Rowing: New Trier women’s crews capture pair of national titles
Updated: July 16, 2012 8:12PM
Racing in the Scholastic National Championships on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., New Trier women’s crews won two national championships, grabbing gold in the second varsity eight and freshman events. New Trier also took fifth in both the women’s first varsity eight and lightweight eight grand final events.
The two-day event drew 549 entries from 16 states and Canada. The teams rowed on a 1,500-meter course.
A total of seven New Trier crews went to the event. The New Trier men’s first varsity eight ended its run with a fourth place finish in the repechage, the last chance to advance to the semi-finals. The men’s varsity four finished sixth in the semifinals and the men’s lightweight eight finished fourth in the preliminary heats.
The women’s second varsity eight dominated their run-up to the finals, ultimately winning their category by nearly four seconds over New York’s Saratoga Rowing Association. In fact, their time was fast enough to have placed sixth in the first varsity eight grand final.
Coxswain Dani Cipinko said: “In my four years on the team, this is the fastest boat I have been a part of. ... All nine of us wanted to row together, spend time together and help each other be the first boat across that line.”
The women’s freshman eight went into the grand final as one of six boats that were all within four seconds of each other. They emerged the winner over Pennsylvania’s Merion Mercy by less than one second.
“The freshman eight’s strategy was to focus on rowing long, powerful strokes,” said the boat’s coxswain, Talia La Schiazza. “Even though we weren’t in the lead the whole race, we pulled it together for an incredible 300-meter sprint at the end which allowed us to overtake the boats in front of us.”
The women’s first varsity eight and lightweight eight boats qualified for USRowing’s Youth National Championship with their performances at the recent Midwest Scholastic Championships in Cincinnati. Youth Nationals, a competitive regatta which includes both club and high school teams, will take place on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., this weekend.
Graduating seniors who will row in the fall are Chris Carothers (Yale); Connelly Denton (Brown); Jake O’Donnell (Syracuse); James Rabjohns (Colby); Patrick Specht (Marietta); Andrew Thompson (Purdue); Kamin Vassilos (Syracuse); Dani Cipinko (Michigan); Merritt Denham (Wisconsin); Meredith Fischer (Stanford); Remy Johnson (Wesleyan); Jenn Maley (Brown); Lindsey McClure (Massachusetts); Anna Melio (Wesleyan); Jessica Streur (Iowa); Emily Swift (Wisconsin); and Hannah Weller (Indiana).
The lineups of the New Trier Women’s Second Varsity 8+ that won gold medals at Scholastic Nationals are: Dani Cipinko; Alexis Braunrot; Caroline McShea; Remy Johnson; Hilary Gould; Anna Melio; Claire Marquardt; Olivia Gignilliat and Emily Swift.
The Freshman Women’s 8+ lineup included Talia La Schiazza; Menley Denham; Isabelle Daellenbach; Jacqui Gossard; Abby Joyce; Grace Gagliardi; Jackie Streur; Kathryn Cosgrove and Natalie Denby.