On May 18th and 19th, three NPBRC athletes made their debut at the US’ largest, oldest, and most prestigious high school rowing race, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Gunther Schwartz (St. Andrews Episcopal), Maricella Adams-Grimaldi (Suncoast), and Gracie Leon (Seminole Ridge HS) joined a total of 196 clubs and over 5600 high school rowers on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ for two grueling days of competition against the best high school rowers in the United States and Canada.
NPBRC’s Gracie Leon and Mari Adams-Grimaldi, facing a field of 36 in the women’s 1x event, shocked the US scholastic rowing scene by posting the fastest finishes of any female US youth scullers, finishing third and fifth, respectively. Gracie’s third place finish put her in hot pursuit of Grimsby’s Emma Dockray (Ontario, CAN) and Blessed Trinity’s Lauren Kelly (Ontario, CAN), both of whom are fixtures on Rowing Canada’s Junior National team. Fourth place went to yet another strong Canadian athlete, Madison Thomas of Welland Centennial (Ontario, CAN). NPB’s own Mari Adams-Grimaldi was just a few seconds behind, rounding out the top five of this elite field. NPB’s Gunther Schwartz, in the boy’s varsity 1x event, surpassed 15 other clubs in the time trial despite a stiff headwind, driving rain, and white-capped water to finish just shy of the semifinal qualification – a valiant performance against North America’s toughest male scullers.
These three athletes will join several of their NPBRC teammates to race the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association (CSSRA) regatta May 25th-26th in St. Catherines, Ontario. NPBRC’s top female sculler, Gracie Leon, has already qualified for the USRowing Youth National Championship to be held June 9th-10th in Rancho Cordova, CA.