Mother nature did her best to keep boats from launching at the Tops and Bottoms Regatta in Kenora, Ontario on July 22, but despite several storm delays and an early end to the event, athletes from Long Lake Rowing Crew (LLRC) still posted some impressive race results. The one-day regatta was hosted by the Kenora Rowing Club and brought together more than 180 athletes representing eight clubs from Minnesota and Canada.
LLRC sent a team of 24 rowers, scheduled to compete in 13 different events, that included juniors, masters (adult), and a several LLRC alumni. The regatta featured heats in the morning, followed by final races scheduled for the afternoon. Storm cells sweeping through the area forced boats from the lake in the late morning and more storms in the afternoon shut the event down completely before most of the final races could get underway.
According to LLRC head coach, Sandi McCarthy, the weather this spring and early summer has played a significant role in regattas as well as the team’s on the water practice time.
“We’ve had to contend with some strange weather this season—the kind that not only makes rowing a challenge, but keeps boats off the water,” McCarthy said. “The organizers
in Kenora are to be commended for keeping the races moving, making up time and even skipping breaks, so that they could get as many races in before the storms rolled in. All our rowers did a super job in their respective heats, but they just weren’t able to compete in their finals. Even with the abbreviated schedule, all of our rowers got at least one race in, and raced well, before the storms cut the regatta short.”
Nearly all of the LLRC rowers who competed in Kenora placed in their heats, with the top two or three in each heat advancing to the finals, depending on the number of entries. Several rowers at Saturday’s event were able to race in final events before the regatta ended:
• Drew Mitchellette and Andy Berrell, both students at Orono High School, placed first and Sean Donlin (Wayzata High School) and George Abbott (Orono High School) place third in the Junior B Men’s Double race;
• Natalie Steine (WHS), and Ava Winkels (OHS) placed third in the Junior Womens Double event;
• Elle McCarty (Blake) and Reinnen Pfleider (Wayzata High School) took third in the Junior B Womens Double.
• LLRC alum George Esau raced to second place in the final of the U23 mens 1x
LLRC youth rowers represent several area high schools, including Wayzata, Orono, Mound-Westonka, Blake, Breck, Chanhassen and Benilde St. Margaret’s. The team’s master rowers come from all over the West Metro, Minneapolis and St. Paul.
All the following LLRC rowers advanced to the finals, after placing either second or third in their heats:
• Third place, HEAT B: Junior Mens 4+ with coxswain
Andy Berrell (OHS); Drew Mitchellette (OHS); Sean Donlin (WHS); Jack Marquis (OHS); Reinnen Pflieder, coxswain (WHS).
• Second place, HEAT A: Junior Womens 2x
Natalie Steine (WHS); Ava Winkels (OHS)
• Third place, HEAT A: Junior Mens 4x
Andy Berrell (OHS); Drew Mitchellette (OHS); Sean Donlin (WHS); Jack Marquis (OHS)
• Second place, HEAT C: Junior Mens 4x
Rowan Staggs (OHS); Jake Greenblat (WHS); Christopher Caryotakis (WHS); Campbell Sampson (OHS)
• First Place, HEAT B: Junior B Womens 2x
Elle McCarty (Blake); Reinnen Pflieder (WHS)
• Second place, HEAT C: Junior B Womens 2x
Elaina Wollerman (WHS); Anna Gokey (WHS)
• Second place, HEAT B: Junior Mens 1x
Andy Berrell (OHS)
• First place HEAT C: Junior Mens 1x
Ryan Rudow (LLRC alum)
• Second place, HEAT A: Junior Womens 4x
Natalie Steine (WHS); Alison Westberg (WHS); Anna Gokey (WHS); Ava Winkels (OHS)
• First place, HEAT A: Junior Mens 2x
George Esau and Ryan Rudow, both LLRC alums
• Second place, HEAT B: Junior Mens 2x
Drew Mitchellette and Jack Marquis (both OHS)
• Third place, HEAT A: Junior Womens 1x
Ava Winkels (OHS)
• First place, HEAT B: Junior Womens 1x
Natalie Steine (WHS)
• Third place, HEAT B: Junior Womens 1x
Alison Westberg (WHS)
• First place, HEAT A: Junior B Mens 2x
Andy Berrell and Drew Mitchellette (both OHS)
• Second place, HEAT A: Junior B Mens 2x
Emerson Gage (Blake); Christopher Caryotakis
• First place, HEAT B: Junior B Mens 2x
Sean Donlin (WHS); George Abbott (OHS)
LLRC’s last regatta of the summer season is the Northwest International Rowing Association (NWIRA) Championships. The two-day regatta takes place August 11-12 on Lake Elmo, and brings together athletes from Canadian and American rowing clubs of the Upper Mid-Western United States and Western Canada. The team’s fall season begins in September.