, 4: Kevin O’Brien, 3: Will Debord, 2: Evan Dennis, B: Sean Watson) finished a respectable 5th, out of a field 30 crews. The athletes felt it was a good result, considering they had rowed together just once before the race.

As always, the athletes and coaches thank the parents who traveled to Chattanooga to support the team. You make every regatta better!