The News Page: '05 Upper Merion Regatta

By Brian Conley _______________________________________________________________

It was a gorgeous day to wake up with and it seemed like an ordinary day. The sun was shining and the people were all dressed extremely nicely in their suits and tuxedoes...WAIT, this wasn't the race at Upper Merion, it was my friend's wedding. I am sorry to say that I was not able to attend the outstanding showing that was put on by both our men's and women's team. However, at every chance I got I was trying to get on the internet to get results or as the day went on, was making frantic phone calls to get the details. When I did get a hold of someone, it was only good news followed by better news and followed by news of winning medals. I nearly went nuts in the middle of the church and the reception. It was a massive effort from some of my friends to get me to stop talking about the success that the team had over the course of the day. At one point, one of my friends said, "You speak of this team as if they are your own kids doing extraordinary things." Naturally, there was the reply with no hesitation, "They are my kids." Realizing how that looked, we all got a good laugh, but it was a moment that I realized how proud I am of this team and the coaching staff for what they have all put into this effort of really building the team towards competing with the best.

I spoke with several of the coaches through the day and got the results from all of them. It was obvious through the tone of their voice how proud they were of the men and women at the river that day. From all reports, I heard nothing but cooperation, competing at our best and a great number of crews making it to the finals. Not only did some of these crews make it to the final, but they displayed composure and responsiveness to what was occurring in the races. Two of these crews walked away with the Gold. For some athletes, this was their first medal and will be their most remembered. For others, it will begin a collection of them or begin the culmination of their last few weeks on the Lower Merion Team. As we prepare for Stotesbury, we will focus on improving upon those results and also maintaining that composure that has allowed Lower Merion to race so well this year.

Stotesbury is the goal of the season. Unlike recent years, Lower Merion is now poised to place several crews in the finals for the Stotesbury Regatta. It will not be an easy task by any means. Our athletes will be competing against the best from all over the country and also against some crews from Canada. It is the largest high school race in the country and for the first time since being a part of this team, Lower Merion will not only show their ability in one particular race but in several. Lower Merion is a team other teams will be looking out for when they arrive at the starting lines. It will be fun and exciting to watch them come down the course against the best in the country. I hope to see you all there as I know there is nothing that will keep me from watching the display from these athletes that have worked so hard for this. Congratulations again to all the crews making the finals.

By David Greenspan _______________________________________________________________
Who could ask for a better day! The weather proved to be gorgeous despite the weatherman's gloomy forcast. Sunny, in the 70's. Some head wind early, calming as the day wore on. (Head winds are so much easier to row in than tail winds, though they greatly advantage stronger even if less technically competent boats.) LM Crew had an excellent outing. 6 boats made the finals.

I missed many of the events, so I need help in updating the data. I know the Women LV4+ came in 3rd in their final. Asthma reportedly sabotaged their chances of a better finish. The Men's LV4+ came in second. With the curve near the finish line, it did look really close with 250 meters to go. They lost by a length to that pesky UM lightweight boat, but that was much better than the difference their heat times would have suggested. Also in finals were the Women's Frosh 8 and the Women's V8 made up of the V and LV 4's.

The WV4+ looked great as they won their medals. It appeared that they were in second coming up to the railroad bridge about 500 meters from the finish. But what a move! Through the bridge they clearly took command and finished in front, bowed over their oars from the exhaustion. The crowd cheered, and those ladies looked mighty proud on the medal stand and then strutting that hardware for all of us proud parents to see. After they finished their exhausting race, the Men's LV4+ hopped into an eight with the Men's V4+. Off they paddled, looking pretty beat. And REVENGE is sweet. 9 more medals for the Varsity men who rowed to a 1/2 length victory. The parents went nuts with the excitement of it all.

Next week its the largest HS rowing event in the world. That's right, its the STOTES! Stay tuned. Check it out by following these links.