As the sun scorched Lake Quinsigamond, the Belmont Hill crew team dominated the field at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships. Twenty-two of the best rowing schools in New England’s gathered that hot spring day to compete in one of the most storied youth rowing events in the world.
The day was a fitting end to a dominant Belmont Hill season. The third and fourth eights and the third and fourth varsity fours had undefeated seasons. The first and second varsity fours went into the regatta with only one loss apiece.
At NEIRA’s, the crew team surely showed its depth. Every boat easily cruised through heats and found themselves in prized #1 lanes for finals.
The fourth boat kicked off the finals racing with an emotional victory. Will Ryan, whose sister Maggie recently passed away, stroked the fourth boat to gold with a commanding margin of four seconds. The crew team dedicated their performances to Maggie’s memory, embroidering her initials, MCR, onto their race unis.
The third and second boats continued the winning trend into the afternoon, each winning their races by four and five seconds respectively. The second boat final included Choate, who had defeated the 2V by two feet a couple weeks prior. However, with a chip on their shoulders, the second boat was able to hack out an impressive margin against their season rivals.
The first boat had an impressive race against one of the most competitive fields in NEIRA history. Coach Richards said going into the regatta that “five crews [Nobles, Groton, Belmont Hill, Choate, and Deerfield] could win New England’s,” that the first boat trophy was very much up for grabs. The first four started down on Deerfield but quickly moved back up to give them a run for their money. In the last 250 meters, Belmont opened up a crazy sprint, making the race worthy of a photo finish. In the end, though, the Belmont Hill boat ran out of water, being beaten by Deerfield by .4 seconds.
Belmont Hill and Winsor ultimately took both fours team trophies back to the Boathouse. Belmont Hill won 47 out of the possible 49 points, ten points ahead of last year’s victors, Groton.
Looking ahead, Belmont Hill crew will forge ahead into the summer. On the weekend of the 11th, the 1V will head down to Princeton, New Jersey to race in USRowing’s Youth National Championships, and get another crack at Deerfield in the process. The second boat will be racing up in the first boat category at the National Schools’ Rowing Championships in Philadelphia. They will be joined by a Belmont Hill junior eight, freshman eight, and single. Some Belmont Hill rowers will then continue their rowing throughout the summer months at clubs such as Community Rowing and Riverside.