---- — Essex Rowing competed in the Novice Challenge in Lowell recently in four events, winning two golds, one silver and one bronze medal.
In rowing first year competitors are divided into a “Novice” category and generally compete exclusively against novice athletes from other teams. The Novice Challenge is a race specifically for these crews and for the majority of athletes that just picked up the sport in the spring, it is their first competition.
Essex opened the day racing both a boys and girls four. The girl’s crew of Laura Bailey (Topsfield), Molly Eberth (Andover), Diana Glinos (Andover), Jackie Lanzaro (North Reading) and Emily Dunham (Boxford) held a steady but close lead over most of the course, finally opening distance between them and the field in the final 300 meters to take first place.
The boys crew of Laura Bailey, Thomas Berhakis (Reading), Lucas Prioli (Danvers), Anthony Giovanelli (North Andover) and Kyle Collins (Rowley) followed a similar plan, recovering from steering issues at the start to eventually move through the field and finish with an open water margin of victory.
Later in the day Essex competed in the boys and girls eights. The boys eight of Laura Bailey, Anthony Giovanelli, Tom Berhakis, Liam Rex (Andover), Lucas Prioli, Kyle Collins, Max Baron (Andover), Matt Collins (Boxford) and David Holzberger (Londonderry, NH) had a rough start on an increasingly choppy course. They recovered through the middle of the race, edging up on Wayland-Weston and Bromfield, who took the early lead. Despite the push, Essex could not catch the leaders and finished in third place with a time of 5:34.32. Westford Academy followed in fourth place with Greater Lawrence Rowing finishing last.
The final race of the day was the girls eight, rowed by Laura Bailey, Molly Eberth, Diana Glinos, Maggie Block (Boxford), Liz Trimble (Topsfield), Jackie Lanzaro, Jamie Truax (Northborough), Arin Kim (Middleton) and Emily Dunham. The race was the closest of the day for Essex as they battled a crew from Bromfield/Acton-Boxborough down the course. Ultimately it was Bromfield that reached the line first with a time of 6:15.98 and with Essex second at 6:18.37. East Bay Rowing from Barrington, Rhode Island took third with a time of 6:23.49.
Both the varsity and novice squads from Essex Rowing will compete in the District Championship on today and tomorrow.