MHS Wins at SRAA Nationals
Camden/Cherry Hill, NJ
Last Thursday, members of the Mathews High School varsity crew travelled to the Cooper River Park in Camden/Cherry Hill, New Jersey to compete in the 87th annual Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s (SRAA) national championship regatta. 148 teams from across the U.S. made 470 entries in hopes of making the finals in one or more of the 32 different boy’s and girl’s events. Mathews entered the boy’s and girl’s junior double and the girl’s senior double, making the finals and capturing a silver and bronze medal in two of their three entries.
For Friday’s heats, in their first experience at SRAA’s, Scarlet Johnson and Annalise Morse were the first to race in the girl’s junior double trial heats where they placed 10th of 12 and were unable to advance to the finals. Following the girls, Ben Stroud (16 years old) and Jaxon McDonald (15 years old) raced in the boy’s junior (under 17) double heats placing 2nd and advancing to the final with the fourth fastest time of the two heats. In Saturday’s finals, McDonald and Stroud exchanged leads for most of their race with Western Albemarle, missing the Gold by 1.6 seconds with a time of 5:18.7, with Skyline of Ann Arbor, MI, bronze (5:20.9), and Conestoga (Philadelphia), Holy Spirit (NJ) and Niskayuna (NY) finishing out the field.
Mandy Moran and Lillian Copeland faced a field of 15 girl’s senior doubles for Friday’s heats. Pulling the third fastest time of three heats the duo advanced to Saturday’s semifinals. Pulling the 2nd fastest semifinal time, .5 seconds behind season rivals Albemarle, the girls advanced to the finals. In a very tight finals race, leads were exchanged by the top three contenders with Albemarle (Charlottesville, VA) taking the Gold (5:40.05), Agnes Irwin (Philadelphia) silver (5:42.8) and Mathews took bronze (5:44.8) leaving Rumson-Fair Haven (NJ), Harpeth Hall (Tennessee) and Winter Park (Fla) to finish the final six. MHS coach Jon Lothian summed up the championships commenting “our team did what every coach wants to see, they improved their speed every week. This year’s SRAA’s were very competitive and well run in spite of threatening weather. The races went off at 4 minute intervals without delays. I am proud of how our team raced in their first national level season in two years.”