First medal finishes in team's history of competition at Head of the Hooch regatta
Over the weekend, GPS Rowing had success across the board at the Head of the Hooch regatta. On Saturday morning, Caroline Barnes ’24 and Eileen Nash ’25 put together a fast race to earn the bronze medal in the Women's Youth Under 19 Double (2x). They crossed the line in a time of 17:12.798, seven seconds behind the second place crew, earning the first Head of the Hooch medal in school history. A 2x with Isabel Ponce ’24 and Cat Feeney ’25 finished 8th in the same event as the top B entry.
The Women's Youth Novice 8+ took to the water Saturday afternoon for their first Head of the Hooch, finishing 11th in a field of 26 crews. Tessa Rafiee ’27 led the group to this impressive result as coxswain, along with Kerrigan Coverly ’25, Luci Center ’27, Lily Ownby ’27, Georgia Richmond ’27, Olivia Youngblood ’27, Halah Hipp ’27, Amelia Jenkins ’27, and Gracyn Coverly ’27. On Sunday morning, Tessa, Kerrigan, Luci, Olivia, and Lily returned to the course in the Women's Youth Novice 4+, where they finished 19th.
Sunday proved to be another record-breaking day. In the Women's Youth Under 19 Quad (4x), Caroline, Isabel, Eileen, and Cat put together a strong performance to earn 2nd place in the field of 47 crews, cementing the new best recorded result for GPS in the history of the regatta. They came down the course in a time of 15:56.862, just three seconds behind the gold medal crew. Three of the four girls in this boat also earned the silver medal at last year's Scholastic National Championship in the Junior 4x.
GPS fielded a B boat in the same event on Sunday with Sadie Pacenti ’24, Arysa Kayasit ’24, Kendall Ownby ’25, and Sloane Evans ’25. They were the fourth fastest B boat, earning 34th place overall.
While all Chattanooga teams placed boats in the top 15 in their respective events, the Bruisers led the way as the only local youth team to earn a medal, coming away from the weekend with a silver and a bronze. This was an historic weekend for GPS, having previously placed as high as 4th (most recently in 2021).
"We've been really impressed with this team so far,” said Head Coach Laura Foster. “It's incredible to have such a prestigious race right on our home river, and we're grateful to the Head of the Hooch organizers for their time in making it such a special event. The level of competition at this regatta is very high, and it's a great opportunity to give ourselves a benchmark against nationally-competitive teams before beginning our spring preparations after Thanksgiving."
The team is coached by Head Coach Laura Foster; Anders Swanson, a McCallie rowing alum and GPS Associate Director of College Counseling; and three GPS Rowing alumnae, Meagan Gossett ’08, Rachael Land ’12, and Larkin Brown ’19.