Anthony Raffin ’17
The day started at six AM. By then the Cleveland Youth Rowing Association boathouse was bustling with life and the rowers preparing for the day ahead. A long line of trailers stacked high with crew boats from in-state and out-of-state teams crowded the parking lot of the boathouse. Teams were gathered around their respective coaches as they gave out the game plan and schedule for the day. Vendors pulled in with their vans and started to set up their stand with merchandise. Teams were serving light breakfasts of doughnuts, juice, bagels, coffee, and other morning snacks. The day ahead looked promising until it started to rain.
Around seven o’clock it was announced by official that the races were to be delayed by an hour. This was due to the two Canadian freighters, the Algoway and the Cuyahoga, which were unloading and loading on the river at the West 3rd street bridge. This blocked boats from rowing up to the start line which sits about 100 meters North of the Interstate 490 bridge. To shorten the delay, officials had to cut the racecourse down from 5,000 meters to 2,500 meters disappointing the teams as well as many onlookers.
Around an hour after the first race they called down the “Mens Jr Lightweight 8 Man”. Cheers emanated from the St. Edward team tent as their Jr Varsity 8 left the dock and began to row down the river. Twenty minutes later the Varsity 8 was rocketing past Columbus Road Bridge and looked like Olympic class rowers. The SEHS Varsity 8 consisted of (stern to bow) Bartsche, Strumbel, Mueller, Sekerak, Vozary, Hall, Maloof, Staskus, and Pace. They won a Bronze, coming in behind St. Ignatius with Silver, and Canisius HS with Gold.
The “Mens Jr Novice 8” was then called down sometime after. In the boathouse the Novices were given a beforehand pep talk from Coach John Froelich and Coach Rob Stintham. They 8 men pushed the boat away from the dock, ready to dominate the competition. The Novice 8 shot down the river after crossing the start line. It was going tight on the turns putting seconds behind itself and the following boat. As the Novice 8 crossed the finish line cheers erupted from the crowds. When the results came back it was SEHS with Gold, Westerville RC with Silver, and St. John’s Jesuit with Bronze. The SEHS Novice Eight consisted of (stern to bow) Wilde, Hilderbrant, Trebilecock, Adams, Fijalkovich “Fij”, Issa, Pender, Raffin, and Zubek. This marks the first time ever that a SEHS had one a category two years in a row!
Not satisfied the Novice 4 consisting (stern to bow) of McLoughlin, Hildebrandt, Adams, Fijalkovich “Fij”, and Trebilcock. The five men went out to show how ST. Edward’s Rowing Team is the boat everyone wants to be, and in doing so won another Gold medal for SEHS with Central Catholic receiving Silver, and Notre Dame Rowing Club receiving Bronze.
The rest of the Eagle Crew Varsity went on to face teams that have 2-3 times the experience and water time of the squad. The Varsity 8 went on to come in 9th out of 22, and the 2nd Varsity 8 coming in at 13th out of 22.
This year marks the first time ever that St. Edward High School has participated in a regatta with a Novice and Varsity team. This weekend the SEHS Crew team will be racing at the Frogtown Regatta in Toledo, where they hope to make Eagle history.