Malvern Crew: Smoke on the Water
By: Bob Valenti, ’07 staff writer
While most Malvern athletic teams are finishing up their season by late May, Malvern’s Rowing Team is just getting started with two months full of some of the most important and prestigious races in the world.
Every year, the team participates in the United States Scholastic Nationals. This year, the team performed very well, with a great victory for the varsity quad and the second varsity quad, as well as qualifications to the finals and great racing by the varsity and JV doubles.
Next, the varsity quad went on Cincinnati for the USRowing Youth Invitational Regatta, where regional winners from all over the country compete. Even though the conditions were tough and a team from Florida kept the race close until the very end, Malvern was able to pull ahead and win for the third year in a row.
At the End of June, the two quads and a double traveled to England to participate in the Royal Henley Regatta, an event that consists of the most elite teams from across the globe. The first quad, which included graduates Justin Teti, Pat Ryan, Kyle Thurman, and senior Ryan Coyne, earned a bye into the Fawley Challenge Cup because they were one of the top seeds for their event. This first quad raced extremely well in their first race, beating the British team Marlow & Maidenhead. Their next race, against Willem III & Die Leythe, a team from Holland, was for a spot in the semifinals. The race was extremely tight the entire time; neither of the boats were able to pull ahead for a significant lead. Finally, in the end, the Dutch team managed to win. “The Malvern quad raced magnificently,” said head coach Craig Hoffman, “No one really lost the race, the Dutch team just managed to win.” The second quad, which was composed of graduates Aaron Martin and Matt Madonna, and seniors Ryan Watson and Matt Hurley, was able to defeat Northwich in their first qualifier. They later lost to a British junior national team Tideway Scullers & Marlow. The race was very close the whole time, with Malvern losing by just five seconds. Also, graduate Brendan McGeehin and assistant coach Brandon O'Brian raced in a double representing Malta Boat Club. Even though they did not qualify in their race, it still is quite an accomplishment to race at the Henley Royal Regatta.
Because of their previous win at Cincinnati, Ryan Watson, Ryan Coyne, Matt Hurley, and A.J. DiValerio traveled to Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the CanAmMex Regatta just days after returning home from England. This race is held every year between the best rowers from Canada, Mexico, and The United States. The quad’s race was extremely close, with the difference between first place and the Malvern quad being only two and a half seconds. Ryan Watson and Ryan Coyne rowed with six other rowers from Sacramento in the Men’s Eight competition, and they were able to win the gold. The U.S. won the combined men and women’s point trophy for the first time since the regatta was established ten years ago. “CanAmMex was difficult, because they just got home from England,” said coach Hoffman, “but it really is a tribute to these guys who just love to race.”
While seven of the rowers graduated last year, the team has a very good chance to succeed again this year. “Although we have a young group, the team’s hallmark is their work ethic,” says coach Hoffman. “If the guys work hard, the team will be very competitive in May.”