Staying Connected Without Boats

Hornets open season strong at first regatta

04/24/2008 14:03


Hornets open season strong at first regatta

Light four boat takes first spot by six seconds in first outing

By Brian Cox, Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: April 24, 2008

The Saline crew team traveled to Columbus, Ohio, Saturday for the Hoover International Regatta, a non-scholastic competition that gave coach Dave Fiske a good look at the boys' and girls' teams.

"We saw a lot of great competition," Fiske said of the regatta. "It's kind of a dress rehearsal for the real season."

The novice crews did "exceptionally well," said Fiske, but the highlight of the regatta was Saline boys' light four, which came in first over a strong Westerville team with a time of 7:16 over the 2,000-meter course.

Fiske, who has taken over both teams while girls' coach Brittany Sparks is on maternity leave, has high expectations for some of his boats.

"I think we have a real strong girls' junior eight and four," he said, "and our novice four should be fantastic.

Among those competing for the four seats on the junior boat are Allison Cook, Erin Lankerd, Maddie Campbell and Korie DeBolt, but Fiske is quick to point out there are at least 10 rowers in the running for the seats.

The 21-member girls roster includes Jenn Bugoci, Caroline DeVries, Aileen Fullen, Audrey Gross, Brenda Hanback, Kirby Herron, Megan Hervey, Rosie Jones, Katie Keister, Irene Kitromelides, Krista Kosek, Lindsey Krebs, Nicole Panjwani, Meredith Phillips, Sarah Richter and Molly Visel.

On the boys' side, Fiske believes his light four crew of Jeff Hartman, John Recknagel, Matt Smolinski, and Sean Connors could rank among the top rowers in the Midwest.

"They're really working hard and want to do well," he said. "They just compete all the time. They always think someone's after them."

If the light four can finish in the top three at the Midwest regionals in May, they will advance to the national championship in June.

Fiske thinks they have a shot.

He is also expecting a strong showing from the varsity four boat, which right now is only a definite three - John Wright, David Smolinski, and Jeff Wilcox.

"They're all rowing well and rowing strong," said Fiske, "but we need a fourth guy to give them a little extra oomph."

Rounding out the boys' roster are Jake Brady, Noah Call-Boyce, Tim Carter, Fraser Christie, Nate Cook, Sean Curran, Zach Dowling, Peter Fullen, Sterling Hargrove, Sean Hogan, Robbie Humphrey, Keegan Jahnke, Josh McQueer, Andy Michaluk, Jack Norgren, Neil Pettit, Max Plona, Parry Ragland, Jared Richter, Matt Stivers and Ben Summers.

The team's next competition is the Hebda Regatta April 26 in Wyandotte.

Staff Writer Brian Cox can be reached at 429-7380 or