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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Shen girls four takes Head of the Charles title

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shen girls four takes Head of the Charles title

BOSTON – The Friends of Shenendehowa Crew, Inc. youth women’s four raced to its first-ever Head of the Charles title Sunday morning in Boston.

The boat of Abby Knight, Stephanie Dararaw, Rachel Boudreau, Lauren Boudreau and coxswain Lindsey Blake covered the 3-mile serpentine course in 19 minutes, 16.075 seconds, beating second place Winsor Crew at 19:18.325 and was the fastest entry out of the 65 boat race. Shenendehowa’s second entry, its ‘B’ boat finished in 46th place at 22:03.321.

Last year the Shenendehowa entry, without Dararaw, Rachel Boudreau and Blake, earned a second-place finish.

“Last year we knew we did well because we passed the first boat in front of us and didn’t see anyone behind us and it felt good,” Knight said. “The boat that beat us came from bow 50, they came out of nowhere.

“This year we passed the boat in front of us again and kept on going and prayed that was no higher bows to beat us,” Knight said. “They are so fast with the results that five minutes out of the boat, people calling say it was unofficial that we had won it.”

One of the biggest challenges facing the Shenendehowa entry was the unfamiliarity of the course, the crew and the sport of rowing to freshman coxswain, Blake.

“She had a lot of learning to do,” Knight said. “We had to teach her how to talk and steer in general. She studied this course like nuts and practiced the course on Friday. She’s a quick learner and took a really good course. We were all very impressed with her.”

Another difference for the Shenendehowa boat were the medals.

“When there are 65 boats or more they give out medals from 6th place on up,” Knight said. “Last year for second place we got our medals in the mail last year, we got ours today.
“It’s a lot better, we had a little ceremony,” Knight said. “They are a lot bigger than the ones in the mail.”

Blogger note:What makes this win even more impressive is that for the second year in a row, this entry and its varsity program is without a coach.

Last year's coach bolted for another opportunity at the beginnning of the season, this year, according to reports, had a falling out with the board and has left.

Credit to current novice coach and former rower, Drew Croft, for helping out this boat.

The Saratoga youth women’s eight raced its way to a fifth-place finish at the prestigious fall rowing event, completing the course in 17:54.061. Boston-based Community Rowing Inc. captured the race in 17:23.121. Burnt Hills Rowing Association came in 16th at 18:19.117. Saratoga’s ‘B’ entry was 36th at 19:04.675 and its ‘C’ entry finished in 19:17.102 out of the 68 boats entered.

The Saratoga youth boys four raced to an 18th-place finish in 18:15.548 out of 70 boats entered. The Canadian entry from St. Catharine’s Rowing Club won the race in 17:16.152.

The Burnt Hills Rowing Association youth boys eight finished in 34th position in 16:45.157 and Saratoga Rowing was 50th at 17:06.601 out of the 66 entries. Eton College won the event in 15:12.930.

Kurt Borchardt, representing the Saratoga Rowing Association completed the men’s single event in 20:49.697 for a seventh-place finish.

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