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Junior Racers Spring 2017 Recap

The Junior Racers completed their third spring season earlier this month. This season was our biggest yet with nine athletes participating in regattas. For most of the team, this season was the first glimpse at competitive rowing.

Spring rowing is considered to be the sprint season. Races are typically 1500m or 2000m in length, which lasts between six to ten minutes long. In sprint races, crews line up side-by-side at the starting line and row as hard as they can to try to cross the finish line first.

On April 30th, the Junior Racers traveled to Camden, NJ to participate in the Cooper Cup Regatta. Noank Rowing Club was one of 58 teams to attend the regatta, which is known for having a sheltered 2000m course complete with buoys and stake boats. The weather was relatively warm but breezy, so races quickly got delayed as crews tried to navigate the starting area and choppy conditions on the course. The Women’s Novice 4x, comprised of Katie Krupansky, Kelci Gilot, Sam Beebe, and Holly Conlon, was first to race for NRC, finish fourth in

their heat with an overall time of 9:52.68. Next for NRC was the Men’s Novice 4x with Adam Greene, Jack Demmons, Jack McCrea, and Weston Courtright. The men came in fourth in their heat as well with an overall time of 9:51.12 for 2000m. Both crews came off the water excited about their first racing experience. With little rest, Courtright headed back out on the water to compete in the Men’s JV 1x. With wind increasing, Courtright battled rough conditions and managed to complete his race with a time of 12:43.37. With their first racing experience under their belts, the Junior Racers were eager to head back home to prepare for their next race.

On May 7th, the Junior Racers traveled to Oyster Bay, NY for the Long Island Junior Rowing Championships. Members of the team traveled to Long Island the night before and met up to watch Guardians of the Galaxy II. After a good night’s rest, the Junior Racers were ready for race day! Thirty teams, including NRC, went to Centre Island Beach ready to race.

Unfortunately, the wind was back again, leading to very rough conditions including white caps in the morning, so coaches were urged to use their best judgement when launching crews to race. The race was shortened to 1000m with a floating start, which led to quick and inconsistent race times between heats. Once again, the Women’s Novice 4x started off the day for NRC with a first place finish in their heat with a time of 4:33.75. The Men’s Novice 4x, with Greene, Demmons, Adrian Colbath, and McCrea, came down the course shortly after and placed fourth with a time of 5:11.99. The Women’s 4x quickly turned around and headed back up to the start to compete in a JV event, where they finished third with a time of 4:13.09. The men came into the beach to swap out McCrea for Courtright to compete in a JV event, where they placed third in their heat with a time of 4:48.52. Both crews came into the beach soaked and cold from the rough conditions.

After changing into warm clothes and having a bite to eat, Krupansky and Conlon decided to head back out into the rough water to race in their Women’s JV 2x. While conditions had improved over the afternoon, anxious crews launched ill-prepared for the waves and swamped on the way up to the starting area. Krupansky and Conlon kept their cool on the way up to the start. Due to a number of crews scratching their entries (in other words, deciding not to race) at the last minute, Krupansky and Conlon made it to their heat with no competitors-- the other women’s doubles raced in the first heat. Krupansky and Conlon started their race in a men’s heat and ended up clocking the fastest time for their event, 4:22.04, bringing home a gold medal! In short, it was an exciting day for NRC!

While the spring season was short with only two regattas, it was a great experience for the young racing team. I am proud of the progress the athletes made in a short amount of time. I am certainly looking forward to seeing how the team improves in the years to come!

The Junior Racers is a group of dedicated high school athletes who train five days a week in preparation for regional regattas. All of the graduates of the Junior Racers to date have gone on to row at the collegiate level. For more information about Junior Racers, contact Coach Allie at

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