The College of Charleston co-ed sailing team won its fourth all-time Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA)/Gill Co-ed National Championship title in program history on Thursday. Watch a video of their celebration.
The Cougars, who won the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title a year ago in Austin, Texas, added another piece of hardware to their trophy case as the recipients of the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy, which they previously won in 1986, 2006 and 2007.
After 18 races and three days of intense sailing, the Cougars never relinquished the top spot after each day of competition at the 18-team national regatta held at the Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove. They turned in a three-day combined score of 215 points for a 20-point victory over rival and second-place Georgetown (235 points), third-place Dartmouth (256), fourth-place Brown (265) and fifth-place Boston College (291) to round out the top 5 schools.
“To win the Co-ed National Championship three times in the last eight years is impressive,” CofC Head Coach Ward Cromwell said. “It was truly a group effort. We sailed really well the last three days. Ben (Spector) was able to stay consistent in B-Division and Juan (Maegli) and Cory (DeCollibus) were unbelievable in A-Division. The conditions were windy and choppy making for really long courses. But, they were able to put the boat through the water well and we had no major errors.”
Maegli (Guatemala City, Guatemala), a senior All-American skipper and two-time Olympian, combined with freshman crew Seppie McAdams (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) in races 1-5 and senior Cory DeCollibus (Duxbury, Mass.) in races 6-18. The trio won by a 41-point margin over second-place Boston College (110 points) in A-Division. Read about Maegli’s Olympic run.
“Juan, Cory and Seppie averaged less than a fourth-place finish in 13 of the 18 races overall,” Cromwell said. “Winning their division by 41 points is unheard of, especially with the new format. The conditions were definitely good. We had a nice wind and soft breeze a little over 15 today.”
In B-Division, the Cougars made some adjustments to their rotation as senior All-American Ben Spector (Santa Clarita, Calif.) skippered races 1-12 and 15-18 along with senior All-American Mac Mace (Newport Beach, Calif.) in races 13-14. CofC placed fifth with 146 points behind Brown (88), Stanford (97), Georgetown (101) and Dartmouth (141).
Spector and Mace were joined by the crew work of sophomore Ali Blumenthal (Bellport, N.Y.) in races 1-8, senior Brooks Clark (Newport Beach, Calif.) in races 9-12, senior Sarah Somes (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) in races 13-16 and senior Jeff Aschieris (Newport Beach, Calif.) in races 17-18.
“We definitely put our best players in on the final day,” Cromwell said. “We were a little disappointed after the team race championship. Our team was eager to win this event after falling short of making the Final Four in the team race. It feels pretty good to come back and win the coed championship.”
Cromwell credits the team’s depth, senior leadership and talented youth to winning the co-ed national title.
“After school let out, all of our kids came back for nationals practice which was key,” he said. “Our young kids raced against those going to nationals and really pushed them. We’ve had a great second team all year long pushing our starters.
“This year’s senior class was definitely a really good class in our program history. They had a year no one else had in the country. As we look toward the future of our program, we are excited and still have a lot of young talent left on the team and will continue to develop that talent.”
Coverage and highlights of the ICSA/Gill Co-ed Dinghy National Championship will air on July 12 at 6 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU. The coverage will also be aired on additional dates this summer.