PC Rowing: An Exciting Season Unfolds


[ot-caption title=”The girls’ varsity boat competes at a regatta in Sarasota, via Lindsay Siegel, senior”]

Success is not new to the PC crew team. Rowing is a very dominant sport at the Pine, and this season both the mens’ and women’ teams have seen excellent results. The mens’ team took second place at the Scholastic Rowing American Association (SRAA) in 2010 and 2012. Individually, standout rowers such as Chase Navellier (‘14) and Ryan Pristo (‘14) have competed at and placed highly at SRAAs and the US Youth Rowing National Championship. More importantly though, they helped lay a groundwork that still defines the culture of PC Rowing. This year’s team, led by Head Coach David Fisher, is ready for this season to add on to the success of years past. Coach Fisher explains that this year’s team has a lot of depth, and many seniors who have stepped up to leadership positions. One of them, senior Garrison Bentz, is close to breaking Pine Crest’s 2k ergometer record, currently held by alum and Yale student Lucas Spielfogel; and even though Bentz and the other seniors will be leaving the team this year, there is plenty of talent among the underclassmen. Aislinn Sullivan and Alex Guckes are two freshman who, in Coach Fisher’s words, have “very promising futures with the sport both in the high school and collegiate realms.”

The PC rowing team has already been busy competing this year. They recently went to row in the Sarasota Invitational for the first time in several years, taking one first place (Men’s JV 4), four third places (Women’s Varsity 8, Men’s Varsity 8, Men’s 3rd Varsity 8, and Women’s JV 8), and finishing eighth overall to cap off a very successful regatta. They also competed in a very tough Tampa meet March 5-6 against some of the top teams in the state, including Sarasota Crew, the #1 ranked team in the entire nation. The Panthers held their own with seven third place finishes, something to be extremely proud of having placed so well against the fastest teams in Florida. This past weekend, the team traveled to Jacksonville to compete against The Bolles School and Episcopal as they do every year. Moving forward for the rest of the year, the rowers look to build on what has already been a stellar season.  They lost a couple of very talented teammates last year but are still poised to be successful.  Senior Emily See explains, “We’re as strong of a team as we were last year.  And even without the seniors that graduated last year, the team is prepared for a season of dedication and results.” Looking forward, Coach Fisher says one of his goals is to see the growth of his girls’ team. “We are going to actively seek girls in grades 6-12 who are competitors and are willing to give the sport of rowing a try.” 

It’s not a mystery why this team has done so well.  Crew practices are brutal, and they often take place both early in the morning and after school on the same day.  And with varsity boats led by so many seniors, the commitment over the course of a high school career has made for great team cohesiveness and fundamental skills as well. Garrison Bentz, Ian Schneider, Alex Lee, Taylor Fistel, Julia Graner, Leslie Siegal, Lindsey Siegal, Elexa Perlman, and Eliza Moldow are just some of the senior leaders that have really made an imprint on this program.  And their leadership and work-ethic will help the underclassmen keep the tradition going as the years roll by. One of the team’s goals is to become more competitive in Florida, one of the fastest states for crew, and with their hard work and impressive leadership, they will certainly achieve those goals.

Photo Source: PC Pics