"Arlington Belmont also pushing hard," said the announcer from his perch above the Charles River during the Youth Four Mens race at 47th annual Head of the Charles Crew Regatta Sunday morning, Oct. 23.
And the combined team from the two neighboring high schools – in only their sixth year – were moving up the results table at the 2011 version of the largest, most prestigious rowing event in the country.
At this year's regatta, both Arlington Belmont Crew teams in the fours – in which four students pull on a single oar while the boat is steered by a cox – improved on last year's performances.
On Sunday's race, AB's youth four women crew started in 73rd place (the boats are seeded by where they are expected to finish) – one of the final boats to take off – and worked their way to 37th while the Men came from a starting slot of 70 and finished in 47th.
The womens' boat – manned by cox Anna Ferlanti with stroke Laurie Vanbenschoten (the stroke – seated last in the boat – sets the important stroke rate and rhythm for the rest of the crew), Clara Friedman, Katrina Chicojay and Katelyn Hamilton – finished in 20:16.9 seconds for the nearly three mile course, nearly a minute faster than last year when the team finished 66 out of 75.
The men – stroke Jackson Mitter, Ryan Cleary, Damien Murray and Roderick Pratt with cox Sarah Venuti – also flew down the winding course that starts at the BU Bridge and finishes in Brighton, with a time of 18:30.7. Their 47th place was an improvement from the 54th place from 2010.
The crew also brought its Youth Eights with Zach McCabe as cox, stroke Sam Pratt, Harry Rosner, Omar Malik, Mike Tripp, Matt O'Toole, Joseph Thiel, Ben Joaquin and Ian Gilchrist, finishing 68 out of 70.
The team finishes up the fall season this Sunday at the Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association's State Championships in Worcester.