Jun 07, 2018
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Following in the footsteps of William Harrington '18, rising senior Matthew Matejka has been elected captain of the 2018-19 Yale varsity lightweight crew. Classmate Nicolai Parks will assume the role of Y150 commodore, succeeding Chris King '18. Flanked by a large, strong senior class, the two will look to capitalize on the size and depth of this coming year's squad.
"Matt has three years of rowing leadership from Velte, Baily, and Harrington to guide him, and he's going to go a great job in carrying the torch," said Andy Card, Yale's Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lightweight Crew. "Additionally, he's the first captain I've had who is also the winner of the Capelluto Award, so he clearly has the respect of all his teammates. He certainly has my respect as a hard worker and great teammate. He's shown no task is too great or small for him to help the team."
Matejka, of Wellesley, Mass., first started rowing at Community Rowing Inc. his freshman year of high school. As a first-year, Matejka raced in the second varsity eight, culminating in an Eastern Sprints gold medal, a Jope Cup win, an IRA fourth-place finish in the coxed four, and reached the quarterfinals in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at the 177th Henley Royal Regatta. His sophomore year, Matejka spent much of the season in stroke seat of the second varsity eight, winning silver at the Eastern Sprints. In the fall of his junior year, Matejka stroked the lightweight 4+ to a first-place finish and course record at the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta. His junior spring, Matejka spent most of the season in the second varsity eight, but ultimately helped the fourth varsity eight to the program's first medal in the event ever. Off the water, Matejka studies economics and is a member of Pierson College.
Parks has been appointed the Y150 Commodore. A native of Bethesda, Md., Parks started rowing at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school, splitting his year-round rowing between scholastic competition and summer rowing for Thompson Boat Center. At Yale, Parks has risen steadily through the ranks. His first year, he helped the 3V to an Eastern Sprints bronze medal and competed in the Visitors' Challenge Cup at the 177th Henley Royal Regatta. His sophomore year, he helped the 2V to an Eastern Sprints silver medal. His junior year, he spent his spring season in the 1V, finishing the spring with a sixth place finish at the IRA National Championship Regatta. Off the water, Parks is also an Economics major and a member of Trumbull college.
"Nicolai will be a tremendous complement to Matt, and the team will feed off of 'Parks Energy' no matter the platform or month," said Card.
Matejka expressed his own optimism for the year ahead: "I love my teammates. 2019 is ready. We didn't go as fast as we wanted, but we're such a close team -we'll be fine. Right now, my job is to keep the fun rolling and the energy high as we get ready for the year ahead. I might even convince coach to open up the Instagram a little bit. Can't wait to get back together in September!"
The lightweights will resume practice at the start of classes in September. The first race of the fall season is the Head of the Housatonic, in early October.
Report Filed by Yale Sports Publicity