Crew fans flocked to the banks of the Genesse River in Genesse Valley Park for the 17th annual Stonehurst Capital Regatta on Oct. 9.

Over 40 teams competed in six classes, beginning the day with the five kilometer head races, breaking for races between nine high school teams and finishing with 1500-meter sprint races in the afternoon.

“This year the regatta drew more boats than we have had in past years,” UR Crew head coach Will Greene said. “We expanded to invite high schools outside of Rochester to compete.”

The sprint races are weighted and then added to the head races to produce the championship time, which determines final standings. Harvard University finished first in the men’s open eight race, taking home the George M. Angle Cup for the sixth straight year.

The University of Western Ontario took first in the women’s open eight race, winning the Elaine P. Wilson Cup. This year’s regatta marks the end of Stonehurst Capital’s run as title sponsor.

UR Men’s

The UR men’s open eight boat took home a third place medal in the college class.

“There were a lot of fast teams there this weekend, and several such as Brown, Harvard, Syracuse and Marietta have national team athletes in their boats,” captain and senior Chris Metzger said. “It was nice to know that we could place among them at the top of the pack.”

Powered by coxswain and senior Adam Rosenberg, stroke and senior Mark Koenig, Metzger, sophomore Mike Gilbert, seniors Mike Sealander and Adam Eckert, sophomores Cody Hillin and Greg Skipton and senior Sam Boyce in the bow, the Yellowjackets finished 10th overall, with a head race time of 16:55.42 and a sprint time of 4:32.11.

“The mix of youth and experience really came through,” Greene said. “They put together a good race, rowed real hard and came away with a medal.”

The lightweight four boat composed of coxswain and senior Francine Brown, sophomores Drew Scoles and David Kispert, senior Adam Begley and freshman Alex Traubert finished 9th in the open division with a head time of 20:04.25 and a sprint time of 5:20.39. The boat beat out five crews.

UR Women’s

UR entered two boats in the 21-entrant women’s open eight college class. The UR first boat finished 5th.

“I’m proud of how we did,” senior and captain Lisa Saladino said. “Seeing the boat behind us get farther and farther away – especially for a young boat – was exciting.”

Coxswain and junior Becky Fronheiser, stroke and sophomore Lauren Cassidy, sophomore Lauren Hageman, junior Katie Piekarz, sophomores Danielle Boot and Johanna Bentley, Saladino, sophomore Michaela Sacra and junior Katie Anderson in the bow completed the head race in 9:22.80 and the sprint in 5:16.91.

Fifth place may not be an accomplishment in some eyes, but the field of competition proves otherwise. Williams College, Queens University, Ithaca College and William Smith College have all received national attention in recent seasons.

The second women’s boat finished 13th, just behind Rochester Institute of Technology. They beat RIT in the morning with a time of 20:07.03, but finished a few seconds short in the afternoon with a time of 5:36.75.

“We threw our second boat at them and they competed well,” Greene said.

Coxswain and junior Khetisudah Suvarnasuddhi, stroke and senior Rachael Israelson, sophomores Liz Swain, Beth Selleck and Eva Knoth, senior Nancy Gort, sophomore Sarah Seider, senior Betsy Shapiro and junior Ilana Elson in the bow put UR one ahead in a traditional rivalry with their cross-canal competition.

Looking ahead

UR sends one women’s boat to this weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta – the world’s largest two-day rowing regatta, attracting over 7,000 athletes and 300,000 spectators.

“I’m really excited to row this weekend,” Saladino said. “I’ve never rowed on the Charles before.”

UR was selected to compete through a lottery system. If the women finish within the top five percent this year, they’re guaranteed a spot for next year’s competition.

Greene hopes to send two women’s eights and two men’s eights to the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia on Oct. 29.

“For us to have two fast boats next week, we are going to need to continue to work hard in practice as well as outside of practice,” Metzger said. “In the past we have won not because we were the biggest crew on the water, but rather because we were the toughest and most technically sound crew.”

UR crew ends the fall season with the Syracuse Fall Race on Nov. 5. While fall races are important, prime rowing season is in the spring.

Greene anticipates big things next semester.

“Because the crew is so young with both first boats loaded with sophomores, we expect them to continue developing through the winter and spring, which makes this early season success more exciting,” he said.

Borchardt can be reached at

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