On Saturday, May 25th, Wilson Crew raced at SRAA Nationals, a premier high school regatta with crews from all over the country, from Miami to Seattle. We had our best finish in school history with three boats making the Grand Finals:
The Varsity Boys 8+, coached by Joe McMullin, came home with the National Championship!
C: Natalia Facchinato-Sitja
8: Dean Gwadz
7: Rory Hagerty
6: Michael Horan
5: Sebastian Murrell
4: Ethan Klein
3: Ian Conway
2: Emmett Patterson
1: Nicholas Antrim
The Girls Freshman 8+, coached by Natalie Clark, placed 4th place in the Nation:
C: Elinor Aladjem
8: Ellie Bijeau
7: Njeri Booker
6: Annabelle Harbold
5: Katherine Bouma
4: Olivia Gogarty
3: Annette Leber
2: Isabelle Pala
1: Elizabeth Lawrence
The Boys Lightweight 8+, coached by Joe McMullin, placed 5th place in the Nation:
C: Felix Garland
8: Evan Prince
7: Scott Sakura
6: Lucas Fuller
5: Griffin Beronio
4: Fred Chyi
3: Stephen Sun
2: Alexander Strauss
1: Carlo Price
See local radio station WAMU coverage here: In Sync: Local Teams Show Up Big for National High School Crew Championship
See their joy as they celebrate:
And in rowing tradition, watch winning coxswain Natalia get thrown for a dip:
Five of the nine athletes in the Boys V8+ have been together since the beginning: Natalia Facchinato-Sitja (Marietta College), Dean Gwadz(Syracuse), Rory Hagerty (Naval Academy), Sebastian Murrell(UWisconsin), Ethan Klein (BostonU), and Ian Conway (UPenn). Juniors Nicolas Antrim and Michael Horan, and sophomore Emmett Patterson, rounded out this winning boat – led, of course, by Coach Joe McMullin.
The Boys' season was a bit of roller coaster from an early, decisive victory on the Occoquan to missing the Grand Final at our local Championship. We had to petition our way to Nationals and in the end the DC-area crews went 1-2-3 on the V8 podium (BCC and Gonzaga placed 2nd and 3rd). The petite final also had St. Albans, Whitman, McLean, and DeMatha which says a lot about the quality of competition in this area. This was not just a resounding victory for Wilson but for the DC Metro area crews!
These nine kids did not do it alone — the entire Wilson team, boys and girls, were right there alongside them, pushing them to get better and faster and stronger. From 10k-a-day November (that was in addition to the teams’ six practices a week), to three-a-days in Florida in February and April in DC, early mornings and late evenings on the Potomac – all of our rowers have put in so many hours to pull themselves to victory.
We have an amazing group of coaches starting with Director of Rowing and Girls V8+ coach Chris Rickard, and, of course, Boys V8+ Coach Joe McMullin. Their tireless dedication to the team paid off in spades this weekend. The varsity crews were also assisted by Keith Casscells-Hamby, Annie Bowler, and Claire Sleigh – a huge thank you to all of them.
Natalie Clark propelled our fearless Freshman Girls to their record finish and Elisabeth Bott coached our fearsome Freshman Boys. Rounding out the group was Charlotte Taft, inspiring our next generation of rowers in the Middle School program.
We owe them all a huge round of applause – which you can deliver in person at the year-end picnic at Thompson Boat Center at 1 PM. Varsity, Novice/Freshman, and Middle School Crew participants and families are all invited.
And a huge thank you to the parents, not only for the work you do to get your own kids to the boathouse, but on behalf of the team. This year – and next – we are making significant investments in our equipment and coaching staff, and all of that is made possible by the parents who run our fundraisers, organize our regattas, and do countless thankless jobs. I would start to name you all but would be sure to forget not just one but many – we will celebrate your dedication at the picnic as well!
We have big shoes to fill for next year. Not only are we losing the six seniors from the Boys V8+, we’re graduating Ilana Samuel, Evelyn Smyth, Ethan Prince, Scott Sakura, and Lucas Fuller. So we are already looking ahead to next season and welcome all rising 9th graders or any upperclassmen/women who want to join a nationally ranked rowing program.
Go Wilson Tigers!!!