A year ago, the Westerville high school boys rowing team's Lightweight 8 boat became the program's second to reach the grand final at the US Rowing Youth National championships, where it finished fourth.

A year ago, the Westerville high school boys rowing team's Lightweight 8 boat became the program's second to reach the grand final at the US Rowing Youth National championships, where it finished fourth.

The boat is on pace for another memorable finish. At the Hoover Invitational on April 11, Westerville's Lightweight 8 of Allie Davis (coxswain), Greg Miller, Brenden Palmer, Austin Hoyles, Justin Mikusa, James Kelly, Andrew Baumgartner, Jeremy Sobiech and Adam Shirey captured a title in 6 minutes, 42.33 seconds.

With much gustier winds to deal with last Saturday at the Governor's Cup Regatta on Griggs Reservoir, Westerville finished first again in 7:01.32.

The Midwest Junior Rowing Championships are May 16-17 on Lake Harsha in Batavia, and the boat is expecting to advance again to the national regatta, which is June 12-14 at the same site.

"We lost our coxswain and our stroke seat from last year, but most of us have been rowing together for three or four seasons," said Miller, a St. Charles student who has taken over the stroke seat. "We feel really together and connected to one another."

After winning its second Governor's Cup in three seasons a year ago, Westerville came in second at the event last Saturday with 117.5 points behind the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club (198).

According to Westerville boys coach Matt Chase, the windy conditions last Saturday made it difficult to judge how well each boat raced.

The conditions were a contrast with those April 18 at the Hoover Invitational Regatta, in which Westerville was the host team. At that event, it came in second with more than 1,300 athletes from seven states participating.

Westerville and Upper Arlington will conduct a scrimmage Saturday in preparation of the postseason.

"The problem (last Saturday) is that it was a very unfair course," Chase said. "If you were in lanes five or six, your chances greatly increased. It might have been fair that (Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club) won, but every race individually was unfair.

"We've got the Midwest Championships coming up next and we're going to do a co-workout with Upper Arlington, which is something we love to do. UA's got a very good team."

•UA boys coach Chris Swartz was hoping for better finishes from his boats at the Governor's Cup, where the Bears placed fifth (55.5) overall.

The varsity 8 boat finished fourth in 7:15.72, just behind third-place Westerville (7:12.12) but well behind champion CJRC (6:51.16). Junior Zach Lowe is the stroke seat and seniors Andy Weiland, Omar Latif and Alan Chan also are key members of the boat.

UA's lightweight 8 failed to advance to the final last Saturday.

"We have higher standards than what we've performed," Swartz said. "A couple of our younger boats did well and I was proud of the way we ran in the heats. In the finals, we've not been as consistent as we need to be. We had a very mediocre performance at the Hoover and we talked about it. There's no question that we made some progress but we're just not being consistent."

The girls team has been led by its varsity 8, which took third (8:20.67) last Saturday and features Allie Williams (coxswain), Caroline Galluzzi (stroke seat), Alex Smart, Sarah Elliott, Cori Meinert, Kelsie Bell, Cecilia Jaquith, Emily Wilt and Katherine Tedesco.

The Bears will compete May 9 at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships on Lake Harsha, which is a meet for high school programs.

They then will compete in the Midwest Junior championships May 16-17.

"It went very well," coach Andy Wimmer said.

"This is our last event before Midwest Scholastics. I think our varsity 8 boat can get a medal at the Midwest Scholastics and we'll try to get a couple 4s through (to nationals. We're at the point where we're able to go out and attack."

•Dublin enters the Midwest Junior championships coming off an eighth-place finish (44.5) at the Governor's Cup.

The girls team is strongest in the lightweight events, where it placed second in the 8 (8:40.15) and 4 (9:18.4).

The most experienced lightweight rowers are senior Kelly Merecicky and juniors Mariah Hake and Jordan Vellky.

"All of our boats felt like they improved," girls coach Gina Geosano said. "Our lightweight 8 took first (at the Hoover Invitational), so they've really done well."

The Dublin boys didn't have any boats reach finals last Saturday, but its first varsity 4 had its best performance of the season according to coach Jared Crooks.

At a glance

Below are recent results for the Hilliard rowing team:

April 11 -- Competed in Cincinnati Invitational on Lake Harsha in Batavia. Hilliard finished fifth (9:15.89) in the second varsity 4.

April 18 -- Competed in Hoover Invitational on Hoover Dam. Hilliard had no boats reach finals.

Last Saturday -- Tied for 25th (1.5) at Governor's Cup Regatta on Griggs Reservoir behind champion Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club (198). The first Novice 8 was sixth (11:31.85).