Lerro, of Langhorne, said Afleet Alex, a leading sire, now resides in Gainesway, Ky. "I'm anxious to see him again and feed him," the 18-year-old said.
In the time trials Friday, Day 1 of the 86th annual Stotesbury Cup on the Schuylkill, Lerro, in the stroke seat, helped Mount St. Joseph to a second-place clocking of 4 minutes, 42.20 seconds.
"For a varsity eight crew, Stotesbury is one of the best races to win," said Lerro, who will continue her rowing career at Duke. "We train nine months for this race."
Of her role as stroke, Lerro said, "I try to set the pace. It's important for me to tell our coxswain [Erin McElroy] what the feel of the boat is and the ratio shifts we need."
This year, Stotesbury, the world's oldest and largest high school rowing event, features 5,000 rowers and 925 boats. Crews from 198 schools are competing in 31 events.
"Day 1 was a little windy, but it didn't give any crew an unfair advantage," Stotesbury director Clete Graham said. "Things went very smoothly."
In the boys' varsity eight, defending champion St. Albans, of Washington, D.C., posted a top mark of 4:09.46. St. Joseph's Prep, looking to regain the crown it captured in 2010, was almost as fast (4:09.47).
Max Ferguson, 17, came from Miami Beach, Fla., to compete in the single scull. His coach, Francisco Viacava, who rowed for Peru in the 1984 Olympics and is a three-time Pan-American medalist, is friends with Malvern Prep coach Craig Hoffman.
"This is a beautiful venue," said Ferguson, a novice rower who placed first (5:05.11) in the time trials. "The water is consistent, the scenery is great, and there's a nice crowd."
Ferguson is a junior at Miami Beach High. In 1951, his grandfather, Augusto "Kiko" Villalon, won the Cuba Cup national rowing title in a four-man shell.
Among South Jersey girls' crews on Friday, Egg Harbor Township (5:12.37 in the varsity four) and Holy Spirit (4:47.18 in the lightweight eight) won their time trials.
In the boys' lightweight eight, favorite St. Joseph's Prep (4:13.33), Moorestown (4:21.75), and La Salle (4:21.88) lead the pack of semifinalists.
The top contenders in the boys' varsity quad are Montclair (4:24.19), Malvern Prep (4:26.30), St. Joseph's Prep (4:29.82), and Conestoga (4:29.82).
"I thought the time trial went well," Hoffman said. "We were behind by only two seconds. Now that we're into the semifinals, the real racing begins."
Saturday's semifinal action will begin at 8 a.m. For complete results, go to www.boathouserow.org.
Contact Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone