T.C. Williams High School's varsity girls crew topped five college crews to earn open eight honors yesterday at the National Women's Rowing Potomac Boat Club.
Williams, which took national championships in 1974 and 1975 before relinquishing its crown last year, survived a rocky start to take an early lead and the Titans steadily opened up to a 1 1/2-length victory over the University of Pennsylvania.
"We really didn't expect to win. We expected to come in second (to Penn)," said Polly Young, captain of the Williams varsity crew. "We've got a good boat and strong people. Every day makes me think of national championship."
The victorious crew, which clocked 3:13 for the 1,000-meter course, consisted of coxswain Debbie Constable, stroke Risi Kaye, Ruth Collins, peggy McKeon, Young, Libby Ring, Jennifer hall, Shawna McGowan and Sharon Durbin.
Williams also took the two high school races, the varsity eights and fours.
Pennsylvania won the lightweight eight, open four and lighweight four races by approximate two-length margins each.
A pair of Olympians took home a trio of regional gold medals. Pen's Gail Ricketson, who manned the bow of the Olympic eight shell, teamed with Lisa Rohde for an easy victory in the open pair and later joined Joel Augenblick to triumph in the mixed doubles.
Pat Behrens, representing the Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia after handling the stroke for the Olympic tour boat, teamed with Helen McFie for a 19.2-second win in the open double race.
McFie captured the open single dash by less than a length in 1:20.1 and placed second to University of Virginia's Kay Bellor in the regular open single.
George Washington's Judy Schaper clocked 3:59.9 to beat T.C. Williams' Courtency Padgett by 9.8 seconds in the intermediate singles.
Martha Avery of Potomac Boat Club took light wherry honors. Lynn McGillin of Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club triumphed in the open wherry and Vesper's Karin Constant place first in the lightweight single dash.
Elsewhere on the rainy Potomac, at Thompson's Water Sports Center, Georgetown dominated the D.C. Area Regatta, which was reduced to five match races because of numerous scratches.
Georgetown beat Washington College for the varsity eight title, registering a three-length victory in 6:05.4 for the 2,000-meter race.
Georgetown took a similar victory over University of Virginia in the varsity lightweights battle and the Hoyas also topped Washington by five lengths in the junior varsity heavyweight contest.