Men’s crew team places second after being awarded first place

Space Coast Crew’s men’s team were mistakenly awarded first place in points over-all at the 2011 Brevard County Championships on April 9, when the team had actually received second place by one point.

“I had been following the points count all day, so at the end of the regatta I had been told that the men were second to Mel High for the Men’s overall points by one point,” men’s coach Heather Rogers said via e-mail. “No one was more surprised than me when they announced us as winners, I couldn’t believe it. I was cautiously ecstatic.”

Rogers said she later was approached by an official who indicated that a mistake had been made and the men were in second.

“I felt like a protective parent,” she said. “Kind of like when you have to break the news to your kid that their goldfish died. I elected to return the plaque when everyone left the race site and talk with the boys as a team at practice on Monday.”

Senior coxswain Adam Sanchez said he felt cheated out of what he thought was theirs.

“We all had worked really hard to earn it, and with all of the build-up and suspense that day it hurt twice as hard to hear that we hadn’t actually own it,” he said. “We gradually found out on our own, through hearsay and based on its absence from the collection of trophies we won from that day.”

Junior rower Justin Yntema left the race early and was told by teammates that they had won.

“I was genuinely excited to hear about the good news and I knew that our team had accomplished its goal of wanting to beat Mel high this year, even if it was by just one point,” he said. “After I heard that we did in fact lose, it felt as if it was almost worse than losing in the first place. It would have been much easier to handle the fact that we lost than to hear we had accomplished our goal for the year and then have our pride stripped from us as it was.”

Although team members were disappointed, they have not let the mistake hinder their progress leading up to states at the end of the month.

“Most of us have kept spirits up through our drive to do well at States,” Sanchez said. “My lightweight 8 boat in particular hasn’t lost a single ounce of morale. We’re looking forward now. Dwelling on a silly mix-up is only going to keep us down.”

By Sommer Hidy