ODBC Women's Novice Eight wins gold at Occoquan Challenge (courtesy photo)

The October heat was an unexpected obstacle at this year’s Occoquan Challenge but it did not deter the crew from Old Dominion Boat Club. Three boats won gold in the first regatta of the fall season on Oct. 7.

The ODBC junior eight men won the upper class 5,000 meter race against a field of 11 boats. They took gold with a time of 14.39.33, which was 1.85 seconds faster than Prince William and 12.17 seconds ahead of DeMatha Catholic High School.

“Just when we were taking the challenge turn, UVA was cutting the turn really tight, and I was afraid I was going to have to go on the outside of them,” said coxswain Clare Williams. “But at the last minute we took the turn really tight, cut UVA off and we were flying.”

ODBC Junior First 8 takes gold at Occoquan Challenge (courtesy photo)

The ODBC men’s lower junior eight topped two teams from DeMatha Catholic in a field of five boats. Their winning time was 15:54.35, 43.03 seconds ahead of DeMatha. The second DeMatha boat, which was third, had a time of 17:08.43.

The ODBC women’s freshman novice eight boat topped a field of four with a winning time of 18:59.85, which was 2:02.8 ahead of James Madison University, and 9:50 ahead of River City Crew.

“I knew we were going to do well at the first 500, when we passed the two boats that were ahead of us,” said Maddie Glanz, of the high school team that topped the college competition. “The scariest moment was at the last 500, when I could tell we were starting to fall apart, because we had worked so hard.”

In the women’s upper junior eight, the ODBC boat came in second to Resilient Rowing Club, with a time of 16:14.50, 4.92 seconds behind Resilient. The ODBC team was 52.2 seconds faster than Prince William CA.

The ODBC men’s novice eight were also on the podium, in third place with a time of 17:54.26. This was another race in which high schoolers competed against college teams. Washington College won the race with a time of 17:48.41, and University of Virginia finished second in 17.49.14.

The ODBC fall crew team is a blend of rowers from several high schools in the area. The ODBC men's teams include students from McLean, T.C. Williams, Wakefield and Washington-Lee. The women's teams include students from Bishop Ireton, James Madison, Maret, T.C. Williams, Wakefield and Washington-Lee.

ODBC had 15 boats competing in the Occoquan Challenge. Now it heads into the heart of the fall rowing season. The next regatta is the Occoquan Chase on Oct. 14.