Boys Crew Competes in Mercer Sprints

Sports  /  by Nico Ellis '19  /  April 29, 2017

Courtesy of Olla Podrida

This past weekend, the Lawrenceville crew team competed in the annual Mercer Sprints Regatta alongside many other crews from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The first and second varsity eights had to finish in the top two of its heat to qualify for the grand finals on Sunday.

On Saturday in its evening qualifying heat, the Big Red first varsity eight finished second, only 2.78 seconds behind Salisbury, while also beating Port Rowing, St. Peter's Prep and South Jersey Rowing Club.

Reflecting on this accomplishment, Head Coach Benjamin Wright P’10 ’21 said, “Lawrenceville had a very close and tough race against Salisbury, the defending Mercer Sprints, [...] New England Interscholastic Rowing Association, and National Schools Regatta champions.”

The third and fourth varsity eights both won gold in their respective events while the freshman eight won silver in the novice division. The second varsity eight also advanced past its qualifying heats to the grand finals.

The second eight rowed its last race on Sunday, falling to Mercer Crew in the last 750m and winning silver overall. However, Wright said that the boat rowed well and should be proud of its performance. The boat’s finishing time was 6:29.560.

In the first eight final, the team held second place until halfway through the race, and stayed in third place until the last 500m. However, the boys were not able to keep up and ended up finishing sixth out of seven in the Grand Finals and finishing sixth out of 16 for all the first varsity eights in the event.

According to Wright, the first varsity eight went into the regatta as a “very young crew,” so everyone’s hopes were high, but this season has been a learning experience for many III and IV formers. The team is led by Tom Cummins ’17 and other returning members of the first varsity eight, including Charles Gruber ’18, Hutch Collins ’18, and Bert Getz ’18. Thus far, the boys set a milestone by beating Brunswick head to head for the first time in school history. Cummins ’17 described the moment as “very exciting for us all… we were proud of the result.” The following racing weekend at St. Andrews Cummins ’17 described as “rough,” but the unsatisfactory results, he said, “set a fire in all us which will definitely be put to use next weekend in the MAPL Championships.” Cummins ’17 described his senior season as, “absolutely my favorite of all four [years].”

On Saturday, May 6, the crew will participate in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Championships, a regatta the first varsity eight won last year. The following weekend, May 13-14, the team will row in the Mid-Atlantic Junior Rowing Championships, a qualifying regatta for the USRowing Youth National Championships in June. On the final racing weekend of the year, May 18-20, the team will head to the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the biggest high school regatta in the world, to compete against teams from all over the U.S. and Canada.