Triple gold for Martens and May
Jacob Martens and Johan May capped off the 137th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta the same way they started.
The St. Catharines Rowing Club duo captured gold in the lightweight dash Saturday before adding two more gold medals Sunday.
Martens and May were part of the gold-medal winning men’s senior lightweight eight before taking home gold once again in the men’s under 23 lightweight pair.
The duo had little time between races.
“First it started with the adrenaline of the eight, that really helped,” said Martens, a 20-year-old St. Catharines native. “(It was) getting in the Gatorade and the electrolytes and fuelling up and getting the water back and hydrating.
“It’s a hot day so you put water down your back. It’s relaxation and just to calm the body and get ready for the next one.”
Martens, a graduate of Eden High School who attends Brock, admitted it was a challenge.
“We knew we had a lot of adrenaline coming’s off the eight and we knew we were going to hit the wall,” he said. “We just wanted to calm ourselves and just focus on the race and focus on we performed yesterday and go off that. We had to stay focused and go into the race our race plan and stayed focused and if the past hasn’t happened. Go into the race as if it’s a new one.”
Martens was still out of breath minutes after the race, but managed to describe how satisfying the medals were.
“It’s amazing. It’s a hard battle, but we trained all year for this. It was just something the guys all put together and come out with some gold.
“We’re definitely going to have a nice little party with the guys.”
The first local crew to take home gold Sunday was the St. Catharines Rowing Club’s women’s senior 52-kilogram cox four of Kasaundra Pariak, Marissa Hagopian, Emma Parkin, Olivia Burgess and Georgia Greenwood.
“It wasn’t as easy as it looked,” said Parkin, a 17-year-old Governor Simcoe student. “We were pushed by two good crews that we had raced prior to at last year’s Henley. It was definitely a push for us.
“It was good to prove that we little girls can do so much; it was a good way to end the season.”
Parkin felt the crew gelled together quickly.
“We’ve been together since the start of summer. Right away, our coaches knew we were the combination. We do have one girl who just started this summer (Hagopian) but she pulled through.”
Parkin said the crew didn’t come in overconfident.
“We definitely didn’t think we were going to win this,” she said. “We came in with a positive attitude. We didn’t want to come in and think we we’re going to win it and then be disappointed with the results. We came in open-minded and with a positive attitude.
“It was awesome.”
The women’s senior lightweight eight of Jordan Isnor, Alicia Piazza, Kaitlyn Dennis, Margaret Gralewicz, Andrea Jansen, Erin Corkery, Carly Zanetta, Jennifer Beaudette and cox Brooke Kew brought home gold, easily outdistancing the Leander Boat Club.
“I would say we got them off the start but it was a pretty tight race up until the 500 metre (mark) and then we broke away from them,” Corkery said.
Corkery said the crew relied on Kew to let them know where they were in relation to their competition.
“We leave that up to Brooke,” she said. “She’s the one looking around and steering us away from everybody.”
The crew had its sights set on gold.
“We always think gold is a possibility, but we never discount anyone,” said Corkery, a 23-year-old Brock student. “They have some really strong people in that boat and we had never raced them before.
“Two-boat races are always challenging because anything can happen. It’s 50/50 every time. That’s what we thought going into this race.”
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