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Simsbury boys eight wins state title with Avon girls four taking silver

The Simsbury boys crew team won their second straight state championship in the Boys Eight Sunday at Lake Waramaug. (Photo courtesy Simsbury High crew)

The Simsbury High boys varsity eight boat won the state championship Saturday at the Connecticut Public School Rowing Association’s state championship regatta on Lake Waramaug in New Preston for the second straight year and the 13th time since 2000.

Avon High’s girls varsity four boat finished second with Lewis Mills fourth in the varsity 4 final. Mills was also fourth in the boys varsity 4 finals. There are eight rowers in the varsity 8 boats and four rowers in the varsity 4 boats.

Simsbury’s boys varsity 8 boat was the third seed coming into the meet. The Trojans won their morning heat by four seconds in 5:06.3 and beat East Lyme by two seconds on the 1,500 meter course to win the state title with a time of 5:04.1.

The state championship boat included freshman Liam Parise (cox), junior Dante Oliverira (seat 8), junior Andrew Orosz (7), senior Aaron Harris (6), sophomore Christopher Morris (5), sophomore Gianni Perdikis (4), senior captain Nelson Perry (3), junior Brady Quinn (2) and senior captain Luke Williams (bow seat).

Simsbury’s girls varsity 8 boat finished third with a time of 5:49, trailing state champion East Lyme (5:40.3) and Glastonbury (5:47.9).

In the girls varsity 4 final, Lyme/Old Lyme dominated with a 20-second victory with a winning time of 6:36.7. The Falcons were second with a time of 6:57.7, three seconds ahead of Middletown in third place.

Avon’s silver-medal team included Nandini Anand (cox), Bridgit Harris (stroke), Samantha Hansen (seat 3), Katie Pavlakis (2) and Mia Titione (bow).

In the varsity 8 races, the Avon boys and girls teams didn’t make the six-boat finals but each won the consolation final or Petite race. The Avon girls had a time of 6:18 to win their race while the Avon boys won their Petite final with a time of 5:19.5.

The Falcon boys finished fourth in their morning heat with the top three going to the finals. They were 1.2 seconds out of second place. Their time would have won the other heat by four seconds.

Avon’s girls novice 8 finished second in their heat and were fifth in the championship final.

Avon’s boys novice 8 showed resilience, according to head coach John Kostal. “In their morning heat, a small pin on their rudder failed about 200 meters into the race and left them with virtually no directional control,” he said. “By varying pressure from rowers from each side, they were able to get down the course, and amazingly, still qualified for the championship final. They placed fifth, but I will always remember the professionalism and support they showed for each other.”

2023 Connecticut Public School Rowing Association state championship regatta
At New Preston (Lake Waramaug)
Emerson Cup (most points in 8-person events): East Lyme 96, Glastonbury 88, Simsbury 55½, Stonington 48½, Farmington 27½, Guilford 6½, Avon 4
Perry Plate (most points in 4-person events): Middletown 42, Lyme/Old Lyme 35, Valley Regional 27, Avon 24, Lewis Mills 16, E.O. Smith 13½, Guilford 11½

First Boys Eights: Simsbury 5:04.1 for 1,500 meters ,East Lyme 5:06.0, Stonington 5:06.4, Farmington 5:07.9, Glastonbury 5:16.7, Guilford 5:16.9
First Girls Eights: East Lyme 5:40.3 for 1,500 meters, Glastonbury 5:47.9, Simsbury 5:49.1, Stonington 5:50.9, G04.uilford 5:52.8, Farmington 6:02.9

First Boys Fours: Middletown 5:37.5 for 1,500 meters, Valley Regional 5:55.8, E.O. Smith 5:59.8, Lewis Mills 6:11.0, Guilford 6:36.7
First Girls Fours: Lyme/Old Lyme 6:36.7 for 1,500 meters, Avon 6:57.7, Middletown 7:00.8, Lewis Mills 7:09.4, E.O. Smith 10:02.1

2023 CT Public Schools Rowing Association state championship regatta

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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