Saturday, May 18, 2002
By Ted Hopton
The Stotesbury Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill River, in its 76th year, is the oldest and largest scholastic rowing competition in the world. This year's event featured 135 schools last Friday and Saturday, drawing the best of the best from as far away as Florida and Canada. In a test against powerful, established rowing programs, seven Moorestown Rowing Club boats qualified for the semifinals, two earned spots in the finals, and one brought home gold.
Moorestown High School's Boys Junior 4+ joined the prestigious ranks of Stotesbury winners when they overtook the field with a final 500-meter sprint that no other boat could answer, finishing in 4:25.85. Rowers Dave Carter, Brian Gordon, John Depenbrock and Clark Brossy, with coxswain James Mure, happily accepted the George Mattson trophy to go along with their N.J. State Championship cup from three weeks earlier. They also finished third in the Philadelphia City Championships and fourth at the Princeton International Regatta this season.
Head Coach Jennifer Wesson was all smiles as she presented the boys with their medals. "This boat has been phenomenal all year. Not only in regattas, but in the intensity they bring to practice every day. That's the key to their success."
Moorestown High School's Girls Junior 4+, with coxswain Brooke Brighty and rowers Diana Bonnacorsi, Claire Nick, Kate Devine and Larken Kenuk, placed fourth in the time trials and then made it to the finals with a breath-taking finish in the semifinals, claiming second place in their heat by nine-hundredths of a second. They finished just one spot out of the medals in the final, placing fourth.
Moorestown High School's Girls Senior 4+, with coxswain Daisy Biddle and rowers Kristen Peluso, Gena Thomas, Brenna Collier, and Katie Brennan, placed 15th in the time trials and fifth in their semifinal heat with a time of 5:22.3.
Moorestown Friends School's Girls Junior 4x, with rowers Kay Blake, Mary Gonnelli, Molly Krieder and Melissa Waxman, qualified for the semifinals by placing 12th in the time trials, and finished sixth in their semifinal heat with a time of 6:36.66.
Moorestown High School's Boys Junior 8+, with coxswain Renee Munoz and rowers Nick Zegal, Jon Beluch, Jack Hartman, Ryan Doyle, Kris Lambert, Kyle Barbehenn, Andrew Depenbrock and Brian Maley, ended 16th in the time trials and placed sixth in their semifinal heat with a time of 4:59.6.
Haddonfield's Girls Lightweight 4+, with coxswain Lauren Burmaster and rowers Liz Hueter, Audrey Koniges, Jenny Gilson, and Alex Stepanuk, qualified for the semifinals by finishing 18th in the time trials, and then finished sixth in their semifinal heat with a time of 6:32.43.
Moorestown High School's Senior 1x, Ian Kindermann, placed eighth in the time trials with a time of 6:12.70, only to see his entire event cancelled before the semifinals, due to weather and river current conditions. The NJ State Champion was disappointed that he never got his chance to win at Stotesbury in his senior year, but Kindermann will be in one of three Moorestown Rowing Club boats traveling to the nationals this weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he'll row the final race of his outstanding high school career.
Coach Wesson is proud of her young club's accomplishments. "The team is earning respect in the rowing community; when you have rival coaches watching the success of your crews, you realize you are becoming a reputable program."
Cinnaminson's Junior 2x, with rowers Liz Seidt and Lindsey Cureton, placed 20th in the time trials with a time of 7:41.35.
Moorestown High School's Boys Senior 4+, with coxswain Laura Richardson and rowers Andy Jafolla, Matt Wolfe, Pete Canton and Nick Brown, placed 24th in the time trials with a time of 5:27.44.
Haddonfield's Girls Junior 8+, with coxswain Liz Santaniello and rowers Allie Lawson, Lauren Kahl, Kate Brinkley, Keighley Harris, Claire Smith, Rachel Solomon, Kristen Rosenfeld and Katie Onyx, came in 26th in the time trials with a time of 6:21.35.
Haddonfield's Boys Junior 4+, with coxswain Matt Campbell and rowers Ed Moran, Justin Levy, Josh Simon and Nick Dembowski, finished 32nd in the time trials with a time of 6:13.68.
Three Moorestown High School boats will compete in the nationals this weekend in Tennessee: Boys Junior 4+, Boys Senior 1x, and Girls Senior 4+. Rowers not making the trip to nationals will compete in the final local regatta of the season on the Cooper River on Saturday, May 25th.
To see photographs from the Stotesbury Cup and all of this season's regattas, visit the club's web site, www.moorestownrowing.org.
Photo by Chris Biddle
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