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Williams Wharf hosts opening regatta: Mathews High School’s men’s varsity four wins at home

The Mathews High School crew hosted the first of its three spring regattas on Saturday at Williams Wharf Landing. The young MHS crew came up with a first-place finish in the boys’ varsity four.

This year’s Mathews rowing program is much smaller than usual, fielding no seniors. The girls’ varsity squad is made up of five freshmen and the boys are boating three juniors, a freshman and an eighth grade coxswain.

The varsity four put Cole Johnson, Andrew Merz, Phillip Machen, Zach Payne and novice coxswain Trevor Thomas in a very tight race with all six entries still packed at the 500-meter mark. Thomas hit a large floating marker, which broke the rhythm and dropped the boys a half length.
This mishap seemed to give the foursome a shot of adrenalin and the boat regained position and continued to pull away to capture the gold by open water, almost six seconds ahead of Gloucester with Great Bridge, Granby, Hickory and Cox.

Later Payne paired up with Machen and Merz...

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