Last weekend the Vashon Island Rowing Club wrapped up its fall season with two regattas in Seattle, where the club won two first-place medals and took many second- and third-place finishes.
On Saturday, the junior rowers went to Green Lake to compete in the Frostbite Regatta, a 1k sprint race, where they earned the two first-place medals.
The women’s open quad, with Kalie Heffernan, Hannah Russell, Emmie Kehoe, Anna Ripley and coxswain Ally Clevenger, crossed the finish line first in 3:55 — 11 seconds ahead of the closest competing crew.
The novice girls also had a strong race in the women’s novice four event, taking first by seven seconds. Rowing that boat were Mei Lee Vandervelde, Caprial Turner, Emma DuBois, Emily Milbrath and Olivia Mackie as coxswain.
“The novice girls did an awesome job this weekend,” said Assistant Coach Tom Kicinski, who also lamented the cancellation of the novice boys race due to wind conditions later in the afternoon.
Second-place finishers were the women’s open four and the women’s JV four. Three Vashon boats that placed third — the men’s open quad, the women’s third varsity four and the men’s lightweight eight.
On Sunday at the Head of the Lake Regatta, a 5k head race co-hosted by the University of Washington and Lake Washington Rowing Club, both the masters and juniors competed in seven races. Five boats finished in second place, two of which had competing Vashon crews in the field.
In the men’s junior quad, Gus Magnuson, Tate Gill, Baxter Call and Isaiah Mosser-Rohe, with coxswain Mackie, came in second, while rowers Nathaniel Petram, Patrick Hanson, Charles Elliott, Jack Mask and coxswain Isaac Hughes placed fourth. Both boats finished on the heels of Canadian crews.
Head Coach Richard Parr said it was impressive just to come in second to one of the Canadian boats, which represented large and talented teams.
“Coming in second to them is no shame,” he said.
In the women’s masters quad race, both Vashon boats took second in their respective flights. The masters men, rowing in a four and a double, each finished second as well.
“The masters had good races all the way around,” Parr said.
Although the junior girls quad came in fourth overall, they were only one second behind the fastest American boat.
In the highly competitive women’s junior eight race, the same Vashon crew that raced in Boston two weeks ago put their training to the test and took third place out of 11 entries.
“We’ve come a long way in the eight compared to a year ago,” Parr said. “We’re right up there with the big guns. But we’ve got some more work to do to overtake those big guns.”
Parr said that overall he was pleased with VIRC’s fall season. The team will resume competition in the spring.
“I’m really happy because we got some pretty good depth across the board, especially with such a young team,” he said.
— Marianne Metz Lipe is a member of the Vashon Island Rowing Club’s publicity committee.