At the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta this weekend, nine of the more than 11,000 athletes competing will be wearing the blue and gold of Saint Ignatius High School.
The Wildcat Navy is heading to Boston.
For the third consecutive year, the Saint Ignatius Crew’s Varsity 8+ will compete against more than 80 other high school programs in the world’s largest two-day rowing event. Last year the team finished 26th out of 85 entries in the Men’s Youth Eights, earning them an automatic spot to return this year.
Filling out the crew for Head Coach Pat Connor ’94 are coxswain Marshall Sommer ’19, Brendan Stutzman ’19 (stroke), Charlie Wendt ’20, Jack Yontek ’19, Ben Castro ’19, David Bender ’21, Victor Yavornitzky ’20, Michael Bender ’19 and Nathan Taylor ’21 (bow). Cian Hoban ’20 will also be racing as a guest coxswain for Shaker Heights High School in the Men’s Youth Four.
The regatta is the signature fall event for rowing programs worldwide, ranging from high schools to universities to national team rowers. Uniquely, it allows rowers of all ages and abilities to race on the same course throughout the two days of competition. Saint Ignatius has sent many crews to Boston during the rowing team’s 30-year history. The program’s best-ever finish was sixth place in 2011.
As the divider between Cambridge and downtown Boston, the Charles River is known for its tight turns and narrow bridge arches, which are challenging tests for coxswains as they navigate through a maze of boat traffic. Fortunately for crews from Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River serves as an effective training ground for successfully driving down the course.
Saint Ignatius’ race begins at 12:57 p.m. on Sunday. The regatta will be live-streamed for those who would like to watch (look for the gold boat and blue oars). The team’s social media accounts (@sihsrowing) will be providing additional coverage and updates throughout the weekend.
Let’s Go Cats!