For the better part of at least a decade, Saint Ignatius Crew has made the trip up to Orchard Lake, Michigan, to participate in the Laddie Cup Regatta hosted by St. Mary’s Prep. It serves as a useful tune-up before the Midwest Championship, with nearly every rower on the team competing three to four times throughout the day.
This year brought added motivation, as the Wildcats sought revenge against a rising St. Mary’s team that edged them out for the national title in the Junior 8 last year.
On Saturday, May 4, the team led by Head Coach Pat Connor ’94 ended up on top, nearly sweeping the 8-man events and earning a bushel of medals in 4-man races as well. The Wildcat Navy brought home victories in the Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, Junior 8, Freshman 8 and Novice 8, as well as the Junior 4.
That Varsity 8 win was the most exciting of the day, as the blue and gold held off a fast-charging St. Mary’s crew in the last few hundred meters. The margin of victory was a slim 1.6 seconds.
In the 3rd Varsity 8 race, St. Mary’s earned the win, but the silver and bronze medals were claimed by the Saint Ignatius 3rd Varsity 8 and Lightweight 8, respectively. The Novice 4 also earned a silver medal and the Lightweight 4 claimed a bronze.
The team is grateful to St. Mary’s for their hospitality—and the perfect racing conditions throughout the day!
Now, the attention shifts to the Midwest Championships, set for May 11 and 12 at Lake Dillon in Zanesville, Ohio. There the squad will encounter the fastest teams in the Midwest.
As the speed within the region has increased, so has the competition, and the boys from West 30th and Lorain will need to execute even better in order to earn the right to call themselves Midwest Champions—and earn a bid to the national championships.
Results from next weekend’s racing will be available online at herenow.com.
LET’S GO CATS!