Men’s crew team delivers at state championships

The Space Coast Crew men’s team finished fourth for overall points out of 34 rowing clubs and scholastic teams with 202 points in the FSRA State Rowing Championships on April 29-May 1. First place, Sarasota Crew, had 287 points, second place Winter Park High School had 244 points and third place Belen Jesuit had 208 points.

Points were accumulated by the number of boats each team fleeted that placed first, second or third in their races. The main event in most men’s rowing teams are the 8+ shells, which are the largest rowing shells that seat eight rowers. Space Coast Crew fielded six 8+ shells and four of them earned medals.

Varsity rower Jackson Hall’s shell finished second in the men’s third Varisty 8+ race.

“The whole race is 1,500 meters, but the real push for a medal begins at the last 500 meters, which we saw this weekend,” varsity rower Jackson Hall said. “With two other crews pressing hot on our heels, we stayed calm and collected and trusted in each other to press that much harder, no matter how much it hurt, and hold them off. In the end, we prevailed and there was no better feeling than crossing that finish line, hearing the buzzer, and knowing we had won.”

The men’s third varsity, second varsity and second freshman shells all placed second in their finals, bringing home three sets of silver medals. In addition, the men’s fourth varsity shell placed third, coming in behind second place by o.53 seconds. The first varsity shell placed second in the petite finals, and the first freshman shell placed sixth in their final.

The championships lasted three days. The first day was a practice run in the afternoon, the second was the qualifying races and the third day was the grand finals. The grand finals consisted of some of the closest racing the team has ever seen, having the second varsity 8+ taking second by 0.7 seconds and the third varsity 8+ taking second by 1.5 seconds. These last few close wins are the product of months oftraining that, according to rower Tim Lancaster, all paid off.

“Crossing that finish line at states made all the training we have been doing for the past nine months worth it,” he said. “At the beginning of the spring season, we were being stomped on with ease by other crews who, at that time, were faster. Coming back and being able to take them, not by much, but by just enough was just phenomenal.”

By Erik Dearmin