Three jewels but no crown this year - Once again the Triple Crown has come to an end, after Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes last Saturday. As in past years, there was no Triple Crown winner in 2013.... More →
Seniors Ben Morosse, Cuyler Hamilton, Mike DiLucca and Nick Nalbone finish their race at the 86th annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta. The quad is going to compete in the Youth National Championships from June 8-11. Courtney Kennedy/The SPOKE
With cheers of “Stoga, Stoga!” accompanying them as they raced down the water, Conestoga’s girls varsity quad crossed the finish line and immediately collapsed. The quad of sophomores Annie Graf, Maddy Tessier-Kay, Rebecca Simonetti and Meagan Hudson had just won the gold in the largest high school regatta in the world.
The Stotesbury Cup Regatta was held on May 18-19 on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. For the Conestoga crew team, it is one of the biggest events of the season. If rowers in the varsity quad win their event at Stotesbury, their coach will agree to take them to the distinguished Henley Regatta on the River Thames in England over the summer.
“We definitely wanted to get first, second or third,” Hudson said. “We weren’t necessarily expecting to get first, so it was a shock and really exciting that we got first.”
The boys varsity quad of seniors Benjamin Morosse, Cuyler Hamilton, Mike DiLucca and Nick Nalbone and the girls varsity double of seniors Ali Siegele and Nicole DeStefano placed second in their events. Both boats will also travel to England to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta and the Henley Women’s Regatta.
“I was really excited to find out that we were the first men’s boat in [Conestoga] club history to go to such a prestigious regatta,” Hamilton said. “It’s going to be great to see what we can do.”
Not only will the varsity crews be traveling to England in June, but several other members of the team will be traveling to Oak Ridge, Tenn. from June 8-10 to participate in the US Rowing Youth National Championships. Conestoga secured six spots in the regatta after competing in the 2012 US Rowing Mid-Atlantic District Championships on Mercer Lake, N.J. from May 11-12. With 20 boats racing in nationals, there is a lot of pressure for athletes to perform at their peak.
“I think people definitely underestimate us, but we work really hard, so hopefully our hard work, focus and dedication will pay off in the regattas,” Hudson said.
With these major regattas coming up, the team will continue to practice to ensure that they are perfectly in sync and mentally focused once they get on the water.
“We are going to keep practicing every day because we have to keep our focus. We have to be mentally prepared and go into the race confident but not too confident,” Hudson said. “I try not to worry. My boat keeps me calm.”
In such high stakes races, keeping calm is important in order to compete against the tough competition who are the best of the best in their category. Sophomore Nathan Leibowitz, who rows in the JV quad, looks forward to racing some of the top teams in the country in Oak Ridge.
“I like all of the tough competition. I get to meet people like me from all over the country, and compete against them in a head-to-head race,” Leibowitz said. “I also like the atmosphere, [because] there are thousands of people there watching and cheering us on. It is an amazing experience.”