Connecticut Boat Club competed against and beat some of the best teams in the country at the Northeast Regional Championships held last weekend on the Merrimack River in Lowell, Mass. The top three boats in each varsity category earned bids to compete at next month’s Youth National Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn.  

The CBC rowers brought home gold medals in the women’s varsity eight, varsity pair, novice four and 2nd eight. Additionally, the team captured bronze medals in the women’s varsity four and quad. 

Continuing their undefeated run in the women’s varsity eight were coxswain Katherine Isaza of Norwalk, Rosie Grinalds of Southport, Lucy Grinalds of Southport, Deirdre Fitzpatrick of Cheshire, Christine Bragg of Darien, Maddie Stearns of Fairfield, Abby Stevenson of New Canaan, India Night of Westport and Heather Oudheusden of Greenwich. They captured gold in a time of 6:11.78, earning a bid to compete at the Youth National Championships. The CBC varsity eight has not been defeated since Youth Nationals in 2009. 

The CBC “B” eight of coxswain Ali Hornung of Weston, Lexie Lynn of Greenwich, Alex Enzor of Darien, Abbie Frey of Greenwich, Maria Lycouris of Greenwich, Meg Galloway of Ridgefield, Tory Babchak of Wilton, Caroline Cochrane of Darien and Emily Crump of Darien just missed qualifying for Youth Nationals, finishing fourth with a time of 6:21.30.

However, the athletes in the CBC “B” varsity eight had already ensured their spots in Oak Ridge in other categories earlier that day in the women’s varsity four and quad. The women’s quad, which consisted of Lycouris, Galloway, Babchak and Lynn, battled New Canaan for bronze, ultimately prevailing in a time of 6:40.39. The New Canaan crew crossed the line in 6:41.85. 

The other half of the CBC “B” eight, which included Hornung, Frey, Crump, Cochrane and Enzor, doubled into the varsity four. The four cruised across the line in third, almost four seconds ahead of Greater Lawrence Rowing Club, to earn a spot at Nationals.

CBC’s green hat rowers were victorious as the duo of Rosie and Lucy Grinalds won the women’s varsity pair event in a time of 7:08.14, seven seconds ahead of Saratoga. The sisters will also compete at the National Championships and hope to defend the national title they won in 2010.    

In the non-varsity events, the rowers raced in head race style because of the lack of buoys on the course. This meant that boats had staggered starts and their times were compared later. 

Culminating their spring season, the women’s novice four of Annika Heumann of Southport, Katie De Haas of Darien, Olivia Taylor of Darien, Sarah Schwartz of Weston and coxswain Stephanie Leone dominated the field in a time of 7:08, almost 10 seconds ahead of their nearest challenger. The women’s 2nd eight, which was comprised coxswain Andi Cara of Darien, Whitney Ruhlin of Darien, Sarah Schwartz, Jackie Cloud of New Canaan, Kirsten Wessel of Newtown, Emily Wilson of Darien, Alex Minicucci of Darien, Maggie Roberts of Wilton and Kendra Shutts of Darien won by more than eight seconds. 

Additionally, the women’s novice eight finished an impressive fourth to Saugatuck, Wayland-Weston and Community Rowing in a time of 6:50. The boat was made up of many athletes who began rowing only a few months ago.   

A week of rain swelled the Merrimack River, causing many issues for the athletes, officials and race organizers. Severe delays because of strong currents and the loss of more than 750 meters of the buoyed course because of debris forced all events that did not serve as qualifiers to the Youth National Championships to be run as head race finals Sunday.

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