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Sprinting to States

Last Saturday marked the end of the regular rowing season at the Michigan State Championship regatta at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan. The team had high hopes as they had a successful regatta last weekend at the Midwest Championship regatta. Forest Hills Eastern had entries in the men and women’s varsity pair, the men’s varsity single, the women’s varsity quad, the men and women’s junior four, and the men and women’s junior eight. 

The intense day of racing kicked off to a rocky start, as severe thunderstorms massively delayed the day and even threatened to cancel the regatta altogether. Fortunately, the regatta resumed after a 3-hour delay. The only altercations made to the day were the events running in reverse order and the exclusion of final races for events with heats; the heats would proceed as normal, but the top three times from all of the heats would be used to determine the state champion and runners up. 

Coach Ben awards Sadie Brinks (’24) and Jade Tarango (’22) their bronze medals after placing third in the women’s varsity pair race.
(L-R) Jade Tarango (’22), Daisy Vazquez (’24), Lindsey Soet (’24), and Sadie Brinks (’24) race towards the finish line in the women’s varsity quad race.

Overall, Eastern finished 12th out of 26th as a team, with the men’s varsity single placing 7th, the men’s junior four placing 4th, the women’s junior eight placing 5th, the women’s junior four placing 15th, the men’s junior eight placing 13th, and the men’s varsity pair placing 6th. The highlight of the day was the women’s varsity pair, rowed by Jade Tarango (‘22) and Sadie Brinks (‘24),  who placed 3rd in the state, the only medal won by Eastern at this regatta. “I had a lot of fun rowing in the pair with Jade for the past few weeks,” Sadie explained, “and it being Jade’s last race further motivated me to try my hardest – I wanted to medal so her last race would be special.” Another high point of the day was the women’s varsity quad rowed by Sadie Brinks (‘24), Lindsey Soet (‘24), Daisy Vazquez (‘24), and Jade Tarango (‘22). Although they placed 5th, they were a mere 6 seconds off from placing 3rd with only one practice under their belts.

Earlier today, the women’s junior eight closed out their season at the SRAA National Championship Regatta in Camden, New Jersey with a 4th place finish in their qualifying heat, just missing the cutoff to advance to the semi-finals. 

This season came with many firsts and much improvement for the Hawks. As this sophomore-dominated team continues to gain more experience, they will soar to new heights in the seasons to come.

Images courtesy of Sadie Brinks.

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