The Queen’s Gaels were victorious at the Ontario University Athletics Rowing Championships this past weekend at the Royal Canadian Henley Course in St. Catharines, winning the women’s title for a second straight year. At the same time, Queen’s dethroned the three-time defending champion Western Mustangs in the men’s division. The Gaels last won a men’s rowing title in 2004.
The Queen’s women were simply dominant, winning six of eight events. In the lightweight single sculls, Jenny Hogsden (Waterdown) defeated her closest rival by over four seconds in a time of 7:24.82. Katya Herman (Sudbury) won the heavyweight single event with a time of 7:28.48. Hogsden and Herman also teamed up to win the heavyweight double race in a time of 6:56.76.
In the women’s lightweight 8+ coxed, the Queen’s team of Alexandra Meiklejohn (Toronto), Emily Richardson (London), Caylen Heckel (Fort Erie), Crystal Hyatt (Caledon), Rebecca McWatters (Brampton), Carlene Thivierge-Lortie (Montreal), Catherine Moores (Vancouver), Kristine Matusiak (Glenburnie) and coxswain Ashley Niblett (Toronto) defeated their closest competitor, Brock University, by less than two seconds, crossing the finish line at 6:16.94.
Meiklejohn and Heckel joined forces to win the lightweight pair race in 7:04.99. The Queen’s lightweight 4+ coxed team of McWatters, Thivierge-Lortie, Moores, Matusiak and coxswain Niblett won their final race in a time of 6:59.04. The only competitions not won by Queen’s women were the heavyweight 4+ coxed and the heavyweight 8+ coxed races, both won by the Western Mustangs.
On the men’s side, Queen’s won three events while finishing on the podium in all eight competitions. Rob Ballard (Vancouver) won the lightweight single sculls race in 6:57.07, while the duo of John Barr (St. Catharines) and Morgan Jarvis (Clearwater Bay) finished first in the final of the lightweight pairs race. All three of these rowers joined Colin Sutherland (Victoria), Ryan Poling (Sioux Lookout), Ryan Meyers (Kingston), Rares Crisan (Mississauga) Nick Pratt (Kingston) and coxswain Mike Smith (Somerville, Mass.) to win the lightweight 8+ coxed race in 5:30.53.
The Western Mustangs and Brock Badgers won the team silver and bronze medals respectively in both men’s and women’s categories.
Mindy Bowen of the Western Mustangs is the OUA Women’s Coach of the Year while Stephan Wagner of the Brock Badgers is the OUA Men’s Coach of the Year.
McMaster Marauders placed third in the women’s lightweight single.