Via Lauren Griffiths:
Wellesley residents Margaret Ciocca and Jessica Pedersen, members of the girls’ lightweight 8+ crew team, representing Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI), claimed a national title at the US Rowing Youth National Championships at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., after three days of racing on the weekend of June 10-12. Only the fastest crews from 11 qualifying regattas around the country earned the right to race for a title.
The CRI team of eight rowers, all weighing 130 pounds or less, and coxswain began the competition Friday by winning their heat and automatically advancing to the semi-finals. Late Saturday afternoon, the team easily secured a berth in Sunday’s grand final. In the end, the CRI girls, with Ciocca at two-seat and Pedersen at three-seat, took home the gold medal and crystal trophy by open water with a time of 07:01.84. California’s Oakland Strokes crossed the line at 07:07.41, followed by Chicago’s New Trier crew at 07:10.06.
This is the second time Ciocca has won the national title with the CRI lightweight 8+. She returned this year with four of last year’s boat mates to defend the US Rowing Youth National Championship title they won last year in Cincinnati. This was Pedersen’s first appearance at Nationals.
Both Pedersen and Ciocca, recent Wellesley High School graduates, will continue to row in college at Hamilton and Trinity, respectively.
Chris McClurg, a rising senior at WHS, competed in the Men’s Lightweight 4+ event at bow seat and completed the racing with a ranking of 4th overall in his event just missing the medal stand by five seconds. Wellesley’s Katie Falb and Mike Giroux competed in the Men’s Lightweight 8+ event securing an 11th place national ranking. Cornell-bound Falb, a recent graduate of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, was the boat’s coxswain and Giroux, a sophomore at Wellesley High School, rowed stroke seat. Lauren Kennedy, a junior at Wellesley High School, made her first appearance at the national event and competed in the Women’s Lightweight 4+ event finishing15th overall.
All of these Wellesley rowers compete for Community Rowing, Inc. out of Brighton. Complete results are available at www.usrowing.org.