Wildcats Out of Home Range: Weston Is Well-Represented in Tokyo

Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

As some of you know, the Owl is studying trees in Washington this week. The state has quite a few of them, and some of them are chonks (750-year-old trees are quite wide, though at 200 feet tall, they carry it well). It is all quite humbling. What is also quite humbling is turning on the Olympic coverage when returning to the hotel for a break after a long hiking day. These athletes are mesmerizing–so glad to have the Olympics back.

In a “what is in the water? moment”, consider that our tiny town was/is home to five athletes who are competing in Tokyo. We admit that one is a horse, which really is perfect considering the “semi-rural” nature of our town. In addition, we have to mention that there are at least two athletes from Wayland who are alums of Wayland-Weston Crew–a joint program tearing it up over on Lake Cochituate. There is indeed something in that water right now (yeah, evil algae) but consider signing up your kids for rowing if they have Olympic dreams.

While the Owl has zero time to research much more than the basics, make sure you turn on the telly to catch some of these folks in action, particularly the rowers who are dealing with schedule changes, “re-fishing” (“repechage” – French for second chance and also translated by seventh-grade french class (thank you M. Braun) to re-fishing) and a typhoon along with the usual mind-boggling pain (yes, the Owl did row in college, and still remembers the blisters, thank you).


Kristi Wagner, Photo credit: US Rowing
  • Conor Harrity – Men’s Eight Rowing
  • Cicely Madden – Women’s Quadruple Sculls Rowing
  • Kristi Wagner – Women’s Double Sculls Rowing

As of this writing, Kristi Wagner and her partner Gevvie Stone (Newton but we forgive her) are through to the finals after finishing second in their heat, while the Men’s Eight with Conor Harrity, is heading to repechage on Wednesday, after losing to Germany in their heat. Cicely Madden and her team in the Quad Sculls came in fifth in their heat and will need to kick it hard during the repechage on Sunday.

Andrew Reed, one of the WWRA alums though technically a Wayland native, will be racing in the Men’s Quad finals on Wednesday, after coming in second on Saturday. Finally, Jakub Buczek of Wayland (also a WWRA alum) is rowing for our neighbors to the north in the men’s Four and will have to let us know if he actually knows any of the words to the anthem after “O Canada.” I am skeptical.

You can follow the latest in rowing news and schedules on the US Rowing page here. Go ‘cats, and yeah, you Wayland folks too.


Julimar Avila, who attended Weston High School, will be competing in Women’s Swimming for Team Honduras. Her event is the 200m butterfly which begins on Tuesday. The Owl cannot really add anything to the wonderful article in the Boston Herald about her quest for swimming gold, nor compete with the Weston Media-carried interview of Julimar with the incomparable and apparently retired Claude Valle as well as former teammate Biana Tocci. Go ‘cats.


McLain Ward and Contagious. Photo credit: Elaine Wessel/Phelps Sports

Last and certainly not least, in terms of size anyway, is Contagious, an equine athlete owned by Lise Revers and Beechwood Stables in Weston. Yes, he got his name before the pandemic (he’s 12) and no, they’re not changing it. He does have a pretty funny nickname which you can pull out while watching him compete–do yell “Go Poussin”–apparently Contagious is a little bit of a ‘fraidy cat in the barn and gained the moniker “baby chicken” in French. I am not making this up–look here. Apparently, I should also mention that Contagious cannot win this alone–his rider is McLain Ward from Westchester County, New York, also a majorly horsey place.


You can find any athlete at the Olympics (including equines) by visiting this page. Schedules are also available on the same site, though not all will be televised.

Go ‘cats…and all amazing Olympians!

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