Written by Megan Jolley
Photo by Ravens Rowing
ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – There were 4 podium finishes earned by 12 Ravens athletes at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Rowing Championships. The OUA regatta is a 2-day event with the development programs and varsity heats on Friday October 25th and with finals on Saturday. Novice, Junior Varsity and Varsity athletes from universities across Ontario and Quebec competed side by side over the 2 km course on Martindale Pode in St Catharines, the future site of the 2024 World Rowing Championships.
In some events, crews rowed in heats on Friday and moved onto A and B finals on Saturday. Others had straight finals. The athletes couldn’t have asked for better weather after often dealing with pouring rain and high winds in previous years. This year was different with overcast skies and only a moderate crosswind.
With 4 boats in their event, the lightweight men’s eight raced a straight final on Saturday. The crew held off the McMaster boat as they made their way to the finish line. They placed 3rd behind Brock and Western with a time of 6:32.91.
The lightweight women’s double of Meghan Jolley and Emma Lindale moved on to the A finals after fighting their way into 4th place during the heats. The top 6 boats that moved on to the finals finished within 4 seconds of each other. They had a tough race ahead of them as this is one of the most competitive events at OUAs. In the A finals, the women moved past Guelph, Brock, and Toronto to finish in 3rd place behind Queens and McGill. Their time was 8:04.53.
Hunter Amesbury in the heavyweight men’s single finished 5th overall in the heats, qualifying him for the A finals on Saturday. Hunter saw some tough competition on the water from athletes that competed for Canada internationally over the summer but pulled off an incredible 3rd place finish. He pushed past Western, Queens, and Nipissing to finish with a time of 7:29.74, with Laurentian and Trent just ahead of him.
Jolley and Lindale also teamed up for the lightweight women’s pair which was a straight final against 4 other boats. After pulling away from McMaster and Western in the first 1500 m of the race, their fight was not over. In the last 250 m, they managed to get ahead of Trent who couldn’t match their pace for a second-place finish. Their finish time was 8:02.59, only 1 second behind the winning boat from Brock.
At the end of the regatta, awards and medals were given out. Award nominees were selected collectively by coaches from all participating universities and winners were chosen by secret ballot. Raven’s Varsity Women’s coach Matthew Fournier received the award for Women’s Coach of the Year. Two Carleton women, Tess MacMillan and Emma Lindale were both nominated for Female Athlete of the Year, which ultimately went to Tess. Hunter Amesbury was nominated for Male Athlete of the Year.
OUA Women’s Coach of the Year: Matthew Fournier
OUA Female Varsity Rower of the Year: Tess MacMillan
Lightweight Women’s Pair -Emma Lindale and Meghan Jolley
Lightweight Men’s Eight -Brendan McIntyre, Owen Powell, Richard Sultmanis, Nicolas Marini, Donny Bagozzi, Ty Summers, Declan McCoy, Saj Patni, and Shane Brockbank (coxswain)
Heavyweight Men’s Single -Hunter Amesbury
Lightweight Women’s Double -Emma Lindale and Meghan Jolley