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Crew teams join in weekend scrimmage
By PAT CALL
For the second year in a row, Vashon crews were invited to participate in the Husky Open at the Montlake Cut between Lake Washington and Lake Union.
This relatively low-key regatta on Saturday featured the University of Washington men’s eight rowing against perennial East Coast powerhouse Brown University in the marquee matchup (the Huskies prevailed).
Vashon competed in one master and three junior events. The master’s men provided all of the excitement for the day, holding off Bainbridge and three other crews to take an outright first place (no age handicapping involved) in their race.
Coach Richard Parr was particularly pleased that the men’s early-morning workouts on Quartermaster Harbor paid off. Masters usually row a 1,000-meter sprint course, but the Husky Open and Opening Day races in May are a full high school/collegiate 2,000-meter distance.
The junior crews expected their first real test of the season on Saturday with the junior women’s four (Bryn Gilbert, stroke, Taegan Lynch, Shannon Lipe and Te’a Schafer, with Ally Clevenger, coxswain) and quad (Mia Croonquist, stroke, Riley Lynch, Kalie Heffernan and Kirsten Girard, bow) and the junior men’s quad (Patrick Hanson, stroke, Jacob Plihal, Fletcher Call and Baxter Call, bow) going up against area rivals for the first time.
However, Vashon rowers did a double take as they discovered that the competing crews were not the varsity competitors they expected. All three Vashon varsity boats cruised to easy victories with more than 20 seconds distance over the second-place boat in each race. Nonetheless Coach Parr was pleased with the effort of all three crews.
On Sunday the Vashon junior crew moved its shells to Lake Stevens for a friendly scrimmage against a relatively young program. Vashon’s novice and junior varsity crews had a confidence-building day on glassy water.
Next weekend Vashon master and junior crews travel to Eugene, Ore., for the Covered Bridge Regatta on Dexter Lake.
— Pat Call is the father of two junior rowers.