For the first time in the program's 16-year history, Greenwich Academy took home the Charles D. Cole trophy, awarded to the team with the most overall points at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association's Championship regatta held on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA. While all four boats have qualified in previous years, this is the first time that all boats made it to the afternoon's grand finals. In the prelims, GA's 4th boat finished 2nd, the 3rd boat left the field behind with a 1st place finish and though they did not have as much open water, the 2nd boat also had a 1st place finish. Despite a malfunctioning rudder, GA's first boat qualified for the grand final with a 2nd place finish in their heat. All of these strong AM performances were a good omen for an afternoon of strong racing.
GA's 4th boat was the first to medal as they earned silver in their final. With Sofi G. in the coxie seat, she steered Maia V.B, Charlotte C., Clodagh M.-J., and Elizabeth R. down the course to a second-place finish and were greeted at the dock to be awarded their performance.
Next GA's 3rd boat of Jane W., Marie B., Madison F., Charlotte S. and coxswain Lilly B. had another dominant performance leaving the field behind to a gold medal finishing time of 5:55.323. This is the first time for GA's 3rd boat to accomplish this feat.
The second boat of Lucy H., Schuyler H., Caroline S., Olivia F. and coxswain Emma O. also earned some hardware with a 2nd place finishing time of 5:52.296. Three races, three top-two finishes – a great day to be the Gator.
While at the start line for the last race of the day, GA's 1st boat did not realize that the Cole Trophy was riding on their performance as a 4th place finish would be enough to claim the top points honor. Competing in lane 6, the Gators battled back from 5th place within the last 500 meters to surpass Brooks for the all-important points. Though disappointed to not be in the top 3, their gutsy final strokes propelled them across the line just where they needed to be in order to for the program to achieve a historic first -- a 41 to 40 win over Nobles for the Charles D. Cole trophy
It truly was an amazing day to be a Gator!
For those wanting to relive the day, here is a YouTube link.