Hanover High Crew Makes History Against Exeter
Boys' First Boat Beats PEA For The First Time Ever
The Hanover High School Varsity Crew program made history Saturday, when the Marauder first boat became the first to defeat the top team from Philips Exeter Academy, one of the top programs in New England rowing. The victory came at the conclusion of a long day of racing on the Connecticut River, with Exeter, as is customary, winning every race.
Rowing for Hanover were Sam Krimmel, Lucas Adams-Blackmore, Daniel Tengdin, Alex Purcell, Billy Bender, Andy Rightmire, Eli Snelling, Chessie Newbold, and coxswain Francesca Kealey.
The Marauders got a good start and were neck and neck for the first 500 meters of the 1400- meter race, upstream against the current. Hanover made a push at the 750 mark, and Exeter wasn’t able to answer, although veteran Marauder rower Lucas Adams-Blackmore noted that the team was still worried: “We slowly gained a seat and then two seats. Then going into the sprint we were probably up by three or four seats, seats but their thing is sprinting so we weren't sure if we had it. However once the sprint started we kept gaining water on them all the way to the finish.” Hanover won with a time of 4:44.6, just nipping Exeter, who came in at 4:47.2. The large crowd lining the finish area, vocal throughout the race, exploded with cheers.
Hanover Head Coach Julie Stevenson praised the work of cox Francesca Kealey, “She steered a perfect course. She never gave ground at a crucial point in the race. This really breaks a ceiling for us, “ commented Stevenson. In past years, we’ve always said, “let’s be competitive”, “let’s get close”. This will carry us a long way in races to come, and in the New Englands. This is great for the whole program”.
Stevenson noted the contributions of a trio of boys’ coaches who have shepherded the crew this season, praising Blair Brooks, former Dartmouth Coach Andy Hilton, and Fred Cressman.
Hanover’s tops girls’ boats also had strong races. The second boat lost by only 2..4 seconds, and the first boat lost by only 5. “Both boats were in contact the entire way,” commented Stevenson. “That’s ground that we can make up.”
Adams-Blackmore summed it up on behalf of his teammates: “It was one of my most memorable racing moments of my rowing career. I just remember Francesca screaming at us "we can do this, that's one more seat boys, let's go!" It was all a blur.”