Episcopal Rowers True Sportsmen

James Konopka (left) and Nick Mead, of Episcopal Academy, unselfishly aided two rowers from St. Joseph's Prep whose boat had flipped during a race on the Schuylkill on Sunday.
James Konopka (left) and Nick Mead, of Episcopal Academy, unselfishly aided two rowers from St. Joseph's Prep whose boat had flipped during a race on the Schuylkill on Sunday.
Posted: November 01, 2011

A PAIR OF ROWERS from Episcopal Academy reminded everyone what sportsmanship is all about while competing in a high school regatta on the Schuylkill on Sunday.

James Konopka and Nick Mead were cruising along in the Under-17 doubles race when they passed a capsized St. Joseph's Prep boat.

"They had flipped," Konopka, a 16-year-old sophomore, said yesterday. "Nick said we should probably go back [to help them] and I agreed, so we turned around."

"They were yelling 'help' and one of the kids didn't appear as if he could swim too well," said Mead, a 16-year-old junior. "The water was cold and I'm sure their limbs were going numb."

The Prep rowers, Joe Leonard and Andrew Burrichter, were grateful for the assistance. Konopka said one of them said he was surprised that a competitor would give up a chance to win in order to help.

Konopka and Mead stayed with the Prep boys until a launch arrived.

Hopelessly behind, the Episcopal rowers nevertheless completed the race.

"When our coaches found out what had happened, they shook our hands and told us we did the right thing," Mead said.

Indeed.

Konopka and Mead didn't finish first, but on Sunday they were the biggest winners on the water.

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