On Thursday, March 5, St. Mark’s varsity crew gathered to christen its newest racing hull, Quarls Family,
named to recognize the ongoing support of St. Mark’s Crew by Karen and Harry Quarls and their son Harrison Quarls ’13. The Quarls Family established the Quarls Family Sustaining Crew Fund in 2013 to invest in the future capital needs of the crew program, specifically new racing shells. The Quarls Family racing shell is the third boat purchased with funds from this endowment fund. In 2016, St. Mark’s Crew christened the Bruce C. Westrate
and in 2013 St. Mark’s Crew christened the William Forteith ’96
A captain of the 2013 State Championship team and former rower at Trinity College (CT), Harrison Quarls ’13 reflected on the unique nature of the crew program and the job the current crew team has done to continue to grow the legacy of St. Mark’s Crew. He recalled the lessons he learned from crew, how those lessons have helped shape his life, and shared with the current team a poignant reminder: “Persistence prevails when all else fails.”
Reflecting on the importance of a racing shell and the rowers who guide them, varsity crew coach Pitts Yandell stated, “The racing shell is the literal vehicle to success in the sport of rowing. It looks fast and graceful, and it has a commanding presence. Yet, beautiful boats do not go fast on their own. A racing shell only responds properly to oarsmen with skill, balance, strength and composure. In crew there are no playmakers, there can only be rowers who commit to themselves and to their crew that they will be the best they can be.”
In June 2019, St. Mark’s crew earned its first state championship since 2013 and, in October 2019, received the program’s first invitation in a quarter-century to the renowned Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. On February 29 and March 1, the varsity crew competed in their first regatta of the season at the Heart of Texas in Austin, Texas.
To christen the new racing hull, Harrison Quarls ’13 was joined by co-captains Christian Duessel ’20, Billy Lockhart ’20, and Jack Trahan ’20 as they poured a ceremonial pitcher of sparkling cider over the hull’s bow. As varsity crew works to defend their state championship title in 2020, you can support the team at their next regatta, the Texas Rowing Championships in Austin on April 18-19.