Varsity Quad wins Nationals

The Varsity Quad (l to r, Jake Brewington, Wells Benson, Wyatt Johnson, and Chase Herz, all _22, with Coach Jon Stephanik – courtesy of the Haverford Crew Instagram account

In the final weeks of a high school team’s season, players and coaches alike try to send off their Sixth Formers on a high note. This year, the Varsity Quad ended their rowing careers on the highest note possible. Sixth Formers Wyatt Johnson, Jake Brewington, Wells Benson, and Chase Herz emerged victorious at Nationals. 

Teams came from all around the country, qualifying based on local success. Under extreme pressure and facing the toughest competition, the four dedicated athletes prevailed, winning the event for the first time in decades.

“Every boat we’ve raced has four guys who are trying their very best to win the event as well,” Brewington said. “What set us apart is that we were willing to go the extra mile, and we had the coaching to help us along the way.”

It has been a long journey rowing, and for Brewington, it started as a Third Former.

“I joined the team in my freshman year, mainly just because I needed a spring sport,” Brewington said. “I rowed with the summer program that summer, and I really fell in love with what I was doing, and I found success doing it.”

This spring, the Varsity Quad grew close spending countless hours together.

“We had the opportunity to row all spring with each other, we didn’t have many lineup changes,” Johnson said. “Every day we all show up, and we’re all there with a common goal: to practice and get better, and get to the point where we can win each race we set the boat in the water. I think that’s another reason why we’re all very good friends, and why we were able to put together a successful season.”

The Varsity Quad – courtesy of the Haverford Crew Instagram account

Individually, they continued to put in work, which was another factor in their success.

“We had four really gritty guys that we’re coming into practice locked in and ready to go,” Brewington said. “More importantly, when they were on their own, and they had free time, they were putting in the work to get faster themselves. We trusted each other and we all wanted the same result, and when it came time to really go for it at Nationals, we were able to lock in and really do something special.”

The work paid off when the boat crossed first, giving the team a feeling they will never forget.

“Crossing that finish line and hearing the buzzer sound that the race was over, and checking to see that we had crossed the finish line first, it was one of the best feelings in the world,” Johnson said. “Just knowing that all the hard work we’ve put in throughout the season has paid off, and that we ended the year on a high note. Being able to celebrate winning nationals was a very special moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

As graduating Sixth Formers, the victory was a perfect end to their time at Haverford.

I really do hope the younger guys are able to see what we’ve been able to do this spring…I hope they’re ready to follow in our footsteps and do some big things in the upcoming years.

Jake Brewington ’22

“I’m grateful for all the teammates that have helped along the way, and I’m grateful for all the coaching I’ve received,” Brewington said. “To be able to win multiple really big, legitimate regattas, that’s the highlight of my Haverford experience.”

As they prepare for the future, the Sixth Formers have set an example for future teams to live up to.

“I really do hope the younger guys are able to see what we’ve been able to do this spring,” Brewington said. “I hope they’re ready to follow in our footsteps and do some big things in the upcoming years.”