With a tradition that stretches back to the 19th century, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta has established itself as a premier fixture on the summer rowing scene.
When the storied regatta was held for the 131st year earlier this month at Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada, the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer) created some history of its own as it competed for the first time at the event, which included more than 2,800 athletes from over 150 rowing clubs.
Of the 22 events they entered, Mercer Junior crews reached the finals in seven events. The Mercer Juniors finished second in three events, the Women’s Under 17 4+, Women’s Under 23 Lightweight 4-, and Men’s Under 19 8+.
The Mercer Masters also excelled at the competition, reaching the finals in four events, the Women’s Masters C (age 43 to 49) 4+, the Women’s Masters D (age 50-54) 8+, Women’s Master D 4+, and the Mixed Masters D 8+.
“We entered the club to compete at Canadian Henley this year so our crews would have the opportunity to test themselves against a very high level of competition,” said Ted Sobolewski, the manager of PNRA/Mercer rowing programs and varsity girls’ coach who has previously competed at Henley as a rower and as a coach. “Getting to the finals at Henley is a great accomplishment for any rower.”
The Women’s U17 4+ of Kate Hickey (Notre Dame High), Rena White (Princeton High), Catherine Porter (Hopewell Valley High), Haley Bork (Robbinsville High), and coxswain Katarina Stough (Princeton High) accomplished a lot as they finished second behind gold-medal winning Brockville Rowing Club (Ontario) by 1.3 seconds.
The quartet of University of California, Berkeley-bound Vicki Jorgensen (a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro North High), Rachel Calabro (Robbinsville HS), Geena Fram (Lawrenceville), and White placed second in the Women’s U23 Lightweight 4- while Jorgensen and White also teamed up for a third place finish in the Women’s U23 2-.
Another impressive performance from Mercer came in the Men’s Under 19 8+ event. Finn Ludwig (West Windsor-Plainsboro South High), Aaron Goodman (Princeton High), Sean Kelly (West Windsor-Plainsboro South High), Timothy Lee (West Windsor-Plainsboro South High), Elias Albiheira (Princeton High), Brad Mills (Princeton High), Connor Ilchert (Lawrence High), Ron Haines (Hamilton High West), and cox Matt Perez (Robbinsville High) finished second to Canada’s Don Rowing Club. The crew is coached by PNRA/Mercer varsity boys’ coach and Masters’ coach Jimmy Newcombe.
The Mercer Masters, for their part, made a fine debut appearance at the regatta. The Women’s Masters C (age 43 to 49) 4+ finished second with the crew of Cheryl Baldino, Allison Lee, Sharon Waters, Kristin Tedesko, and cox Kat Stough. The Women’s Masters D (age 50-54) 8+ finished second with the crew of Kristin Appelget, Cassandra Cohen, Baldino, Kathy Kalinowski, Susan Voorhees, Lee, Waters, Tedesko, and cox Maddie Alden.
The mother-daughter duo of Susan Voorhees and Maddie Alden teamed up with Appelget, Cohen and Kalinowski to win a second silver medal in the Women’s Master D 4+. The Mixed Masters D 8+ finished third with a crew of Appelget, Neil Linzmayer, Miles Truesdell, Charles Gilbert, Michael Vaccaro, Cohen, Voorhees, Kalinowski, and coxswain Kat Stough.