York­town Ex­or­cises an Old De­mon in W-L

Pa­tri­ots Earn First Win in at Least 4 Years Over the Gen­er­als

The Washington Post Sunday - - High Schools - By Matt McFar­land

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.

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