Shaker Heights Crew Varsity Girl’s Four accomplished something
unique this weekend at the 22nd Annual Head of the Cuyahoga Regatta.
The Shaker boat finished first in the Open Women’s Four event, ahead of
11 other entries, including Penn State, Miami, Ohio, and John Carroll
Universities. Shaker rowed the 5000-meter course in 18:36, ten seconds
ahead of the second place boat.
Seniors Gen Fortin and Olivia Whittier and Juniors Sophie
Calabrese and Jenna Cahn rowed the victorious Shaker boat. Senior
Casey Lewis coxed the gold medal boat. This same lineup rowed into
the Scholastic National Championship semi-finals last spring.
“ U.S. Rowing Association rules allow all comers to enter an Open
event in this fall regatta,” explained Shaker Head Coach Bob Valerian. ”I
thought it would motivate the girls to row against college competition,
and obviously it did. I’m guessing it’s the first time a Shaker team has
ever beaten a Big Ten school in head-to-head competition.”
Shaker won a second gold medal in the Junior Women’s single
sculls when Sophie Calabrese crossed the finish line with a time of
21:10. Sophie led second place Dayton Boat Club by 39 seconds and was
more than three minutes ahead of third place North Allegheny High
School. Sophie will be rowing the single in the prestigious Head of the
Charles Regatta in Boston on October 22.
Two Shaker Boy’s crews just missed the medal stand. Shaker’s
Boy’s Open Novice Eight and Varsity Lightweight Four, both finished
fourth in their events. Also turning in good performances in their
events were Shaker’s Boy’s Novice Eight (eighth out of 17 entries), the
Girl’s JV Four (sixth of 22 entries) and Shaker’s Novice Girl’s Four (fifth
of 18 entries).
Coach Valerian had praise for the Shaker Novice rowers. “Many of
these kids had never even seen a racing shell before they started
training a month ago. They have worked hard, learned well and gave a
good account of themselves in their first races on Saturday.”
The Crew next races at the Head of the Ohio Regatta in Pittsburgh
on October 8th.