Staying Connected Without Boats

Saline Crew Beats out Universities

11/01/2007 00:00


Hornets post big finishes

Saline crew beats out teams from Michigan St., other universities

By Jerry Hinnen, Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: November 1, 2007

At the Speakmon Regatta Saturday in Columbus, the Saline Crew boys' lightweight four beat Michigan State University by more than a minute and a half.


You read right: Saline High School beat Michigan State University, as well as teams from the University of Dayton and Xavier University.

The open regatta featured a mix of teams from area high schools, clubs and universities.

The Hornets' men's lightweight four team of Jeff Hartman, John Recknagel, Matt Smolinski, Sean Connors and coxswain Fraser Christie posted a time of 17:53.506 to finish third in the event, earning Saline's only medal at the regatta, and outdistancing Ann Arbor Pioneer, whose two teams finished eleventh and sixteenth. Ann Arbor Huron placed 12th.

The week prior, the same four rowers with coxswain Parry Ragland finished first in the men's junior lightweight four at the Columbus Fall Classic, racing a time of 19:34.2 to best the regatta's host, Westerville Rowing Club, by 16 seconds.

While happy with the crew's performance at Speakmon, boys' head coach Dave Fiske said he is most proud of their first-place finish at the Columbus Fall Classic.

"It was a pretty big deal to beat Westerville," Fiske said. "Westerville is a select program, and I hope our guys know how special the win was."

Ann Arbor Pioneer finished fourth with a time of 21:25.8 and Ann Arbor Huron placed 11th with a time of 22:40.7.

Fiske has high hopes -- and praise -- for his lightweight four team.

"They're one of those special crews you don't get very often," he said. "They fundamentally row well and they row hard all the time. They don't like to lose. They're what we're trying to model everyone around."

The Hornets narrowly missed from earning a second medal at Columbus in the men's open two, posting a time of 22:27.7, a mere 0.5 seconds behind third-place Upper Arlington High School, whose boats swept the event.

Saline's other finishes in the regatta included the women's JV eight placing 13th with a time of 21:12.5 and an 11th place finish for the women's junior novice four with a time of 25:47.5.

In the women's junior lightweight four, Saline finished 10th with a time of 26:27.7 and the women's junior four finished 16th with a time of 22:56.6.

The men's JV eight finished sixth in a time of 17:47.6, only nine seconds short of edging Ann Arbor Pioneer for fifth place.

Fiske hopes to see his lightweight four finish the winter season strong next week at the Heritage River Regatta Nov. 4 in Wyandotte.

"They're very competitive and very coachable," he said. "They want to be first place no matter who it is they're racing against."

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