Girls crews from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., won the single scull, junior eight and light-weight eight championships today at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Regatta, a methodical repeat of last weekend's Stotesbury Cup-winning performances. But for the Titan boys junior eight, it was a moment of triumph and redemption.
That crew, whose early season failures included a five-length loss to Holy Spirit of Absecon, N.J., here last month, defeated Spirit by nearly a length today. The four victories by Williams were more than any other school in the regatta on St. Andrews School's Noxontown Pond.
"This is easily my most satisfying win as a coach," Williams Coach Bob Spousta said. "People would come up to me and tell me how lousy the junior eight looked, and I'd be telling them I thought the junior eight could win the nationals."
Several midseason changes by Spousta helped the previously winless eight take firsts at the Occoquan Sprints and Northern Virginia championships. However, the eight was frustrated last week when it recorded the fastest Stotesbury preliminary and semifinal time, put was prevented from winning a gold medal by a poor start and by a lane violation by disqualified Spirit.
Today the Titans also started poorly, falling behind by as much as four seats before taking the lead at mid-point of the 1,500-meter race. Stroking 36 times per minute, Williams led by two to four seats before its sprint extended the advantage nearly into open water. The Titans finished with a time of 4 minutes 40.8 seconds.
The victorious Titan girls crews all won in open water.
The defending champion junior eight, jumping off with a 36 rating and setting to 34, had open water after 500 meters and never was seriously challenged in finishing in 5:29.6. Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was 5.3 seconds back.
Titan single sculler Nora Nichols, who won by more than 26 seconds over Betsy Burlew of Rumson Fairview last week, needed 500 meters before gaining a lead from her Monmouth, N.J., opponent today and won by 10.2 seconds in 6:23.6. The girls lightweight eight regained the championship it relinquished to Washington-Lee last year by defeating the Generals from Arlington, Va., by nine seconds in 5:34.1. Yorktown, also of Arlington completed the all-Northern sweep in 5:48.
Fort Hunt of Alexandria, Va., took third in the boys varsity coxed fours and Williams was third in the boys lightweight eights and girls senior eights. W-L's top senior coxed pair placed third.