Rowing Shows Well at Head of the Hooch


Illustrated By: Matthew Martin
The Head of the Hooch is a 5000 meter race on the Chattahoochee in Tennessee

Both the Jacksonville University men and women’s rowing teams made the eight hour drive to Chattanooga, Tenn. to compete in the 31st annual Head of the Hooch Regatta this past Saturday.

Jacksonville entered a total of 12 boats into the race between both the men’s and women’s sides and walked away with six finishes in the top five.

The men walked away with two silver medals in both the Championship 8 as well as the Novice 8, being beat only by the University of Virginia Rowing Association. The Novice 8 rowed their 5k in The Micasa with Freshman Angelo Santiago sitting in the coxwain’s seat. This boat was filled out with Garth Greene, Ellis Harr, Erik Fournier, Brian Whitenack, Scott Waitley, Tom Harrison, Tony Rzepka and Chris Searcy as crew, who are all freshman. The boat finished with a time of 15:44.5, only 17 seconds behind Virgina who took the gold. This marks the first time in eight years the JU Men’s Novice 8 did not receive gold in this event.

The men’s team also nabbed a second place medal in the Championship 8 event. Sophomore David Waugh coxed the crew of Sophomore Jeremy Sobiech, Freshman Nathan Esterline, Sophomore Tim Easterling, Junior Jared Low, Senior Preston Weinard, Junior Shane Kennedy,  Freshman Andrew Stebbins and Junior Sean Carney to finish with a time of 15:19.5, only 23 seconds off of the first place time.

Rounding off the men’s 8s, Junior Macee Dioneda in “Big Bob’’ coxed the Lightweight crew of Junior Josh Holt, Sophomore Jacob Strauss, Sophomore Stephen Marra, Junior Brian Tye, Freshman Phillip Mazzotta, Senior Pat Troupe, Freshman McCauley Langston and Junior Shawn Macklefresh to an eighth place finish, 1:19 behind the gold medalists.

On the other side of the boathouse, the women finished with three of their boats in the top 25. Freshman Monica Hakun coxed a crew of all freshman to end the race with a seventh place finish and a time of 20:30.3. Victoria Hernandez, Ashley Hirt, Jules Welch and Sydney Warpness filled out the crew of that 4.

“The JU’s Men’s team did well with two silvers and one bronze,” freshman Scott Waitley said. “Medals at The Hooch are not easy to get, considering all the competitors. We came second behind UVA, so they are the motivation for the upcoming season, but for now we are working on flowing together to row as well as we can, across all boats we put out.”

Both the men and women will travel to Canal 54, a giant ditch in Fellsmere, Fla. to compete in the FIRA fall classic this weekend.