Video courtesy Henley Royal Regatta.


By Andrew Garda

The Montclair High School crew team's boys varsity eight showed well on the international stage this week, reaching the second round of its competition at the venerable Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames River in England.

The Mountie rowers -- including Henry Vecchione, Kjel Schlemmer, Owen King, Kenny Coplan, Alex Abuhoff, Patrick King, Djoume Traore, George Vrotsos-Rogers, and coxswain Lexi Greenbaum -- defeated King's College of Cambridge, England, by two and a quarter boat-lengths in its first-round race in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup.

The eight suffered its first defeat of the entire season in its second race Thursday, falling by less than a boat length to St. Albans School of Washington, D.C.

Montclair was one of 32 boats to qualify for the Challenge Cup, the event for high school-aged boys. It is one of 23 events at the prestigious regatta, which was first held in 1839.

The trip to England caps off an incredible year for the Mounties, which saw them win every race they were in during the season in a sport usually dominated by private schools.

Back on April 29, MHS became the first public school in the history of the Garden State Scholastic Championships to win the race, which both the boys and girls teams did.

The boys varsity eight also won the school's first-ever Stotesbury Championship, followed by a win at the SRAA Nationals Regatta on May 27 and another at the National Schools’ Championship Regatta on June 10.

video courtesy Henley Royal Regatta

More to come on the international travels of the Montclair Crew team in next Thursday's Montclair Local.