Upper Canada College’s junior varsity rowers claimed three gold medals and one silver, while a varsity crew picked up bronze, at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association championships.
Numerous hours of early morning training with head coach Grant Boyd and volunteer assistants Jurgen Schubert and Ian Finlay helped give the boys the strength, conditioning and technique needed to get them to the nationals, while the rowers’ grit and desire helped push them on to the medal podium at the 71st annual regatta (also known as the School Boy) in St. Catharines, Ont. from June 3 to 5.
“Using the momentum from what was already a very successful season that saw a number of our crews go undefeated, the Blues once again executed their plan to almost near perfection,” says Boyd. “Racing top crews from the west coast — including Brentwood, St. George’s and Vancouver College — our athletes did not back down and accepted the challenge.”
UCC rowers entered eight events on Friday, qualified for finals in six on Sunday and won medals in five races. Their accumulated point totals made the Blues the second-ranked men’s team in the competition.
With high winds and rain in the forecast, regatta organizers decided to start the finals at 7 a.m. on Sunday and shorten the schedule to have all of them completed by 11 a.m. instead of starting at that time and finishing at 5 p.m. as originally scheduled. The UCC coaching staff adjusted well to the new timelines and made sure the rowers and equipment were ready to go when it mattered.
“School Boy Sunday is always filled with excitement, and highs and lows with emotions,” says Boyd. “This past Sunday was no different..
“The Blues showed grit and determination against very tough competition and difficult weather conditions. The high level of skill, fitness and strength in our athletes was on display in the finals.”
Here are UCC’s medal-winning crews:
Jr. Heavy 4+
Max Hardisty, Chris Willcocks, Christopher Munn, Rupert Davies and cox Surin Rao
Jr. 66 kg 4+
Ben Givertz-Steel, Matthew Thompson, Carter MacLean, Nicholas O’Brien and cox Simon Osak
Jr. 72 kg 8+
Ben Givertz-Steel, Rupert Davies, Max Hardisty, Dane Halkiw, Dylan Zhao, Raphael Berz, Alex Quinn, Matthew Thompson and cox Adam Steiner
Jr. 72 kg 4+
Anton Tchetvertnykh, Devin Lee, Alex Quinn, Raphael Berz and cox Simon Osak
Sr. Heavy 8+
Sam Fleming. James Griffith, Dempster Schnekenburger, Robert Walker, Jonathan Clements, Adamo Quarin, Charlie Marshall, Max Tukulj and cox Jeffrey Collins