Sports

Brentwood celebrates an exceptional national rowing performance

Shawnigan Lake School’s Jr A Girls quad team of Anna Koehler, Sierra Farr, Alex Lubbe, Annabel Irwin celebrated a gold medal at the national championships. - courtesy Tim Coy
Shawnigan Lake School’s Jr A Girls quad team of Anna Koehler, Sierra Farr, Alex Lubbe, Annabel Irwin celebrated a gold medal at the national championships.
— image credit: courtesy Tim Coy

Everything was coming up rowers for two local schools participating in a national rowing regatta in Ontario earlier this month.

Brentwood College and Shawnigan Lake School's rowing teams participated in the 69th annual Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association's Regatta in St. Catherine's, June 6-8.

Debbie Sage, the head of Brentwood's rowing program, said a record number of students from her school attended, and 49 of the 50 students ended up in the finals. A total of 38 kids won medals in seven of the 12 finals they participated in.

Brentwood's hardware included one gold, four silver and two bronze.

"Our team this year was the best prepared team ever," Sage said. "We had a keen group of kids and it paid off in the end. They really did exceed our expectations. "

Asked if any individual stood out, Brentwood's rowing coach said it wasn't about one person.

"That's what made it special; we got the results we did because of how they pulled together as a team."

Having said that, the senior and junior women's eight teams both won silver, losing out to an American school, T.C. Williams from Virginia.

"I think you can say they're the best teams in their division in Canada now," the rowing coach said.

The weekend's weather was perfect, except for a two-hour spell of thunder and lightening

Brentwood's medal winners include:

Gold: Ellis Hollands, Liam Bontkes, Lion Tautz and Alex Ridenour in the junior men's quad.

Silver: Seo Young Ra, Brooke Martin, Renee LaFreniere, Petra Jackson and Jessica Novecosky in the junior women's four with coxswain; Hye Young Ra, Sophia Auton, Emily Lawrence, Gwyneth Zollmann, Claire DeNure, Mariel Frank, Gillian Marvel, Lucy Stanford and Carolyn Barakso in the senior women's 63 kg eight; Paige Ledingham, Tasmin West, Brooke Martin, Renee LaFreniere, Teagan McNeill, Petra Jackson, Ellie Krasny, Stephanie Cheung, and Jessica Novecosky, in the junior women's eight; and Hye Young Ra, Lucy Stanford, Carolyn Barakso, Lucy Digney, Mollie McPhee-Green, Tara Christensen, Kirsten McNeill, Joanna Lancashire and Featherdawn Florkow, in the senior women's eight.

Bronze: Joanna Lancashire, Kirsten McNeill, Featherdawn Florkow, and Tara Christensen in the senior women's quad and; Rielly Mlne, Kelly Agnew, Louis Barry, Sam Storey, Anton Schultz, Niko Praun, Thomas Griffith, Hayden Frisch, and Elliot Rogers in the senior men's eight.

Shawnigan's results

The regatta was a little less successful for Shawnigan, which sent 35 students and had a sick crew member on the boy's senior team.

Shawnigan entered 13 events, and 9 boats make the finals. The school went home with one gold medal and two bronze.

"Our guy who sets the pace for the boat was ill and couldn't race in the final and so we had to put in a substitute; we ended up coming in sixth in that race," rowing coach Tim Coy said. "Our results were not what we had hoped for as a result. I'm guessing, that without that happening, we would have come in second or third."

The good news is that the junior A women's with coxswain team, comprised of Maia du Toit, Nicola Simpson, Danielle Schmidt, Sierra Farr, and Alex Lubbe raced in, "the race of the regatta," as three boats finished within .03 of a second of each other. They placed third.

Anna Koehler showed what being a true sportswoman is all about after her boat flipped at the beginning of the Junior B's single. Undeterred, she got back into the boat, which was full of water and rowed her heart out and placed fifth.

Koehler will be co-captain of the school's girl's team next year.

Medal standing:

Gold: Anna Koehler, Sierra Farr, Alex Lubbe, and Annabel Irwin in the junior A women's quad.

Bronze: Edouard Receveaux, Jeremy Perrott, Felix Haffner, Sean Olson and Elise McKinnon in the junior B lightweight boys with coxswain and;  Maia du Toit, Nicola Simpson, Danielle Schmidt, Sierra Farr, and Alex Lubbe in the junior A women's with coxswain. 

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