MHS Crew Attends Stotesbury Cup Regatta
The Mathews High School Crew Team’s varsity members traveled to the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia last weekend to compete in the 95th annual Stotesbury Cup regatta. This event is considered the largest scholastic spring rowing championship in the world with this year’s numbers showing 192 teams bringing 4,532 athletes to make 850 entries in 62 events in hopes of making finals across 91 races that took place over two days. Mathews entered the men’s junior double, women’s senior double and women’s senior quad.
Jaxon McDonald and Ben Stroud were first to compete in the Friday time trial heats. Given the huge numbers of entries, all events must go through single file time trials where two lanes are used to time each entry down the course every 20 seconds. Depending on the size of the event, the results sort out the top 12 or 18 entries for advancing to semi-finals. Although McDonald and Stroud were the youngest racers (15 and 16) in their event, they came 6th of 33 in the time trial which advanced them to the semi-finals, racing for a top 3 finish to qualify for the final. As luck would have it, storms and flooding in the course forced elimination of semis and the top six from the time trial were advanced to the final where the duo missed a bronze finish by 2.7 seconds. Both Stroud and McDonald are under 150 pounds and their time of 5:20.42 would have won the men’s lightweight double event by 5 seconds.
Next to race for Mathews, in the women’s senior double, were Mandy Moran and Lillian Copeland. Facing a field of 25, the girls pulled an impressive 4th in the time trial. Since this was a senior event, the semis for this event were held and Moran and Copeleand missed advancing to the finals by 2.8 seconds in what was the faster of the two semis, as their time of 5:25.33 would have brought them a qualifying second place finish in the second semi.
For the women’s senior quad, Scarlet Johnson, Annalise Morse, Lily Baucom and Macy Johnson placed 10th out of 20 in the time trial but failed to advance past the semis placing 4th in the slower semi and 17 seconds off the top qualifying times. Coach Jon Lothian summed up the team’s performance stating “I am pleasantly surprised with our results. We faced teams from all over the country and Canada and had only three members who have raced at Stotesbury before. For such a young, inexperienced group, with a number of novices, I am proud of our athletes and the speed they managed against a field of advanced competition. In the team points standing, Mathews made the upper 30 percent of the 192 teams attending this year.” Mathews rowers will train this week in preparation for the 87th annual Scholastic Rowing Association of America invitational championships which will be held this weekend on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ.