CRLS Girls First Varsity Four Finishes Eighth at Nationals

CRLS+Girls+Crew+was+one+of+a+few+public+school+programs+at+Youth+Nationals.

Noe Shoor

CRLS Girls Crew was one of a few public school programs at Youth Nationals.

Boone Gross, Sports Editor

CRLS’s first girls varsity boat is the eighth best women’s four in the nation. The four rowers, Anna Bellows 22, Grace Van Bever 22, Charlotte Moldrem 24, and Isla Mitchell 22, coxed by the indelible Noe Shoor 22, have conquered the Commonwealth, the Northeast, and nearly the whole nation. But just what has got them here, what makes this story so special? 

The Spring season kicked off with the Mayor’s Cup against arch-rivals Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N). Despite somewhat rough weather on the course, the girls made short work of BB&N’s finest with 16 seconds to spare. Four days later, Newton Country Day School became the next Northeast Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) member to fall to the boat, this time, losing by 28 seconds. Soon it became apparent that this boat was special. The winning streak continued until May 12th when Winsor beat the five by three seconds. Despite this hiccup, the team locked in a spot at the NEIRA championship regatta in which they placed fourth.

Facing up to the best youth crew teams in the country, the boat saved their best for last.”

After a thrilling performance at the USRowing Northeast Youth Championship Finals on May 21st at the Merrimack River—which deemed them the fastest women’s four in the region—the crew punched their ticket to Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. And the cherry on top of a truly immaculate regular season was a victory at the State Championships on the Merrimack by nearly a full minute that secured the state championship, just one week later. 

At Youth Nationals, the boat was one of the few public school programs in attendance. Facing up to the best youth crew teams in the country, the boat saved their best for last. In the time trial on June 9th, the boat placed fifth out of 27, falling a second shy of Winsor in fourth place, but qualifying for the semifinals the next day. In the semis, the crew fell to fourth of six, and missed the last spot in the A final, sending them to the B final. A bitter duel against Norcal Crew broke out. Neither crew held more than a two-second margin at any of the meter markers, yet as the boats crossed the finish line, it was Norcal’s championship by a quarter of a length and just 1.2 seconds. Merion Mercy Academy made a bid for second, but were shut down by CRLS’s vicious sprint in the final 250 meters.

But despite these photo-finish defeats, the girls first varsity boat finished as one the of the premier rowing teams in the Nation. Led by co-captain Anna Bellows, the group’s ability to pull away mid-race and keep their foot on the gas pedal through the finish line has been a huge part of their success. “We are all very close,” says co-captain Isla Mitchell, “We all support each other, and we all have a collective goal of doing our best, which brings us so much closer. Whether it be in practice or on race day.” 

This piece also appears in our June 2022 print edition.