"The whole last week, especially the last couple of days, has been exhausting," coxswain Andy Kelly said. "Being prepared mentally and physically for each race takes so much out of you.
"We're still on a high. But this . . . I mean this makes you feel like a celebrity."
The Prep won four races, each more difficult than the one before, in four days to prevail in what is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious crew races.
The Henley victory ended a stellar season of top-caliber racing for St. Joseph's. The Hawklets previously had captured Catholic League, city, Stotesbury and national scholastic championships.
In the process, team members said they forged a bond they believed would last a lifetime.
"What I'm afraid of now is that I'll never be able to do something like this again," said Marty Reape, who sat in the Prep's No. 5 seat. "It was a tremendous experience to be a part of that with this group of guys.
"We've been through a lot together. Last year, we lost at Henley. This year, we came through. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Joining Kelly and Reape in the Prep boat were John Wachter (stroke), Patrick McMahon (2 seat), Mark Mannion (3), Tim Rigler (4), Anselm Sauter (6), Ryan Broderick (7) and Greg Cobb (bow).
The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup remained in England but is available to the school for display.
Even without the 21/2-foot silver trophy in hand, Sauter said he returned from the 14-day excursion with something equally valuable.
"Just when you think it couldn't get any better, you have something like this, and it does get better," Sauter said. "Thirty years from now, I know I'll be able to get together with these guys, and we'll still be friends. And we'll still talk about winning Henley."
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