Despite this being the first season for rowing at Unionville High School, 11 UHS athletes took first-place medals at the 2014 Baltimore Invitational Regatta on April 12.
Drawing more than 31 clubs from the Mid-Atlantic region, the Invitational Regatta attracted athletes from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.
Claiming first-place medals were UHS seniors John Sagrati, Sebastian Tenlen, Ethan Kablunde, and Anna Wertz; sophomores Julianna Murphy, Kiera Callahan, and Collin Wardius. Sophomore coxswain Olivia Robb took two firsts while brothers Justin (junior) and Garren (senior) Best brought home three gold medals each.
Although some Unionville first-place medalists have a few seasons of rowing experience from area rowing clubs, many are novice rowers.
According to Unionville Rowing Club head coach Samantha McDonald, “Saturday's racing was a great success for us. The stage was set in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and our athletes rose to the occasion. Unionville High School was represented by over 30 athletes racing in 11 events. Overall, we had seven top-three finishes and three first-place awards.
“The level of competition at this regatta gets greater every year, and I am more than proud of all of our crews that raced,” McDonald added. “Every boat put forth an amazing effort and all crews returned to the dock with a sense of accomplishment. After having such a productive day, our athletes are more focused than ever on our future regattas and competition.”
Commenting on Saturday's performance, three-time medalist Garren Best said, “It was great to see all of our hard work paying off.”
And not to be topped by his older brother, younger brother Justin added, “It was a beautiful day with lots of competitive racing. … a great regatta overall.”