After investing months of hard work in preparation for the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) Regatta, Andover Boys Crew’s most-anticipated moment arrived on Saturday.
In the Championship race, Andover’s B1 propelled from the starting line to stay even with Kent, Salisbury and Boston College High School (BC High) through the final sprint of the race. The boat crossed the finish line just 0.3 seconds behind Kent to take second place with a time of 4:24.0.
B1 rower Jack Lane ’15 said, “NEIRAs was a heartbreakingly close race for us. Kent got us by an amazingly small margin, and those three tenths of a second were all that stood between us and a second consecutive Championship. We were all disappointed. But in situations like this, you just have to be philosophical about it and understand that sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.”
B1, the third seed in the regatta, consisted of coxswain Jacob Kozol ’15, Rob Irvin ’15, Nicolas Robertson ’15, Co-Captain Marc Sevastopoulo ’15, Co-Captain Ben Hawley ’15, Dylan Norris ’16, Lane, Nick Faulkner ’16 and Gabe Blanchard ’16. It finished first in its preliminary heat in 4:35.3.
Andover’s B2 entered the regatta as the fifth seed. Determined to prove itself, the boat came in first place in its qualifying heat in a time of 4:46.0. The boat included coxswain Christina Schoeller ’16, Diego Blandon ’15, Carter Page ’15, Tora Liu ’16, Isaac Pierce ’16, Alex Cao ’16, Will Humphrey ’16, Tyler Lian ’16 and Miles Neumann ’15.
In the Grand Final, B2 started its sprint a full boat length behind St. Paul’s and Exeter and proceeded to pull ahead. Although Andover could not quite catch up to Kent in 4:33 and BC High in 4:36, Andover gained a huge amount of distance in a short period of time to win the bronze medal in 4:38.
On B3, Claire Wolford ’15 coxed Simon Sharp ’15, John Little ’15, Paul Kinard ’15, Aidan Driscoll ’17, Jake Herman ’15, Colby Lapointe ’16, Luke Bitler ’17 and Ben Beckwith ’15. In the preliminary race, B3 secured a second place finish in 4:49 behind Kent in 4:47.
In the Grand Final, Andover took the lead with one minute left in the race. Seeming like Andover would claim the gold medal, BC High caught up to Andover with about 30 seconds left to take first place. Finishing just one second behind BC High’s time of 4:43, B3 clinched second place.
“All of us in the third boat went into the final race without any expectations other than to leave it all out on the water and have no regrets. I think we did just that, and medaling was a great bonus,” said Lapointe.
At the end of the regatta, Andover Boys Crew was awarded the second place Team Trophy alongside gold medalist Kent.
The team will continue to train through the end of June to prepare for the Henley Royal Regatta in London, one of the most prestigious races in the world. Andover plans to take one eight boat and one coxed four. Competing at Henley will be an enriching experience for Andover’s rowers and will give them a chance to seek retributive wins against the teams that they lost to during the season on the River Thames.
Editor’s Note: Tyler Lian ’16 is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.