Yorktown Exorcises an Old Demon in W-L
Patriots Earn First Win in at Least 4 Years Over the Generals
With several Yorktown rowers scheduled to take a band trip this weekend, the Patriots had to put together a new lineup for their boys’ varsity eight boat. They were not helped by the weather, which prevented Yorktown from getting on the Potomac River for practice much of the week.
But Yorktown’s new lineup was able to bond over a difficult training regimen. When they couldn’t row, they sprinted up the stairs between M and Prospect streets in Georgetown — the ones made famous in “The Exorcist” — and yesterday, they edged Arlington rival Washington-Lee to win at the Al Urquia Regatta on the Occoquan.
Yorktown’s new $33,000 shell surged at the finish to win in 5 minutes 12.2 seconds, 1.3 seconds ahead of Washington-Lee. The Yorktown rowers and coaches said it was the Patriots’ first win over the Generals in at least four years.
Apparently, five miles of “Exorcist” steps on Tuesday and six more on Wednesday paid off.
“They’re fit, but they’re not that big,” Yorktown boys’ co-coach Barrie Tron said. “My plan is don’t worry about the competition, just row as hard as you can.”
Senior Anthony Catalano said he knew early in the final that Yorktown had just one boat to beat.
“We pretty much left everybody behind so we could beat Washington-Lee, since we haven’t beaten them in like 10 years,” Catalano said.
The victory was special in other ways for Yorktown’s first-year cocoaches, Tron and Andy Bacas. Both are Washington-Lee graduates, and last weekend, their team lost a similar race to the Generals.
“Our guys had never been in that kind of race before,” Bacas said. “We were standing at the threshold and just had to get through.”
In the girls’ varsity eight final, Robinson cruised to a win in 6:04.5, besting second-place West Springfield by nearly seven seconds. Robinson Coach Katie Wasalaski called the race a chance to figure out where the team stands as the May 12 state championships near.
“During the race I felt really confident,” Wasalaski said. “There’s a lot of schools on our heels, though.”
Three Robinson girls recently tried out for the junior national rowing team, including junior captain Bianca Arrington.
“After the first 200 meters, I knew we were going to pull ahead and take the win,” Arrington said. She said the Rams’ mental strength and training, which began in November, helped them bat- tle the conditions. (A strong headwind resulted in times almost a minute slower than previous weeks.)
Christchurch, from the middle peninsula region of Virginia, won the boys’ varsity four final in 5:52.04, 19.1 seconds better than Fairfax.
Results, Page E9
Robinson is exhausted after winning the girls’ varsity eight final by 7 seconds. “After the first 200 meters, I knew we were going to pull ahead and take the win,” the Rams’ Bianca Arrington said.
Fans cheer during the boys’ varsity eight final, won by Yorktown (top center) over Washington-Lee, at the Al Urquia Regatta on the Occoquan.