In their second regatta of the fall season, the Old Dominion Boat Club Select Crew team placed three winning boats among the 14 ODBC entries at the Occoquan Challenge Regatta on Oct. 8 on the Occoquan Reservoir at Sandy Run Regional Park. This year’s ODBC roster includes high school rowers from TC Williams, Washington & Lee, McLean, Wakefield, Yorktown, West Springfield, West Potomac, HB Woodlawn, Bishop Ireton, and Maret.
Fall crew regattas are head races, where boats launch in 10-15 second intervals and winners are determined by the crew that has the best time in their category on the 4500-5000 meter (three miles) course. The Occoquan Challenge this year added a 180-degree turn at the race half-way point, instead of more gradual turns along the race course. This change presented a stiff challenge to rowers and coxswains alike to maintain speed while turning an eight-seat, 60-foot boat.
On a day with August-like heat and humidity, the ODBC Women’s Varsity 8 battled a 10-boat field to post a winning time of 16:04.93, the fifth time over the past decade that the ODBC Women have won this event. The 1V8 includes rowers Blythe Markel, Marley Osborne, Grace Fluharty, Rachel Knapp, Grace Asch, Astrid Henkle, Grace Vannatta, and Celia Lane, and coxswain Paige St. John. They are led by veteran coach Jaime Rubini.
The ODBC Men’s Varsity First and Second 8s competed in a 15-boat field and finished third and fifth, respectively, with times of 14:44.83 and 15:05.54. The ODBC Lightweight 8s also posted impressive race times of 15:23.74 for the Men and 16:58.06 for the Women. Rounding out the upper boat competitions, this year ODBC brought four Women’s Varsity Doubles to the Challenge, placing second (19:21.55), third (19:57.03), fourth (20:10.07), and ninth (21:20.97) in the 11-boat duel.
Among ODBC lower boats, the Men’s Junior Varsity 4+ led the way with a victorious time of 17:50.04. The JV4 is coached by Matthew Schilling and includes rowers Campbell Bright, Emmett Cocke, Mason Melear, and Raja Janjua, with coxswain Emmanuel Teferra. The Men’s JV8 boat placed third out of nine entries with a time of 16:13.74, and the Men’s Frosh 8 also finished third in a five-boat field at 17:21.61.
In one of the final races of the day, the five entries in the Women’s Frosh/Novice 8 category of newly minted rowers included two ODBC boats that finished first and third with times of 18:52.31 and 20:04.36. Rowers on the winning Frosh boat include Mackenzie Allen, Riley Bucholz, Kaitie Dennis, Anna Hill, Elle Krese, Halle Reinholtz, Caroline Suratt, Grace Yokitis, and the coxswain is Caroline Miles. They are guided by women’s head coach Patrick Marquardt.
ODBC travels to the Occoquan again on Oct. 15 for the Occoquan Chase.