Rowers awash with records at indoor meet

Westdale rowers work the erg machines in the senior women's 135 lbs race. Anise Truman - second in on erg 11 - beat the record she set last year in repeating as champion. (Photo: Alison Rogers)

Records fell in seven categories at the Hamilton Indoor Rowing Championships on Saturday at Leander Boat Club.

As the ergometer (indoor rowing) machines cooled, Westdale Warriors emerged as the winners of the first indoor high school rowing title.

The championships, held Saturday (Feb. 18th), also featured university and senior athletes, as well as others competing in the 30-and-older masters divisions.

Westdale held off an early charge by second-place St. Mary’s Crusaders in the junior lightweight divisions. The Warriors prevailed in six races, while St. Mary’s placed first in five. Bishop Tonnos Titans picked up wins in two divisions. Hillfield-Strathallan College and the new Ancaster high school rowing program entered rowers in a handful of divisions.

Anise Truman beat her record from a year ago in winning the senior high school women’s 135 lbs division. The Grade 12 student at Westdale posted a time of 7:54.8 over the 2,000-metre (2K) distance.

Westdale’s Tom Brown was also on record pace, winning the senior high school men’s race by more than five seconds in 7:11.3. Moments later, Warrior teammate Alex Glaros posted a time of 6:53.5 to win the high school men’s senior 165-lbs division.

First-year Westdale rower Griffin Wallace had a stellar debut in the Hamilton championships, winner the junior high school men’s 150-lbs race in a time of 7:22.9, almost seven seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.

Westdale’s Vienna Lam pulled double duty Saturday. After racing in the senior women’s 135-lbs division, Lam won the coxswain’s crawl, a 1K race, in a record time, 4:06.9.

Warrior rower Daniel Castellana also turned in a first-place finish in the under-23 men’s 165-lbs division who went head-to-head with McMaster’s Ian Connell. The latter’s record time of 6:29.6 was among the fastest of the day.

St. Mary’s Crusaders earned a victory in the first high school race of the day, courtesy of Dave Naar who turned in a winning time of 7:14.8 in the junior men’s race.

Kristin Stevens of Bishop Tonnos topped the women’s race in 8:20.6

Next on the podium for the Crusaders was Matyas Roller, who won the junior men’s 165-lbs race with a time of 7:28.3.

St. Mary’s swept the junior women’s lightweight and midweight divisions, with Mariam Behket topping the lightweights in 8:14.8 and Christina Foden winning the midweight race in a record time of 8:26.6.

Bishop Tonnos picked up another victory as Maria Brydon won the senior high school women’s race in 7:37.2.

Racing under the Leander banner, Alex Ilic won the high school men’s senior heavyweight race with a time of 6:48.6.

St. Mary’s Brandon Willacott was the winner of the men’s coxswain race with a time of 4:00.4.

Kristen King’s time of 7:31.4 established the record in the senior women’s 135-lbs race. Emily Baturin won the under-23 women’s 135-lbs race for McMaster in 7:50.9.

Leander rower Taylor Iseppon was first in the under-23 women’s race in 7:36.1.

Aubrey Oldham won the senior men’s race in 6:27.1, the fastest time of the day.

Taylor Perry of Mohawk College was first in the under-23 men’s race in 6:37.7.

Racing in the masters 30-and-over division, Sasha Ilic of Leander finished first in a record time of 6:31.4.

Leander’s Mike Demczuk won the masters men 1K race in 3:19.4.

Next up for local rowers is the Ontario Ergometer Championships, March 3, at Ridley College in St. Catharines. Leander rowers hope to get on the water in April.