MYSTIC — More than 200 athletes competed in the 2014 Erg Throwdown Indoor Rowing Challenge.
The event held each spring for the past five years at the Mystic Ocean Community YMCA in conjunction with the Mystic River Rowing Club and the Stonington High crew program attracted teams from Stonington, Avon, East Lyme, E.O. Smith, Middletown, Glastonbury and Simsbury.
Individual rowers ranging in age from 11 to 87 also took part in the event.
The event is held in the YMCA gym by electronically linking multiple Concept2 rowing machines together and racing as teams of eights and fours.
Rowers compete on a simulated 2,000-meter course with their boats projected real time on a screen. The boat that completes the distance with the lowest time is the winner.
There were also individiual events and a 500-meter race for the coxswain’s who typically ride in the driver’s seat and steer the shells as opposed to rowing them.
This year’s event was highlighted by very competitve racing with Glastonbury and Simsbury rowing a dead heat 7 minutes, 56.5 seconds to tie in the Girls Best Eight Division.
Simsbury also took top honors in the Boys Best Eight. Avon High dominated the Best Fours, winning both the boys and girls heats.
Stonington had its best race in the Girls Eight, finishing third at the first boat level and second in the G2 event. Stonington boys placed third in both events.
The event is gaining in popularity, said Stonington head coach Mike O’Neill.
Stonington opens its season April 5 with a home race against East Lyme.