Members of the Lower Merion High School crew team braved the cold while participating in the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta on Sunday, November 11, 2018  – the final regatta of the fall season – as both the Novice Girls 4+ and Novice Boys 8+ won first place in their respective 2-kilometer sprints.

The Novice Girls 4+ turned in an especially dominant performance finishing more than 13 seconds faster than their closest opponent. Congratulations to all of the winning rowers, including:

Novice Girls 4+: Théa Kerekes, Jena Dessain, Rose Leinhauser, Jane Spencer and coxswain Faye Berry

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Novice Boys 8+: George Rieke, Ben Lustig, Matt Lexa, Isaac Berman, Paul DeSouza, Henry Shin, Max Bergmaier, Asher Hancock and coxswain Cole Messinger

The Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta stands for the selfless dedication of the true oarsman, one who holds the true spirit of competition as a healthy, integral part of life.

The Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta was founded by the Braxton family and friends to honor the memory of Bill Braxton, a popular and highly motivated lightweight rower attending Marietta College. In 1972, the Marietta lightweight 8+, in which Bill Braxton rowed bow seat, finished an impressive second in the Dad Vail Regatta. The following year, with Bill rowing seven-seat, the Marietta lightweight 8+ went undefeated during the season and won the Dad Vail. Bill was killed later that summer in an auto accident.

The Braxton Regatta, originally sponsored by Crescent Boat Club, moved to the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club in the 1980s. The Braxton family and many of Bill’s friends remain involved in the regatta to this day. Traditionally, the Braxton Regatta is the last regatta of the fall and, as would be seasonally uncharacteristic, is a sprint race. The Braxton Regatta is open to high schools and colleges.