Saline High School Crew kicked off its fall season on Saturday, competing in the 27th annual “Frogtown Races” Regatta in Toledo. The Frogtown Regatta is one of the largest and most prestigious fall regattas in the Midwest with high school, college, adaptive rowers, and masters rowers (adults) traveling to International Park in Downtown Toledo to compete on a 3 mile course along the Maumee River. The fall season features endurance style races of 5,000 to 6,000 meters (3 – 4 miles) and this event was a perfect warm up for this year’s fall Saline High School Rowing Club.
Thirty six clubs from 25 cities and 7 states competed Saturday in the regatta hosted by the Toledo Rowing Club. With sunny skies in the morning giving way to rain and wind in the afternoon, Saline rowers competed in 14 of 59 events with some of the most competitive teams in the Midwest, including clubs from Ann Arbor Pioneer and Huron, Northville, Detroit Boat Club, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s , Cranbrook Kingswood, Ignatius Chicago, Bay City, Toledo, Anthony Wayne, Westerville Rowing Club, Notre Dame Academy Crew, Dublin Crew, Upper Arlington, Fox Chapel, Culver, Central Catholic, St. John’s Jesuit and Cincinnati Country Day.
Having seen significant growth in team size this fall, Saline was able to compete in a large number of events, allowing its newest members to gain valuable experience on the water in a competitive setting after only two weeks of practice. In the morning under sunny skies, Saline made respectable showings in the Men’s Varsity 8, Women’s Varsity 8, Mixed 8, Men’s Lightweight 8, Men’s Varsity 4, Novice 4, Women’s Novice 4 and Men’s Double.
The afternoon weather changed drastically, bringing with it sustained heavy rain and wind which seemed to invigorate Saline’s remaining boats. In the Men’s Single, junior Ben Friman set off at a torrid pace only to flip his scull at about the midway point of the race. Refusing assistance from the race stewards, he righted his craft on his own and continued on with a boat filled with water finishing 4th with a time of 25:44. Two races later, Saline’s Women’s Varsity 4 (Gavin Gallagher, Haley Pfeiffer, Sarah Buckeridge, Olivia Tomlinson and coxswain Sarah Carter) powered to a respectable 7th in its race and 13th overall out of 38 entries in that event with a time of 23:00 compared to the fastest boat at 21:05.
With weather continuing to deteriorate and the threat of a postponement or cancellation of the remainder of the Regatta, Saline’s Women’s Double entry of Alexis Wolff and Liz Walsh showed their power and skill winning Saline’s only medal of the day, placing second in their race with a time of 22:31 against a winning time of 21:04
The Hornets travel to Grand Rapids this weekend to compete in the Grand River Challenge for high school, collegiate and master rowing teams. The team will then send a boat to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA on October 20 and compete at the Rowing the Dotte Fall Classic Regatta in Wyandotte, MI on that same date before finishing its fall season on beautiful Lake Leelanau at the Leelanau Chase Regatta.
More information can be found at www.salinecrew.org.