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Racing to Nationals

On May 14 -15, 2022, the FHE Rowing team competed at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship Regatta in Milford, Michigan. Last weekend marked Forest Hills Eastern’s first appearance at this particular regatta since 2016 with entries in each of the following events:  the women’s varsity pair, the women’s junior double, the women’s varsity single, the women’s junior eight, the women’s novice four, the women’s junior four, the men’s junior double, the men’s junior eight, the men’s novice four, and the men’s junior four. 

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Heath Soho ('24), Leo Kleff ('24), Layal Saab ('24), Larsen Ruter ('24), and Bergen Marquardt ('23) placed 6th in the region for the men's junior 4+.

Saturday, May 14, the first day of the regatta weekend, was spent with time trial and semi-final races. In time trials, the boat needed to be in the top 16 (top 8 to make the A final) to qualify for finals the next day. In the head-to-head semi-final races, the boats needed to finish in the top three, along with the top 2 times to make the A final. 

On Saturday, Eastern participated in 8-time trials and 2 semi-final races. The women’s varsity single placed 16th, the men’s junior double placed 15th, the men’s junior eight placed 15th, the women’s novice four placed 28th, the men’s novice four placed 23rd, the women’s junior four placed 6th, the men’s junior four placed 6th, the women’s varsity pair placed 9th, the women’s junior eight placed 4th, and the women’s junior double placed 14th. The men’s junior eight advanced to the B finals while the men’s junior four, the women’s junior four, and the women’s junior eight all advanced to the A finals for a chance to become a national qualifier. 

Sunday’s races were kicked off much later than expected due to the additional races that were postponed due to inclement weather on Saturday, but that did not damper the rower’s excitement. Even those who did not qualify for finals were anxiously awaiting for Eastern’s races to begin. The men’s junior eight placed 4th in the B final, putting them in 12th for the region, the women’s junior four placed 8th in the A final, and the men’s junior four placed 6th in the A final. 

Then the time finally came for the women’s junior eight to race. The remainder of the team raced to the grandstands at the finish line to catch a glimpse of the race. When the boats shot down the course, it seemed as though Forest Hills Eastern would barely miss a national qualifier spot. Then there was a sudden turn of events in the final sprint of the race; Forest Hills Eastern significantly sped up, so much so that they edged out Saint Joseph Academy and placed third in the region! Not only was the miraculous comeback a cause of celebration, but placing third also meant that they qualified for the National Championship Regatta.

In less than two weeks’ time, Abbey Addington (‘24), Hope Orban (‘24), Elio Douglas (‘24), Kara Berrevoets (‘24), Aubrey Winczewski (‘24), Anna Alt (‘24), Bethany Narducci (‘25), Eden Hostetter (‘25), and Paige Kitts (‘24) will be traveling to Camden, New Jersey to complete in the SRAA National Championships Regatta for the women’s junior eight. This is the first time in school history that the team has qualified for the regatta, and the entire team is bursting with excitement about it. “I’m so excited for nationals! Either way, it’s a win-win – if we make it to the finals and race on Saturday it will be really cool, and even if we don’t the experience alone will be more than worth it!” Eden Hostetter, who rows at 2 seat in the eight, exclaims.

This weekend the crew team will once again be racing at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan at the Michigan State Championship regatta. This will be the final regatta of the season for the team, with the exception of the women’s junior eight, who will be traveling to New Jersey on Memorial Day weekend to compete at nationals. 

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