WEST WINDSOR: Impressive start for Mercer rowers

Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club kicked off its fall racing season by laying claim to victories in five events at the Navy Day Regatta on Oct. 10. The regatta featured over 2,000 masters, collegiate, and high school athletes competing in head races on a 2.5 mile course on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River.
The Mercer Rowing Program boats won the Junior Womens 8 with coxswain, Junior Mens 8 with coxswain, Junior Womens 4 with coxswain, Junior Womens JV 8+ with coxswain and the Womens Masters 8 with coxswain events.
Senior co-captain Kate Hickey of Notre Dame High School was pleased with the PNRA/Mercer girls’ first place finishes in three events.
“This is a great way to start our season,” she said. “Winning all three events that we entered shows that we have a lot of depth on our team. I am looking forward to seeing how these three boats stack up against some of the best crews in the country next weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta.”
The winning women’s high school 8 with coxswain crew included Hickey in the stroke seat, junior Celia Varga (Princeton Day School), senior co-captain Caitlin Cleary (Princeton High School), junior Katie Lustig (Council Rock North), sophomore Mia Barkenbush (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), senior Rachel Mumau (Millstone Township), senior Elise Gorberg (West Windsor Plainsboro High School North) and sophomore Sara Hansen (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), and senior coxswain Sydney Holgado (Robbinsville High School).
The winning women’s high school 4 with coxswain crew featured junior Lauren Miller (Steinert High School) in stroke seat, senior Jenna Kugel (Montgomery High School), junior Gwyneth Lavery (Lawrence High School), senior Eileen Hu and junior coxswain Caroline Galati (both from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South).
The winning women’s high school junior varsity eight with coxswain crew included junior Sheila Kennedy-Moore in stroke seat, sophomore Bridget Parker, junior Isabel Roemer, freshman Sarah Closser (all four from Princeton High School), junior Ciara DeVenuto-Wyeth (Pennsbury High School), senior Kathryn Miller (Steinert High School), senior Glorianna Perrotte (Monroe High School), freshman Jackie Armetta (Villa Joseph Marie High School) and junior coxswain Lulu Herman (Pennsbury High School). The girls are led by head coach Steve Baranoski in his first year with PNRA/Mercer.
In a field of 25 crews, the PNRA/Mercer boys won the men’s high school 8 with coxswain event with a time of 12 minutes, 55 seconds. Senior co-captain John Tanguay (Hopewell Valley High School) believes that crew is rowing together very well.
“The number one thing that we are doing well is getting into a good rhythm as soon as we cross the starting line,” he said. “It feels like one oar going through the water which puts you into a good state of mind for a long race.”
Tanguay feels that the crew is ready to handle the longer, 3-mile race course at the Head of the Charles regatta next weekend.
The PNRA/Mercer high school 8 with coxswain crew featured junior Daniel Stoddard (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), junior Andrew Hickey (Notre Dame High School), senior Jason Fleurial (Princeton High School), Tanguay, junior Carter Levine (Princeton High School), junior Tyler Harris (West Windsor Plainsboro High School North), senior co-captain Kevin Borup (South Brunswick High School), freshman Jack Gallagher (Council Rock High School North), and senior coxswain Nikhil Modi (West Windsor High School Plainsboro South). The boys are led by head coach Justin Ochal in his second year with PNRA/Mercer.
The Mercer Masters Women’s eight with coxswain also won their event to take home the coveted Navy Day Trophy. The Masters Women’s boat was composed of Caroline Gilati, Ellen Tormey, Cassandra Cohen, Judy Gorberg, Susan Voorhees, Rebecca Findlay, Kristin Appelget, Sharon Walters and Cheryl Baldino. 