Rowing (Girls): Varsity vs. NEIRA (05/25/24 8:00 AM)

Event Details

The Deerfield Academy girls’ rowing team traveled to Worcester, MA for their end of season championship.  Heading into the regatta, all boats were positioned to do well: the 1st boat was ranked 3rd, the 2nd boat ranked 1st, and the 3rd boat ranked 3rd in their respective categories.  The weather forecast for Saturday was terrific: warm temperatures, sunny, and a wind that changed direction over the day but was predominantly a mild cross wind.  Each boat raced in a preliminary heat that would determine if they would race later in the Grand Final of their category.

In the heat of the girls’ 3rd boat, the crew of Audrey Steffensen ‘26, Allie Kostiuk ‘25, Anneke Wittink ‘25, Izzy Ramirez ‘25, Hazel Patton ‘26, Kate Andrews ‘27, Olivia Port ‘26, Holly Bernstein ‘26, and Mia Senturk ‘24 had a slightly sluggish start and found themselves trailing St. Paul’s and Boston Latin.  Through the middle of the course, DA remained composed and pushed themselves back into contention, but a hard charging Duxbury crew ended up winning the heat, St. Paul’s placed second, and Deerfield grabbed the final qualifying spot in 3rd.  You can view the race here.

In the final, Deerfield faced Duxbury, St. Paul’s, Andover, Exeter, and Kent.  With very similar times across both heats of racing, it promised to be a very competitive final.  In the early going, Deerfield surged into the lead with a very strong start.  They rowed long and kept the cadence high.  However, a patient crew from St. Paul’s slowly moved into and ahead of Deerfield through the middle of the race, eventually pushing out to an open water advantage.  Deerfield had to fend off strong races from both Andover and Exeter in the second half of the race course, but they were excellent in staying composed and rowing a strong race from start to finish.  Deerfield ended up finishing in 2nd place behind St. Paul’s.  It was an outstanding and courageous race from this group and an excellent way to finish their season.  You can view the race here.

In the girls’ 2V morning heat, the crew of Charlotte Steffensen ‘25, Jane Bannon ‘26, Liv Boe ‘25, Charlotte Coody ‘26, Addie Williams-Ness ‘26, Gigi Selvig ‘27, Riley Farmer ‘26, Sloane Celli ‘27, and Jenny Jin ‘24 started cleanly and patiently.  In the first section of the race, they rowed calmly and gained a slight advantage over the other challengers in the heat: Brookline and Kent.  Deerfield made a strong push in the middle 500m to assert themselves and continued to move ahead of the field.  DA was able to relax and row long, conserving their effort in the final 500m.  At the finish, Deerfield crossed in 1st, ahead of Brookline in 2nd and Kent in 3rd.  You can view their race here.

In the Grand Final, Deerfield again started calmly but found themselves even with both Andover and St. Paul’s.  They worked hard in the first half of the race but were only able to establish a slight lead over Andover and St. Paul’s, with the rest of the field falling off the pace slightly.  Unfortunately, there was a mishap in the Andover boat and they dropped back quickly around the halfway mark of the course.  Deerfield continued to push themselves and extended what had been a slight lead into a sizable one with 500m left.  They continued to row long and clean through the final 500m and crossed the line in 1st with an open water advantage over 2nd place Andover and 3rd place St. Paul’s.  It was an impressive row from this group and completed an undefeated season that ended with a New England Championship!  Watch their race here!

The girls’ first boat entered the NEIRA Regatta ranked 3rd.  In their heat, the crew of Emi Takegami ‘25, Elizabeth Kelly ‘25, Fiona Van Nice ‘25, Mary O’Shea ‘25, Anna Ogborne ‘25, Melinda Aznar Klein ‘25, Tatum Lowe ‘25, Teagan Farley ‘26, and Margot McAuliffe ‘24 faced strong challenges from Kent, Glastonbury, and Bedford.  In the early going, DA tried to jump out to an early advantage and rowed a bit too frantically to establish an effective rhythm.  They managed to get just enough of a margin on Kent and Glastonbury that they crossed the finish line in 1st, but they were pressured the whole way down the course.  They did qualify for the Grand Final later that afternoon.  You can rewatch the race here.

In the final race of the regatta, Deerfield lined up against Exeter, St. Paul’s, Andover, Kent and Boston Latin.  The girls from DA started well, going stroke for stroke with fast starting St. Paul’s and gaining a slight advantage over Exeter.  A strong middle section of the race had Deerfield up on Exeter and St. Paul’s entering the final 500m.  The DA crew rowed well but could not hold off a strong final charge from Exeter and the final result was a 2nd place finish behind Exeter and ahead of St. Paul’s.  It was a courageous row and an excellent race!  You can view the race here.

In the competition for the team trophy, by virtue of placing 2nd in the 3rd boat race, 1st in the 2nd boat race, and 2nd in the 1st boat race Deerfield amassed 36 points which placed them ahead of St. Paul’s in 2nd (33 points), and Exeter in 3rd (30 points).  It was an amazing team effort on the day and a reflection of the hard work and progress that this group made throughout the season.  Congratulations to these rowers and coxswains for this accomplishment and for a fantastic season!

Congratulations to all of the teams competing at the NEIRA Regatta and a special ‘thank you’ to coach Gabby Fargnoli, coach Thad Bennett, and coach Aaron Gordoa for their hard work with our team this season.  And, finally, congratulations to both the girls’ and boys’ rowing team from Deerfield on their team championships!  Go Big Green!