Marist Rowing Posts Exceptional Performance at the Prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta
When it comes to rowing, one thing is certain: favorable weather can lead to a successful outcome.
That’s why seasoned rowing coach Tom Sanford went into the prestigious but grueling Head of the Charles Regatta this year with high expectations. The forecast called for warm and calm conditions. “The Head of the Charles is a great race, yet a brutal one. If you’re out on that river on a windy or rainy day, it can be very challenging and uncomfortable for the competitors,” Sanford explained.
The largest rowing regatta in the world, The Head of the Charles is 53 years old and now attracts more than 11,000 athletes each year. The race takes place over a winding three-mile stretch of the Charles River in Boston. This year 20 of Marist’s current rowers competed along with several alumni in various events throughout the weekend. The students represented all four class years and were geographically diverse, too—rowers hailed from Hawaii to Ireland to Washington and numerous places in between.
At the end of an unseasonably warm weekend the coaching staff (comprised of Sanford, Taryn Wilson, Julia Rigothi, Campbell Woods, and Josh Stratton) had much to be happy about: the Marist rowing program walked away with medals from four events (including two from alumni).
“The athletes’ execution of their race plans coupled with cooperative river conditions made for a very successful weekend,” said Sanford.
The Head of the Charles Regatta rewards the top ten percent of finishing crews in each event with medals. Competing for Marist College, the Women’s Club 4+ finished 5th out of 52 and the Men’s Collegiate 4+ finished 4th out of 40. On the alumni side, Andrew Hashway ’07 won the Men’s Master Single (30+) and Julia Rigothi ’17 finished 2nd in the Women’s Club Single.
This was Rigothi’s seventh time competing in the Head of the Charles and her second medal; she was also a nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. “My race was great, but what was really special was to be at this race as a coach for the first time,” she said. “I was thrilled to see our athletes be so successful and supportive of each other throughout the two days of competition.”
Marist had two other crews who raced exceptionally well, but finished out of medals. The Men’s Collegiate 8+ was in the top five, only 0.5 seconds out of a medal, and improved on their 2016 result by ten places. The Women’s Championship Double, competing against crews composed of international athletes, finished 13th in the field and 4th collegiately.
“It was a big weekend for our rowing program in many ways,” Sanford reflected. “Our student athletes’ strong performances were a testament to their hard work leading up to the regatta.”
2017 Head of the Charles participants:
Men's Collegiate 4+: Ari Streeter '20, Dmitrey Guenther '21, Tom Basso '19, Ryan Miller '18, Tom Roach '20
Men's Collegiate 8+: Ryan Lillis '18, Ray Mattingly '19, Joe Kohn '18, Matt Blaszczyk '20, Tadd Bindas '19, Morgan Stippa '18, Dave Warner '28, Chris Lazich '19, Dan Arrato '19
Women's Club 4+: Izzy Koch '20, Selena Mildon '21, Clodagh Deasy '18, Sydney Ford '20, Kelsi Cottrell '18
Women's Championship 2x: Caroline Withers '18, Elisabeth Kamm '20
Alumni Participants: Women's 4+ Club: Denise Spinetta Cenit '88, Men's Master's 1x (30+): Andrew Hashway '07, Women's Club 4+: Tory Mather '12, Women's Club 1x: Julia Rigothi '17, Women's Championship 2x-Lightweight: Hillary Saeger '07