MARIETTA - With their shells tied down, trailers loaded and tents staked into the ground, local crew teams representing Parkersburg and Parkersburg South prepare to tackle the waters against today's host, Marietta High's Tiger Navy.
PHS and PSHS, the only two remaining crew teams within the state of West Virginia, will challenge the Tiger Navy on the Muskingum River at 10 a.m. today.
Junior rower and captain of the Big Reds' girls team Kyleigh Hawes is anxious to start her sixth season as a Big Red rower.
Photo by Matt Suttles
PHS girls captain Kayleigh Hawes looks on as her squad carries and prepares to load a shell onto the storage trailer after practice.
"I'm really nervous, but I have a great feeling about today," said Hawes.
The Big Red girls are coached by Nevella Grimm and Dave Kyle. This is Grimm's first year as head coach for the Big Red girls and as a former rower, she knows what it takes to have a successful team.
"Winning is important, however I am mainly concerned with the relationships the girls form and how they function as a team," said Grimm.
There are 16 rowers and four coxswains for the Big Red girls. The only senior is foreign exchange student Andrea Storhaug. Storhaug is a native of Norway and is in her novice year as a rower.
Former national champion rower Alfonzo Morales is filling in for head coach John Apgar for the Big Red boys. Apgar suffered a leg injury at the beginning of the season, putting him out for the rest of the year. Having no seniors and only enough rowers for a varsity eight boat, the boys have faced challenges beyond weather to make it out to today's regatta.
"We've been practicing all break. A win would be a major morale boost," said second year junior rower Alex Griffin.
In previous years, the Big Reds have done well at Marietta's tri. Coach Grimm is confident the team will do great at today's regatta. "The tri is a starting point, a place to see where our rowers measure up to the other teams, and a place for our novice rowers to get their feet wet," said Grimm.
The tri will be conducted at the Harmar Rowing Club located on Gilman Avenue.
After today's regatta, the three local teams will return to the same location later in the season to contest the Lindamood Cup.