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Arlington Sports Briefs: Yorktown Crews Prepare for State Title Push

The Yorktown men’s and women’s crews raced on the Potomac in front of their "home crowd" on April 24 at the Charlie Butt Regatta (CBR) and established themselves as medal contenders in almost every competitive category for the upcoming Virginia state championships to be raced over the next two weekends. The Yorktown program is likely fielding one of its strongest overall lineups it has ever had, according to head coach Andy Bacas.

In the women’s first varsity eight, the Patriots opened the regatta by winning their heat by open water and followed that strong showing with a tight second-place finish to traditional powerhouse T.C. Williams. The Patriots are defending silver medalists in the premiere women’s event and look to go into this year’s state championship ranked second or third.

In the men’s first varsity eight, Yorktown also began with an open-water win in the heats over Arlington rival Washington-Lee and two other Virginia schools, Lake Braddock and West Potomac, and advanced to a challenging four-boat final with Washington D.C. powers St. Albans and Gonzaga. Gonzaga is the defending SRA Nationals Champion of 2009. St Albans came out on top, with Gonzaga second, Yorktown third and W-L fourth. Yorktown is the defending VASRA First Varsity Men’s Champion.

The Yorktown women's team continued its strong showing all down its lineup of crews against a very large field of the best crews from Virginia and the District of Columbia. In the women's second varsity eights, the Patriot women recorded the fourth-fastest time in the two levels of finals to take second in the petite final behind Georgetown Visitation. The Yorktown novice eight and novice four both won their flights and the freshman eight, after being slowed by a collision at the start, rowed back to within a length of the leaders for third.

The junior men’s boats from Yorktown also look to be strong medal contenders as well, with the men’s junior eight finishing open water ahead over Langley in its Charlie Butt Regatta event, bested only by a Gonzaga crew that will not be part of the Virginia championship. The Patriot men’s third eight finished open water ahead over its one Virginia opponent from Washington-Lee, but was also second overall to a crew from Gonzaga.

The Yorktown freshmen and novice men also showed they are ready to take on the best of Virginia with solid second-place finishes in both of their events at the CBR. The Patriot freshman eight trailed only a crew from T.C. Williams and the novice eight bested all its competition but a crew from O'Connell. Last year the Yorktown freshman men were second only to St. Albans in the VASRA Lower Boat Championships.

Bacas summarized the day by saying, "I think we are in great position going into states this year. The top VASRA crews on both the men’s and women’s side are stronger this year than last, but we are stronger, too, and a bit deeper than last year. We will be very competitive in almost every event we enter at states this year and in the end, that is really the best you can hope for. Our program has come a long way in four years, our coaches, parents and athletes have worked very hard to elevate the program and I am very proud of both where we are where we are headed."

<b>Yorktown Girls Soccer Falls to Woodson</b>

The Yorktown girls soccer team visited W.T. Woodson on April 22, knowing that a strong performance would be necessary to compete. Throughout the game, the ball stayed in the middle of the field with few opportunities produced on either end to score, but set pieces would be the difference in this match. Woodson took advantage of corner kicks won and buried three of them. Woodson went on to win 3-0.

"We feel as if we are coming along each game. As long as we keep our heads up and play with confidence we will be fine, and move past this game," head coach Vicky Brunt said. "We have an upcoming district game that we should rebound from."

With a tough loss behind them, Yorktown can continue to come together and focus on the district matches ahead. The Patriots’ goal of making it past the first round of the regional tournament lingers with each player and with Brunt.

"We have had this pattern or trend of getting the number one seed in the tournament [region], and then losing that first game," she said. "That will be our main focus from here on out."

— R. Kyle Rosenbluth

<b>W-L Crews Finish Strong</b>

On April 17, Washington-Lee returned to the Smokey Jacobs Regatta at Occoquan where strong wind conditions forced officials to create a last-minute second course and temporarily suspend racing during the event. Regardless, the women had strong finishes all around with the second varsity eight finishing first, third varsity eight placing second and the freshman eight boat also taking second. The women’s first varsity eight finished first in heats and fifth in the finals. On the men's side, third varsity eight placed second and the freshman four came in fourth.

Bad luck befell the men’s upper boats with the second varsity finishing first but out of progression due to a first varsity eight rower falling ill causing that entry to be scratched.