By Mike Dougherty, Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Heavy rain Friday night nearly forced the cancellation of the Stotesbury Regatta on the Schuylkill River Saturday, but teams were back on the water at 2 p.m.

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High water levels, strong currents and debris are dangerous for boat races, but the conditions improved significantly and rapidly throughout the day, giving teams a chance to compete in the largest high school regatta in the world, now in its 88th year.

Cait Dunn coaches the Episcopal School of Dallas. She says the 1,500 mile trip was almost a washout:

“It’s been stressful. We did go into the time trials knowing that this could happen though, so the plan was the whole time… you gotta get top six in case the semis are scratched.”

And that’s what happened. There was no semi-final round Saturday morning, so the top six teams from time trials got moved directly into the finals in the afternoon.

Caroline Brennan says her and her teammates have been looking forward to this race:

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“All of us were hoping to medal — especially for me and Elizabeth because we’re both seniors and it’s our last year, last hurrah.”

At the end of the day, it was a big win for a local girl — Kate Horvat, girls varsity singles champ, rowing for Germantown Academy.

Germantown Academy's Kate Horvat is the girls varsity singles champ. (Credit: Kerry Mulvey)

Germantown Academy’s Kate Horvat is the girls varsity singles champ. (Credit: Kerry Mulvey)

“Emotional overload pretty much,” she says. “This is what you work for for four years and to have it happen, just to even make it to the final in the ‘Stotes’ is just a huge deal and to win….a lot of people just dream about it.”

It was a rough start to the day, with a very happy ending.

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