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Harvard’s Caroline Hart captures gold

The US fours crew — (from left) Eliza Spilsbury, Sylvie Sallquist, Caroline Hart, and Galen Hughes — beam after  beating Germany for gold at the World Junior competition.

Caroline Hart/US Rowing

The US fours crew — (from left) Eliza Spilsbury, Sylvie Sallquist, Caroline Hart, and Galen Hughes — beam after beating Germany for gold at the World Junior competition.

Hart, crew take title
at world rowing meet

Seated in a shell for the final time as a junior competitor, Caroline Hart captured gold.

The 18-year-old Harvard resident was in the stroke seat for the US fours crew that edged Germany at the World Junior Championships, held last weekend on Lake Galve in Trakai, Lithuania.

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“I realized it was close, but felt we had the race won over the last 20 strokes,’’ said Hart. “When we crossed the finish line there was a moment of disbelief, but then a great feeling of pride.’’

The American crew’s margin of victory over the 2,000-meter course was about a half-boat length, making every one of their approximately 36 strokes per minute over the last 1,000 meters crucial.

The straight-fours boat competes without a coxswain, “so we’re even more accountable when making the stroke calls, steering, and managing the boat,’’ said Hart.

An incoming freshman at Yale who will begin training with the varsity women’s crew in New Haven later this month, Hart was in the seventh seat a year ago for the US Junior eight boat that earned a silver medal in Bulgaria. Two of her crewmates in Lithuania, Eliza Spilsbury of Barnstable’s Centerville section, and Sylvie Sallquist of Seattle, also rowed with her in the eights. The fourth crew member was Galen Hughes of Greenwich, Conn.

Hart’s father, Patrick, who rowed at St. John’s High in Shrewsbury and Columbia University, is on the board of directors of Bare Hill Rowing, which supports the rowers from the Bromfield School in Harvard and Acton-Boxborough Regional High.

It’s been a whirlwind spring and summer on the water for Hart, who began rowing as a seventh-grader.

In June, Hart, her younger sister, Molly, along with Olivia MacLean, Sylvia Sarnik, and coxswain Emily Erdos won Bromfield’s first gold medal in the Youth Women’s fours in Tennessee. The Hart sisters, along with MacLean and Tola Myczkowska — and coached by Holly Hatton — also raced at the Henley Royal Regatta and the Women’s Henley in England last month.

Hart, who spent a month training at Princeton University, is now over the age limit for the Junior national squad.

Also in Lithuania, Weston’s Cicely Madden was on the silver-medalist quadruple sculls crew (two oars are required), while Alex Richards of Watertown rowed with the Junior men’s fours that reached the final for the first time in the program’s history, finishing sixth.

Keeping up the ride after Marathon scare

On Sept. 7, Natick resident David Chapin will embark on his 13th annual bike ride, joined by his son, David Jr., to benefit the Ron Burton Training Village in Hubbardston. This year, the ride will be particularly special.

On Patriots Day, Chapin and his wife, Shirley, were standing in front of the Hotel Lenox on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They were awaiting their son, who was walking the course to raise funds for the training village.

“We were 50 feet from where the bombs went off,’’ recalled Chapin, who had just spoken with his son via cellphone and knew he was just a few minutes away from finishing his nearly eight-hour walk.

“After the second explosion, we lost contact with him. It was a terrible scene. The police started moving us back and the runners, including our son, could not complete the race.’’

The family was reunited around 4 p.m., more than an hour after the attacks that claimed three lives and injured 264 people. “We eventually found him near Boylston Street,’’ Chapin said. “We were fortunate; sadly, so many others were not.’’

Next month, the Chapins will pedal 25 miles from Bowditch Field in Framingham to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, starting at 8 a.m. Their fund-raising effort, which garnered about $1,000 last year, honors Burton, the former New England Patriots running back who died in 2003 of cancer.

Burton, who founded the Framingham Pop Warner program with Patriots teammates Larry Garron and Charlie Long , had waived the program registration fee for Chapin because his family couldn’t afford it, and he has never forgotten.

“It’s a demanding ride, but I’ll do it for as long as I can because of Ron’s kindness and because the bond with my son is even closer than ever,’’ said Chapin, who works at CVS in the Natick Mall.

The first person to call him after the Marathon bombings was Burton’s son, Steve, a sports reporter at WBZ-TV 4.

“He wanted to make sure we were safe and well,’’ said Chapin. “But I still jump now when I hear loud noises and I have flashbacks, like so many others who were there.’’

Established in 1985 by Burton and his family, the 300-acre training village hosts a summer sports and academic camp for urban youngsters.

For information about pledges or donations, call Chapin at 508-740-1948 or 508-315-7342, or Garron at 508-879-5652.

US soccer coaches put Judges at No. 12

The Brandeis University men’s and women’s soccer teams are each ranked 12th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division 3 preseason Top 25 poll.

Men’s coach Mike Coven, beginning his 41st season, guided the Judges to an 18-3-1 record last season, a share of their first University Athletic Association title and a berth in the Sweet 16 bracket of the NCAA tournament.

The women were 16-5-2 and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Head coach Denise Dallamora begins her 34th season at the Waltham school.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.
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