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Madison Women's First Varsity Eight Places Second At U.S. Rowing Youth National Championship

Rowers, Coach also earn end-of-season honors

Madison High School's women's first varsity eight took second place this weekend at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championship.

The boat finished in the finals just 2.7 seconds behind California powerhouse Marin Rowing Association.

The meet, held on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.,  featured more than 1,500 high school and club athletes from nearly 150 programs, Warhawk Crew parent Anne Driscoll wrote on the team's website.  Titles were given for men’s and women’s eight, lightweight eight, lightweight four with coxswain, pairs and double sculls, among others.

The Madison boat came out strong in Friday night's race, finishing second in their first heat. But only the first place teams automatically advance to the semi-finals, so the girls rowed again in Saturday's repechage heat, Driscoll wrote.

It was this race that earned them a bid to the semi-finals, finishing first in 7:05.95 to beat out the prestigious Mount St. Josephs boat of Philadelphia.  At the semi-final race later that night, the boat finished just two seconds behind the first place finisher, with a time of 7:14.17, and advanced to the finals.

Enroute to the second place final win, the Madison boat beat other nationally-renowned programs, Driscoll said, including New Hampshire's Philips Exeter, Boston's Community Rowing and the Cincinnati Juniors.

Rowers on Madison's first eight include: Senior Katie Lawless (stroke seat), Junior Captain Genny Lawless (seven seat), Sophomore Georgia Ratcliff (six seat), Sophomore Caroline Williams (five seat), Freshman Carolina Ratcliff (four seat), Junior Caroline Comey (three seat), Junior Laura Preston (two seat), Sophomore Hannah Brown (bow seat) and Junior Spencer Hiday (Coxswain).

The Washington Post recently named Katie Lawless and Georgia Ratcliff to their All-Met Girl's First Team. The women's first eight and men's light four both earned "best boat" recognition, and Comey and David Mottola both received an honorable mention. Madison Coach Paul Allbright was named Women's Rowing Coach of the Year.

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