OC Crew Crushes their Fall Season!

1st Varsity 8 racing at Head of the Charles on Oct. 21, 2018 Stern to Bow: Julie Stierer (coxswain), Victoria Gevaudan, Mackenzie Westfield, Libby Stofko, Emily Hunt, Courtney Moody, Lindsey Bonavita, Emma Holtz, Meghan McDonough

Emma Holtz '20, Assistant Editor

Another year, another amazing start for the Oakland Catholic Crew Team! September rolled around quickly, bringing crisp autumn air and endurance workouts with it. We welcomed 11 new novice members to the Crew Family! Under the guidance and experience of their coaches, the novices practiced on the water and land to become proficient enough to race in 8 and 4 person boats at three races this season. Great job ladies, we can’t wait to see what’s to come for our growing novice members!

Varsity and Novice together trained extensively to prepare for our first official regatta on October 7th for Head of the Ohio right here in Pittsburgh. OC dominated the 2.8-mile race course, with the 1st Varsity 8 Boat snatching the gold medal for their heat.

OC Crew received a very exciting surprise this season, as our team was offered the rare opportunity to compete at the world-renowned Head of the Charles Regatta, or HOCR. Over 11,000 athletes flock to the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts each October for an epic two-day rowing competition. 8 rowers and 1 coxswain were chosen to compete in an 8 boat against 84 other teams around the country. Senior rower and stroke seat Victoria Gevaudan describes the thrilling experience of rowing the 3 mile course with her teammates:

In that moment, every girl was so focused on everything our coxswain was saying that we moved through the bridge with ease and accelerated to the finish. The second I crossed the finish line I immediately smiled, knowing everyone in the boat had put their best effort forth and raced the best we could.”

The third and final race of the fall season took place at Griggs Reservoir in Dublin, Ohio for back-to-back regattas: the Blake Haxton Invitational Regatta and Speakmon Regatta. At Blake Haxton, OC sadly missed the podium due to fierce competition, but brought it home at the Speakmon Regatta, where our 1st two-person pair and 1st Varsity 8 each earned bronze, and the Women’s Lightweight 4 earned silver.

We had great successes this Fall season and will continue to channel those feelings of victory into our winter training for the spring sprint season. Speaking from my personal experience on this team, I am truly blessed and thankful to share every practice and race with this amazing group of young women. Our gains this season wouldn’t have been possible without our coaches’ guidance and our unbreakable bonds as a team.