Sports | Rowing

Lightweight rowing sees impressive display from first-years at Head of the Charles

Lightweight rowing saw its "freshman four" boat earn the bronze medal at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston. 

The team of first-year coxswain Just Kraprayoon and first-year rowers Aryan Sheikhalian, Alex Milewski, Maxwell Elliott, and Constantino Khoury finished in 18:18.34, behind only Yale and the victorious New York Athletic Club to represent Columbia on the medal stand. 

The crew powered through adverse conditions on the Charles River to continue a streak of strong performances by “freshman four” boats of the past. 

"It's important that we're continuing a standard of performance that the previous classes have set," head coach Nich Lee Parker said. "The best part is that it wasn't the best of conditions, and they were able to handle that very well." 

The impressive display of the first-years could bode well for their chances to make the varsity eight in the spring. However, Parker maintains a long-term view, noting that their position of being "in the hunt" now could be a disadvantage if they become too comfortable and neglect to make necessary changes.

Along with the first-year boat, the Light Blue sent out five individual rowers. Juniors Ben Landis and Jeff Monahan finished sixth (19:32.13) and eighth (19:43.01), respectively, out of 19. Junior Harrison Vincent followed in 17th place at a 21:02.38 clip. 

Parker bestowed high praise upon Landis and Monahan, citing Landis' effort on an unfamiliar course in unfavorable weather, and Monahan's consistency and preparedness. Sending out single rowers, Parker said, reveals a lot of information about how a particular rower performs without the help of a team. 

"Being able to generate that performance on a racecourse that you're not necessarily familiar with ... and in some not great conditions, it really says a lot about his overall speed and where he's getting to," Parker said. "Jeff Monahan really showed up on race day. ... He knows how to make sure his best rows coincide with a race." 

On Sunday, sophomores George Patterson and Gage Holzhauer came in successively, placing 24th and 25th, respectively, out of 36 entries in the Club Singles event. 

The Light Blue returns to the water at full strength on Saturday, Nov. 12, for the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, New Jersey. 

max.rettig@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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