Belmont High Alum Gibson Rows His Way to National Championship

Photo: Peter Gibson (USRowing)

It’s been 20 years since a Belmont High School alumni – Patty Shea (’80) in field hockey in 1996 – strode behind the Stars and Stripes at the opening ceremony of a Summer Olympics. (Belmont High’s Emily Cook has been a member of four US Winter Olympic teams and competing in three as a freestyle skier.)

But that 20 year drought could come to end next year in Brazil as Peter Gibson, BHS class of 2009, is making his mark as one of the best lightweight sweep rowers in the country.

On Friday, June 26, Gibson joined team mates Andrew Weiland, Matthew O’Donoghue and 2012 Olympian Robin Prendes to finish first in the lightweight fours at the USRowing National Championships held at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

Last month, the team – rowing out of the USRowing Training Center in Oklahoma City – finished first in qualifications to represent the US at the 2015 Pan American Games taking place in mid-July in Toronto.

Taking time away from the fours, Prendes and Gibson won gold in the lightweight pair in the 2015 Under 23 & Senior I World Championships Trials on Wednesday, June 24. They will represent the Stars and Stripes at the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Gibson is no stranger to world championships, having participated in the past two as a member of the lightweight eights, winning the bronze in 2013 and finishing fifth in 2014.

The son of Sarah Frisken and Ted Gibson, Gibson began rowing in 2008 at nearby Community Rowing, Inc., in Brighton. After graduating from BHS, Gibson entered Brown University where he rowed and earned a degree in computer science in 2013. 

If he does make next year’s Olympic team, he will upholding family tradition. His father rowed for Canada at the 1984 Olympic Games and his cousin, Duff Gibson, won a gold medal while competing for Canada in skeleton at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Lightweights? Hardly as Arlington-Belmont Crew Light Fours Score Second at Nationals

Photo: The A-B Crew light fours which came in second in the Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Fla on June 14. 

They took four boats and two dozen high school rowers 1,400 miles to Sarasota, Florida to compete against 1,700 of the best young rowers at USRowing 2015 Youth National Championships held last weekend in the Sunshine State.

And the Arlington-Belmont Crew Club didn’t travel all that way last weekend without demonstrating its rowing prowess against some of the most established schools and clubs from across the country.

In only their second trip to the nationals, the club – in only its tenth year – returned home with some impressive silverware in their carry-on. 

In the finals held Sunday, June 14, the A-B crew’s Lightweight Varsity Boys Fours with cox win came in  second, signifying being the second best boat in the country, trailing only the Cincinnati Junior A’s as the quartet traveled the 2,000-meter course in 6 minutes and 43.1 seconds.  


Arlington-Belmont Crew’s Lightweight Fours; (from left) Trevor Corning, Brendan Mooney, Coach Mark Grinberg, Andrea Abanto (cox), JD Tiffany and Eryk Dobrushkin.

The Mark Grinberg-coached boat included cox Andrea Abanto, Brendan Mooney, JD Tiffany, Eryk Dobrushkin and Belmont’s Trevor Corning.

In addition to the light fours, Arlington-Belmont crews made impressive showing against dozens of teams from across the country: 

  • Lightweight Varsity Girls Eights finished 11th (Ellie Cayer (cox), Catherine Tiffany, Callie Abouzeid, Sara Hamilton, Sarah Osborn, Abi Judge, Alena Jaeger, Lizzie Ferrante and Julia Blass),
  • Lightweight Varsity Boys Eights was 13th (Julian Green (cox), Dylan Ryan, Trevor Brown, Owen Niles, Tony Chen, Steven Chen, Anthony DiFranco, Devin Bemis and Adam Cronin) and
  • Heavyweight Varsity Boys Fours was 14th (Brenna Sorkin (cox), Alexander Gharibian, Liam Lanigan, Adrian Tanner and Max Halliday).