By KEN SCHOTT
NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna Rowing high school boys’ and girls’ teams had not competed in the Head of the Hudson Regatta before, because it takes place shortly after the start of the school year.
But this time, Niskayuna Rowing decided to take a chance and see how it would do.
Six medals later, Niskayuna Rowing had done just fine.
Niskayuna Rowing won four gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the Head of the Hudson on Sept. 20.
The teams that won gold were the men’s junior 8+, men’s junior freshman/novice 8+, men’s junior 4x and the men’s junior 2x.
The men’s junior 2x also won a silver, while the men’s junior freshman/novice 4x won a bronze.
“This was the first time we’ve gone to the Head of the Hudson,” Niskayuna Rowing vice president David Davenport said. “Normally, given how early it is in our school year, we often pass on it. But we look at our teams, and our boys’ team in particular. Last year, we had no seniors on the team, so it’s a pretty strong team. Last spring, they were state champs for the men’s junior 8+ category, so it was a very strong finish in the spring and they were able to capitalize on it at the Head of the Hudson.
“We surprised ourselves with how well we performed so far early in the fall season.”
Davenport was even more impressed with the effort because the Hudson River was a bit rough that day.
“The Hudson River is, obviously, a pretty big, wide, fast-moving body of water,” he said. “After all the big boats, the eight- and the four-seaters were finished, they ended up shortening the race for the single and smaller boats. It was pretty challenging out there.”
Niskayuna Rowing had another successful competition Sept. 27 at the Tail of the Fish Regatta at Fish Creek in Saratoga. It earned four gold medals, led by a pair from the freshman/novice 4x teams. Also winning gold were the boys freshman/novice 8+ and boys’ junior 4x. The boys’ junior 2x and the mixed boys’ and girls’ 8+ won silver medals, and the girls’ junior 4x and girls’ junior 8+ took bronze.
Niskayuna Rowing will co-host the Head of the Mohawk Regatta at Aqueduct Park on Oct. 4. It’s the seventh-oldest regatta in the United States.