Jefferson Boys’ 8 Keeps Winning As It’s ‘Refining’
Jefferson’s finest shell burst from the starting dock and whisked through the dark green water nearly in perfect unison, pulling away for yet another easy victory.
Moments later, as the members of the boys’ varsity eight stacked their oars in the boathouse on the Occoquan Reservoir, none of the Colonials was smiling. It didn’t matter that they had won the marquee event at yesterday’s Regional Park Regatta, or that they had remained undefeated this season.
“I don’t think anybody’s too satisfied,” Jefferson’s Marcos Carzolio said. “Our rowing technique, our energy — it can all get better.”
Such are the expectations at Jefferson, which boasts one of the top high school rowing programs in the United States. The Colonials finished the 1,500kilometer course in 4 minutes 49.8 seconds, well in front of second-place Oakton (5:05.6) and West Springfield (5:07.7).
Jefferson’s varsity eight admitted it is still working out some kinks. The Colonials have yet to settle on the best combination for its shell — there are 11 athletes, including two coxswain, competing for nine spots. And Jefferson said its chemistry hasn’t clicked completely because cold weather delayed the start of the season, pushing the first practice from Feb. 18 to March 10.
“There was a lot of volatility early on,” Ty Otto said. “We’re still trying to figure things out.”
It didn’t appear that way last weekend, when Jefferson won a regatta in Delaware by beating powerhouses St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) and host St. Andrew’s School. Last season, the Colonials took third in that race before going on to win the Stotesbury Cup Regatta.
Jefferson’s varsity eight has not lost a race this season, winning every heat of four regattas. The Colonials’ top 10 competitors are seniors, giving boys’ coach Jim Granger what he said is Jefferson’s most experienced group.
“If we can get them all clicking together, I think we could have something that’s pretty special,” Granger said. “But we still have some refining to do.”
Jefferson’s girls’ varsity eight won its final yesterday in 5:49.2, edging Robinson (5:52.2) and O’Connell (5:55.5). W.T. Woodson was the highest local finisher in the girls’ varsity four, taking second (6:46.1). The Cavaliers also were the best local finisher in the boys’ varsity four, placing third (5:52.8).