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TC Crew Finishes Strong in 2011

TC takes home multiple medals in final two regattas.

Competing against the strongest high school rowers in North America, T.C. Williams’ crew team medaled in multiple events at the two final regattas of the season: the Scholastic Rowing Association (SRAA) National Championship on May 28 in Camden, N.J., and the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association (CSSRA) National championship on June 5. Seniors Emily Leidolf and Nora Willkomm — who have rowed for TC since eighth grade and missed TC’s prom to compete one last time at the Canadian Nationals — won bronze in the uber-competitive senior girls pair category, just one second behind the silver medal winners.

In addition, TC’s girls second varsity eight — having switched up the roster to qualify as a "junior eight" under Canadian rowing rules — won a silver medal at St. Catharine’s. The second-place win in Canada came on the heels of the boat’s bronze-medal finish at the SRAA National championship — after turning in the fastest overall time in both the qualifying heats and the semifinals — and two weeks after the boat won gold at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Rowing as a junior eight in Canada were: Madison Stone, Emily Breeding, Caroline Olsson, Allyson Emblom, Katie Pickup, Alexandra Lemke, Nadia Magallon, Paige Mellerio, and Kate Arnold. In the U.S. championship regattas, the boat also included Jackie Tilley, Kate Banchoff, and Macaela Huddle.

Five TC boats advanced to the finals at the CSSRA championships at St Catharine’s. The girls senior eight — which included seven seniors racing together for the last time after five years on TC’s varsity crew team — came up short in the quest to repeat their 2010 gold medal win at St. Catharine’s. They finished in fifth place overall, out of the original 24-boat field. TC’s senior girls eight included: Rachel Blumenstein, Marion Wolz, Nora Willkomm, Emily Leidolf, Kelsey Donley, Christina Wohler, Emma Carlisle-Reske, Jackie Tilley, and Alexandra Lemke.

In addition, racing in a combination cobbled together only a week ago, TC’s girls senior lightweight four finished in fourth place at the Canadian Nationals in a category that included the most experienced lightweight rowers in North America. Indeed, the gold medal winners, seniors from Ontario’s E.L. Crossley high school, had already won gold at both the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and the SRAA nationals when they arrived at St. Catharine’s determined to bring home the "Triple Crown." TC’s young rowers — Macaela Huddle, Nadia Magallon, Caroline Olsson, Paige Mellerio, and Kate Arnold, competing in their second championship race of the day — took the competition in stride. They held onto third place in the final race until just before the finish, when New York’s Eden School sprinted past them to win bronze.

TC’s lightweight boys’ eight — Brian Comey, Cody Brooks, Roger Gildersleeve, Jeffrey Coan, Chris Porter, David Salmons, Sam Zickar, Constantine Ivanis, and Ethan Vannatta — also advanced to the finals at the Canadian national championship. They finished in sixth place in a field that originally included 12 boats.