While they have often impressed in practice this season, the Mount St. Joseph rowers have uncharacteristically struggled on race day.
“We’ve had kind of an erratic season,” varsity coach Mike McKenna said.
The Mount reversed that trend in the 92nd annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta, placing second to defending champion National Cathedral, of Washington, D.C., in the girls’ senior eight Saturday afternoon on Camden County’s Cooper River.
Coxswain Maddie Walsh and Co. crossed the finish line in 5 minutes, 21.98 seconds, not far behind National Cathedral (5:19.25).
“We’re very pleased,” Walsh said. “National Cathedral is a strong crew. We held our own against them, and now we know what we have to work on moving forward.”
Moorestown, which earned top honors at the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association city championship two weeks ago and the Cooper Cup last month, placed fourth in the girls’ varsity eight in 5:25.29.
“If you can make it to the finals at Stotesbury, you have to be pleased,” Moorestown second-year coach Harry Carroll said. “At the end of the day, the girls will look back and see everything they’ve accomplished and know the future is bright.
“The boat is basically filled with underclassmen, and there were girls in our junior eight, which placed fifth here, that pushed them. That’s progress.”
Stotesbury was switched from the Schuylkill to the Cooper River on Tuesday because of concerns about inclement weather and a rapid current.
After Friday’s time trials, the semifinals and finals were held Saturday. The finals were condensed, with the start time between races reduced from 10 minutes to five, because of the threat of heavy rain later in the afternoon.
Malvern Prep won the boys’ senior quad in 4:47.02. The boat is made up of stroke Johnny McGlinn, No. 3 seat Drew Brady, No. 2 seat Christian Franck, and bow Casey Lauder.
The Mount also won the lightweight eight and junior eight, placed second in the freshman eight, and was third in the second eight.
“It was a good day overall for us,” Magic head coach Megan Kennedy said.
Walsh, of Ambler, and fellow senior Gabi Natale, the No. 5 seat in the varsity eight, will join Natale’s sister, Alex, in rowing for Tennessee. Alex Natale, a freshman, was part of the Volunteers’ second eight this year.
Montclair (N.J.) repeated as the boys’ senior eight champion in 4:30.69. St. Joseph’s Prep, which won the lightweight eight and freshman eight, was fourth in 4:37.35.
Conestoga and Episcopal Academy placed first and second, respectively, in the girls’ senior quad. Lower Merion was runner-up in, and Bishop Eustace finished fourth in the girls’ senior four.
Conestoga took home gold in the senior quad for a record seventh straight year.
“It was a real tough race,” Pioneers coach John Hayburn said. “Episcopal has been giving us a run for our money all year. Our girls performed very well to win this one.”
On the boys’ side, Absegami placed second in the junior eight, and Holy Spirit was third in the senior double.
Germantown Friends School’s James Wright was runner-up in the senior single. John Karen, of St. Anthonys in Huntingdon, N.Y., crossed the line in 5:41.78 to nip Wright (5:42.29).
“It was really disappointing, but you just have to learn from it and move on,” said Wight, a Stanford recruit and member of USRowing’s under-19 national team last summer.
For complete results and information, go to www.stotesburycupregatta.com.