Melbourne High Crew Soars In National Finals

By  //  June 1, 2012

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Sixth In America

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Two Melbourne High School Rowing team boats won the 2012 Florida State Scholastic Championships held in Sarasota over the April 28 weekend and qualified for national competition.

Melbourne High School's crew team places sixth in the national finals May 25 in New Jersey. (Image courtesy Melbourne High School Crew Club)

The rowing team, consisting of Coxswain Aaron Evans and rowers Andrew Stebbins, James Mullen, Nathan Esterline and Jake Combs won the Men’s Varsity 4 Championship, while the team consisting of Coxswain Marissa Chodorow and rowers Bob Sison, Luis Mata, Drew Hegedus and Zach Bell were champions in the Men’s Junior 4.

Michael Orndorf replaced Bell in the JV4 boat attending nationals.


Andrew Stebbins and Jake Combs also captured the Scholastic Championship in the Doubles competition.

In addition, AJ Powshok won second place scholastically in the Men’s Varsity Single Scull Race, qualifying him to race in the National Regatta.

These victories advanced these teams to the Scholastic National Championships which was held on Mercer Lake near Camden, N.J. May 25 and 26.

The Varsity 4 broke a school record in the Semifinals with a time of 4:59.19 and were able to compete in the Mens Varsity Four Grand Final placing sixth in the nation for a second year.


This says a lot about the dedication and training of the rowers and team to be able to compete at this level.

In the last 11 years, 29 crews and boats from Melbourne High School have qualified for nationals with 10 Florida State Scholastic Championship wins.

Melbourne High Crew began in 1977 and has the distinction of being the only high school in Brevard County with a rowing team.

Now Florida is represented by over 40 organizations at the youth and scholastic level. Florida rowers have shown themselves to be among the top in the country.

“The teams not only represent Melbourne High School, but also the City of Melbourne, Brevard County and the State of Florida,” said Charlie Esterline, Mel Hi Crew Past President and Crew Parent.

While the team is a club of Melbourne High School, it does not receive school funding. the Mel Hi Crew/Melbourne High School Rowing Association Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


To fund the trip, the organization held several fundraisers to off set the rowers costs attending the national event.

Donations are always accepted on the team’s website.

Fundraising is an integral part of sustaining this club to assist in keeping rower costs down and to purchase equipment.

For additional information about the teams, the organization and the competitions, or to make a donation, please visit

Mel High Crew also offers a summer camp for students to have the opportunity to try out crew in the summer.

For more information, please visit