Merion Mercy Academy’s Varsity 4 won the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s national championship for the second straight year, fighting off Mainland High of New Jersey by 2.5 seconds to win last Saturday on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J.
The Varsity 4 is composed of seniors Elissa Jensen and Emily Buongiorno, junior Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, sophomore Sarah Klippel and senior coxswain Maddi Ratfield. Before MMA pulled off this feat, no school had repeated as Varsity 8 or Varsity 4 girls national champion since Holy Spirit (N.J.) won the Varsity 8 in 2002-03.
Four MMA boats competed at nationals and three moved through heats and semifinals to reach the finals, with the second 8 taking fourth place and the Freshman 8 earning a second-place medal, finishing less than 9/10ths of a second behind New Trier High of Illinois.
The Varsity 4 will compete in the Henley Women’s Regatta in England next month.