The Blair rowing team had a historic weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championship Regatta. It marked the first occasion in Blair rowing history where the team brought both girls’ and boys’ crew to the event. The girls qualified a senior and junior four with coxswain, and the boys were able to petition in, given their consistently improving performance over the course of the season.
The girls’ junior 4+ was the first to race on Friday. They came in a close third place, earning them a spot in the afternoon’s repechage. The girls’ senior 4+ raced next, winning their heat by 18 seconds over second place, safely landing them into Saturday’s semifinals. The final race of the morning was the boys’ senior 4+. They came across the line 0.5 seconds out of third place, which was just shy of qualifying them for the semifinals. Friday afternoon brought the girls’ junior 4+ repechage, where they stormed out in front for a comfortable second place, which earned them a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.
At the semifinal races Saturday, the girls’ junior 4+ shot off the line but finished outside the qualification spots for the final. They finished in an unofficial 13th in the country in their respective event when looking at times crossed. The girls’ senior 4+ won their semifinal by nearly 10 seconds to finish off the morning.
The grand finale for the girls’ senior 4+ was held on Saturday afternoon. They started quickly and set a blistering pace that pushed them in front of the field. They finished the day nearly nine seconds in front of the second-place crew, capturing the title of SRAA Champion for the second consecutive year.
“The coaches are proud of our three crews for making history, and we are excited to continue onward to Youth Nationals with our top girls’ 4+,” said John Redos ’09, Blair’s head girls’ crew coach and director of rowing. “Unlike SRAAs, where only schools can compete, the girls’ top 4+ will have the opportunity to compete against both the best schools and club teams in the country.”