WESTFIELD, NJ -- The unrelenting cold weather this spring interfered not only with Westfield Crew’s scheduled water practice time but was also the cause of the unprecedented cancellation of two early season regattas.
The team was finally able to display its prowess on the water at the Manny Flick 4 Regatta in Philadelphia on April 6th. This regatta was, for many team members, their first opportunity to compete on the water. The Mens Novice 4x, (Jack Newhard, Nick Calcagno, Hal Barnes and Alex Grom) kicked off the day with a solid 4th place finish in their event. The Mens JV 4x of Chip Pipala, Tristan Orr, Jordan Hindes and Ben Howell rowed hard and finished 5th in their heat, as did the other Mens JV 4x of Will Harmer, Tom Gerris, Isaac Amador and Kevin Currie.
The Womens JV 4x, Logan Schwartz, Isabella D'Olier-Lees, Emily Simpson and Danielle Gabuzda pulled hard to finish 4th in their race, as did the Mens Varsity 4x of Matt Lazzarotti, Conor Martinson, Alex Schneider and Christian Rosa). The Womens Varsity 4x of Melanie Snyder, Sandy Choi, Katie Eliades and Sara Hoerrner showed strong, early-season form, earning the team’s best result of the day: a 3rd place finish.
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The team’s second regatta of the season, the Overpeck Regional Youth Regatta, is a new event on the area rowing calendar and was held on April 12 at Overpeck Park in Leonia, NJ. Despite it being the first year for this competition, it was a colorful event and lively event. Westfield saw some good results for the day.
In the Mens Novice 4x event, Kevin Currie, Isaac Amador, Alex Mezzomo and Alex Grom placed 2nd overall. The Mens JV 4x race saw Will Harmer, Kevin Law, Blake Fallon and Jordan Hindes rowing hard and winning their race, beating out Bergen Catholic by more than ten seconds. The Mens Varsity 4x of Matt Lazzarotti, Conor Martinson, Alex Schneider and Christian Rosa placed 2nd in their event. In the Mens JV 2x, Jordan Hindes and Chip Pipala finished 3rd.
Westfield Crew next competed at the Mercer Lake Sprints in Princeton Junction, NJ. on April 19. It appeared as if spring had finally arrived: the sun was out and the temperature made rowing a pleasure. The team saw some tough competition at this greatly anticipated regatta. The Mens Varsity 4x (Chip Pipala, Jordan Hindes, Matt Lazzarotti, Christian Rosa) had the best time of the day, pulling a 5:52.5.
This past Saturday, Westfield Crew competed in the Garden State Scholastic Championships on the Cooper River outside Camden, NJ. These races are essentially the NJ state championships, with opportunities for boats to qualify for national competition in late May. Captain Katie Eliades and Julia Abbattista qualified for nationals.
The day started early, with Westfield racing in the Mens Jr 2x at 8:00am. In this qualifier, Ben Howell and Chip Pipala finished 3rd, .2 of a second out of 2nd place and qualified for the afternoon final, where they finished 6th.
Next up were Emily McLane and Emily Simpson in the Womens Lightweight 2x. The girls rowed hard, finishing 5th.
In Westfield’s best result of the day, the Womens Senior 2x, Katie Eliades and Julia Abbattista finished a strong 2nd, which qualifies them for the national championships to be held at Mercer County Park in Princeton on May 23-24.
In the Womens Novice 4x, Westfield rowers Claudia Dougherty, Julia Simpson, Pamela Burke and Victoria Cappo finished 3rd.
In the Mens Novice 4x, Westfield rowers Nick Calcagno, Hal Barnes, Alex Grom and Tom Gerris finished 5th.
In the Womens Junior 4x, Westfield rowers Logan Schwartz, Abbey Wilson, Izzy D’Orlier-Lees and Maxine Manville just missed a second row of the day, finishing one spot out of qualifying for the final.
In the Mens Junior 4x, Jordan Hindes, Tristan Orr, Blake Fallon and Jack Newhard finished an outstanding 2nd in their qualifying heat and 6th in their final.
Womens Senior 4x of Sandy Choi, Melanie Snyder, Amanda Christian and Sara Hoerrner finished a close 3rdplace.
Mens Senior 4x of Alex Schneider, Matt Lazzarotti, Conor Martinson and Christian Rosa finished two boat lengths off the podium, picking up a hard fought 4th place in their final.
The team heads to Oyster Bay to compete in the Long Island Junior Rowing Championships this Sunday, May 4.
Ben Howell is a rower on the Westfield crew team.