SHP Crew Rows to Strongest Season

SHP had a successful spring crew season this year, bringing home medals from every championship race. 

Prior to the start of the crew season, SHP crew had the annual winter training every day after school which included rigorous cardio and lifting. With the team’s cardiovascular endurance and strength improving immensely on the rowing machines and in the weight room, the crew team was ready for the start of the spring season. The first few weeks on the Passaic River were very cold, with temperatures under 40 degrees and almost everyone had new lineups to get used to. The windy late-February weather was unrelenting in this part of the season, but the SHP crew team was ready to do anything to persevere early on.  

“We’ve had a great season that surprised a lot of people, but we didn’t surprise ourselves. We had a good idea of what we were capable of after a developmental fall and hard winter training period,” stated Coach Reid. 

For every scholastic race, the distance of the racecourse is 1500 meters long. On SHP crew, there is a lot of diversity of the boats that they field. This season, they had a jv eight (eight men, eight oars, one coxswain), varsity four (four men, four oars, one coxswain), a lightweight four, a jv quad (four men, eight oars, no coxswain), a varsity double (two men, four oars, no coxswain), a jv double, a jv single (one man two oars), a freshman eight, and a freshman quad. 

As they progressed later into the season, the crew team had their first race: the Metropolitan Youth Speed Order regatta (MYSO). This was their chance to see how they would compare to other crews in terms of speed . We ended up medaling in the jv quad (2nd), lightweight four (1st), jv four (3rd), jv eight (3rd), and varsity four (3rd) categories. Although MYSO was not a very significant race, it was a nice morale boost for most of the team. 

One of our goals this season was to win Garden State Championships. By this time in the season boats will often find rhythm and row with significantly better technique than in the beginning of the season. Strength and endurance are crucial, but no rower can apply those abilities on the water without solid technique and compatibility with teammates. The training and technical work showed in the results. The jv quad and the varsity double both won their events while the jv double and the freshman quad came in second and third. Furthermore, a total of nine boats made it to finals and beat Ridgewood for the first time in the jv quad event. This put SHP crew in the overall lead for high school men’s sculling points at state championships thus winning the points trophy. 

“We had a combination of experienced varsity crews and underclassmen competing at a high level. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is placing nine out of ten boats into finals at Garden State Championships,” stated Coach Rich. 

Mid Atlantic Youth Championships was a difficult race due to the course being five hundred meters longer than any other course the crew team had raced on previously in the season. Although the work was harder for our men, it was the gateway into the Youth National championships in Florida for those that placed fourth or higher. This year, the three SHP boats that competed at Mid Atlantics made it into Youth Nationals, two of which will be competing on June 9th. 

As the spring season came to an end, the crew team had the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and City Championships. For the purpose of perspective, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta is the biggest high school rowing event in the world. Placing at these one two regattas would be the first time in SHP crew history that anyone has brought home a medal from one of these races. SHP had two boats win the bronze medal at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and place gold and silver at City Championships, the first time SHP crew medaled at either of these races. 

This year was the most successful Spring season in which SHP crew had ever competed. “We’ve had a great season that surprised a lot of people, but we didn’t surprise ourselves. We had a good idea of what we were capable of after a developmental fall and hard winter training period,” stated Coach Reid.

Furthermore, the crew team faced competition that no one except themselves knew they could win against. “This season truly has seen Seton Hall perform on a championship level solidifying themselves as one of the top crew programs in the state and country,” adds James Balsamo ’24, the three seat of the jv quad.

The jv single and the jv quad will be facing the highest caliber of athletes at the Youth National Championships in Florida for the first time this year. This regatta will determine the top boats in the country.