Dallas, Texas – Dallas United Crew (DUC) sent 37 athletes, hailing from twelve high schools – it’s largest contingent to date -- to Cambridge, MA, on October 24, to race in the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR), the largest three-day rowing regatta in the world. On a picturesque day, the Charles River vividly reflected cerulean skies, colorful turning leaves and historic buildings. The chop was mild with winds at or under 12 mph.
The Head of the Charles is the premier international rowing Head race. Crews race a time trial format over a 4.5km challenging course best known for its bridges and hairpin turns with boats, some as long as semi-trailers, jockeying for position. Competition is fierce, not just for medals; earning a position in the top half of an event guarantees a crew a coveted invitation to return in 2022.
DUC’s Youth Varsity Girl’s Eight placed 34th of 76 boats. Their performance earned a guaranteed entry to race next year. DUC’s coxswain and stern four, fresh off a Top 10 finish at Youth Nationals, followed stroke-seat Ellie Rodriguez, to the finish with the fastest time of any Central Region entry. Rodriguez is committed to row with 2021 NCAA Rowing Champion, The University of Texas.
DUC entered two boats In the Youth Varsity Boys Eight race, a field of 80 boats. The Varsity crew raced a precise course to finish in the top third, besting all regional rivals and guaranteeing their return in 2022. DUC’s under 17 (U17) Eight, back to racing after finishing eighth at Youth Nationals, sped through the course and gave DUC its best-ever finish at the Charles, coming in third among U17 entries.
The younger girls at DUC have also shown promise this fall, prompting Girls Head Coach, Amanda Perry to enter a U17 four in the regatta. Although they finished eleventh out of thirteen, the crew gained invaluable experience, preparing them to take on the Charles, with its twists and turns in years to come. Rounding out Dallas United’s entries was the Boys Varsity Four, outperforming its starting position at 81st of 84 boats to finish 76th, just three seconds off rival Jesuit Prep over the three-mile course.
While at the event, the DUC Youth team cheered DUC alumni who are racing for some of the nation’s top colleges, including Georgetown, Northeastern, Colgate, University of Pennsylvania and the United States Naval Academy. “Rowing opens college doors for our high school athletes. The schools represented by our alumni are a testament to their dedication to the sport and how far rowing can take you” concludes Head Coach and Program Director, Steve Perry.
Though fall competition is underway, DUC continues to seek high school athletes who would like to try rowing. Those who are interested should contact DUC at info@DallasUnitedCrew.org for a one-week free trial.
DUC Rowers include:
Men’s Youth Varsity 8+ A:
Archer Smith, Luke Schweizer, Peyton Lewis, Sam Tharp, Jack Haney, Landon Tinker, Clark Hobbs, J. Halverson, Kaila Galliford (coxswain)
Men’s Youth Varsity 8+ B (U17): Matt Slear, Cole Farley, Daniel Sneed, Logan Betts, Jack Martin, Luke Blankenship, Jack Craycroft, Nate McNeill, Jeff Kang (coxswain)
Women’s Youth Varsity 8+: Ellie Rodriguez, Caroline Payseur, Sierra Ross, Olivia Till, Lauren O’Grady, Abby Fowler, Zeynap Akdora, Nora Thompson, Lucy Roberts (coxswain)
Men’s Youth Varsity 4+: Wes Hannfeld, Mitch Holter, Jack Puorro, Coleman Hayes, Caroline Craycroft (coxswain)
Women’s Youth Varsity 4+ (U17): Victoria Bell, Estelle Stout, Zoe Greene, Lente Van der Westhuizen, Claire Dwelle (coxswain)