The National Schools' Championship Regatta, held this season on the Occoquan River in Virginia, is only in its second year but already is recognized as a true national championship day of racing for scholastic programs, because it involves all regions of the United States. Most significantly, crews from the New England area--not represented at the SRAA Nationals--are well in attendance. As with the SRAA, automatic qualification is based on local league championship results, though restricted to first-place finishers. All others may petition by presenting "proof of speed."
The Junior Mens' 8+ boat, which had only rowed together in the race lineup for less than two weeks, were the day's first event for WJ. They proceeded to make history by winning Walter Johnson Crew’s first national championship Gold medal, edging out Gonzaga by 1/10 of a second in true photo-finish style. Oakton, South County and Westfield all came in well behind these first two boats battling for the win.
The Lightweight 4+ raced next. They had proven themselves throughout the spring to be one of the fastest in their class regionally and in recent weeks had established that they were among the fastest in the nation, despite being comprised of four sophomores and one senior, Sam Lupo. Even faster than they had been weeks prior, they took home a Silver medal, just behind Dublin School, a Connecticut prep school focusing on 4+ boats for nearly two decades! In the process of nearly moving through Dublin, they dominated over the likes of Gonzaga, St. Joseph Prep and McCallie.
All in all it was an historic day, with only two WJ boats invited, and each taking home a national championship medal. (See the NSRA page here for the complete official results.)