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Westport's Saugatuck Rowers Cap Perfect Season With Win At Nationals

Saugatucks' Varsity 8 won the USRowing Youth National championships and finished the season undefeated Sunday in Florida.
Saugatucks' Varsity 8 won the USRowing Youth National championships and finished the season undefeated Sunday in Florida. Photo Credit: Facebook/Saugatuck Rowing
Saugatuck's Varsity 8 girls team celebrates after a victory at the USRowing Youth Nationals.
Saugatuck's Varsity 8 girls team celebrates after a victory at the USRowing Youth Nationals. Photo Credit: Facebook/Saugatuck Rowing
The Saugatuck's Lightweight 8 celebrates after winning the gold medal at the USRowing Youth National Championships.
The Saugatuck's Lightweight 8 celebrates after winning the gold medal at the USRowing Youth National Championships. Photo Credit: USRowing.org
The victorious lightweight 8 with assistant coach Gordon Getsinger
The victorious lightweight 8 with assistant coach Gordon Getsinger Photo Credit: Saugatuck Rowing
The whole group of rowers from Saugatuck celebrates.
The whole group of rowers from Saugatuck celebrates. Photo Credit: Saugatuck Rowing

WESTPORT Conn. -- Saugatuck Rowing Club of Westport won the Varsity 8 for the first time Sunday in the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Fla.

Saugatuck's Varsity 8 completed an undefeated season and a sweep of youth rowing's Triple Crown. Saugatuck also won the Head of the Charles last fall in Boston and San Diego Crew Classic in March.

"Very few programs have accomplished this feat ever,'' coach Chase Graham said. "I believe it has been since 2011 or 2012 that an East Coast team has won the championship."

Saugatuck's team includes coxswain lily Pillari of Greenwich; stroke Genevieve Esse of New Canaan;  Nica Wardell, Grace McGinley, Will ten Cate, Lelia Boley, Alison Morrison and bow Katherine Ratcliffe of Westport; and Margaret Manley of Wilton.

Saugatuck also won the girls Lightweight 8 champion. Graham said only two coaches and/or programs have won both races in the same year.

Saugatuck's Lightweight team was coxswain Charlotte Powers of Fairfield, stroke Tati Chermayeff of Darien, Caroline O'Brien of Darien, Imogen Ratcliffe of Westport, Sophie Pendrill of Scarsdale, Elisabeth O'Brien of Darien, Camila Meyer-Bosse of Westport, Grace Johnson of Westport and Reni Forer, also of Westport.

In other races, the Varsity pair earned a bronze with Ellie Harned of Darien and Bridget Murphy of Weston; the Varsity 8 B boat finished eighth and the Lightweight 4 won the C final.

The Varsity 8 B team included Westport's Kelsey McGinley and Lexi Bralver, Weston's Bridget Murphy and Katie Grotto, Wilton's Claire Plunkett and Morgan Macey, and Darien's Ellie Harned, Caroline O'Brien and Elisabeth O'Brien.

The Lightweight 4 was coxswain Isabelle Grosgogeat, Clara Everett, Imogen Blackburn, Noelle Amlicke and Sanah ten Cate.

Assistant coach Gordon Getsinger of Darien also worked with the team throughout the year.

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