Peddie girls' and boys' crew turned in impressive performances at the 95th Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday to close out the 2022 spring season. The Falcon boys' Senior Four+ and girls' Second Four+ (+ = with coxswain) each captured bronze to make the podium.
At Stotesbury, time trials are head races where the boats are sent out at 15-second intervals over the 1,500-meter course. Weather played havoc with the schedule.
Billed as the world's oldest and largest high school competition, the event attracted 181 clubs with over 850 entries from all parts of the U.S. and Canada.
After a significant delay caused by thunderstorms, the Senior Four finished 7 of 48 in their time trial, advancing to the semis. They raced well in the building heat, defeating a higher seed to finish second, qualifying for the finals. A little over two hours later they were back on the water and performed brilliantly, earning a bronze medal.
"This was only the second medal ever in this event earned by a boys’ crew at Peddie," said Head Coach Joe Murtaugh. "And they did it the hard way, battling to the podium out of lane six — a difficult challenge given that it is out of the current on a river course. I’ve been at this for a long time, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been more impressed with how this crew worked together to get the job done against long odds."
The Second Four also rowed well in their time trial, finishing 7 of 20 and earning a spot in one of two six-boat semifinals. Unfortunately, their semifinal race was canceled due to weather, and only the top six-time trial finishers rowed in the final.
"This is our season-ending regatta," said Murtaugh, "and I am proud to have been a part of a team that navigated the pandemic, associated illnesses, generally foul weather and other logistical challenges with grace, patience and perseverance. It has been a joy."
Boys' Senior 4+ Cox-Kendal Gray, Stroke-Matthew Gazin, 3 Seat-Griffin Dow, 2 Seat-Daniyal Maitekov, Bow-Quinn Liu. Full final results
Boys' Second 4+ Cox-Ray Muroi, Stroke-Aarav Gupta, 3 Seat-Marvin Zhang, 2 Seat-Mark Vongkitbuncha, Bow-Zach Sandman. Full heat results
Both the Senior and Second Fours exceeded their own expectations by finishing 9 of 43 and 2 of 19 in their respective qualifying events, earning the right to come back for Saturday morning semifinals. After severe thunderstorms Friday evening, the rowers returned to the Schuylkill Saturday morning, unsure whether semifinal races would be held. After a roller coaster of schedule changes, rising heat and emotions, both boats raced well in their semifinal races, with the Senior 4+ finishing fourth (the top two boats qualify for finals). The Second 4+ qualified for finals and captured bronze.
"It’s been hard to do anything this spring but surrender to the effects of wind and weather on our ability to row," said Head Coach Barb Grudt. "In spite of everything, the team had a strong finish to the season. It was fun to 'double bronze' again with the boys as we did in 2019 in the Boys’ and Girls’ Senior Fours+."
Girls' Senior 4+ Cox-Nikki Saffar, Stroke-Vicki Stollenwerk, 3 Seat -Maya Lougy, 2 Seat-Cecilia Dial, Bow-Jenna Kim Full heat results
Girls' Second 4+ Cox-Caitlin Vella, Stroke-Anushka Poddar, 3 Seat-Karishma Gupta, 2 Seat-Grace Chung, Bow-Adele Raillot Full final results