15 Medals Won at Northwest Junior Regionals
Vashon Island Junior Crew garnered 15 medals and qualified four boats for Nationals at the 2012 Northwest Regional Regatta at Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, WA. With 23 teams and thousands of athletes from the region, the club’s success stands out among the field of competitors. Of the 16 preliminary races they entered, 14 qualified for the finals, so many so that VIJC needed to borrow a boat from another club in order to be in all events.
Four boats triumphed, winning gold medals and US Rowing trophies. The JV women’s quad had their work cut out for them when the competing crew gained on them in the last 500 meters. The rowers, Hannah Russell, Kelsey Abella, Anna Ripley, Shannon Lipe, and coxswain Kai Li Scheer, poured on the power and crossed the finish 1.5 seconds ahead. In an even closer race, the JV men’s quad, with Liam McConnell, Alexander Wright, Jack Mask, Julian Baca and cox Rayna Shinn, lead the field and took first by .94 seconds. Novice girls Scheer, Bryn Gilbert, Kirsten Girard, Kalie Heffernan, and coxswain Ally Clevenger, showed their strength and placed first in the quad race, finishing two boat lengths of open water ahead of the field. For the first time, VIJC brought home the trophy for the girl’s high school eight, a serious but fun race where the crews dress to represent their schools. Sporting green and yellow attire, complete with pirate tattoos to showcase VHS’s mascot were rowers Ella McConnell, Katelyn Carter, TerraJane Ripley, Halimah Griffin, Charlotte Kehoe, Avalon Koenig, Maya Krah, Taegan Lynch and cox Shinn.
Eight silver medals were won, three of which qualified to compete in the Junior Nationals. The boy’s varsity quad, with Baxter Call, Tate Gill, Gus Magnuson, Ryan Bingham, and coxswain Sarah Warner, the girl’s varsity double with Avalon Keonig and Emmie Kehoe, and the boy’s varsity double with Magnuson and Bingham. The other silver medalists were Scheer and Anna Ripley in the JV women’s double, Girard and Heffernan in the novice women’s double, Ben Zaglin and Ethan Rumberg in novice men’s double, McConnell and Baca in the JV double, and the novice women’s four with Gilbert, Girard, Krah, Lynch with cox Clevenger.
Crews brought home three bronze medals, one of which also qualified for Nationals, the girl’s single rowed by Emmie Kehoe, who has chosen not to race this event and instead concentrate on her double race with Koenig. The boy’s JV double with Wright and Mask, and the boy’s novice quad, coxed by Clevenger, with Charles Elliott, Rumberg, Patrick Hanson, and Ben Zaglin, who substituted for Nathaniel Petram due to a broken nose after being hit by a Frisbee, were happy with the bronze.
Coach Richard Parr said he was very pleased and proud of all the rowers’ efforts, not only at Regionals but throughout the season. He recognized the seniors, specifically Captains Ky Burton and Koenig, saying “With me coming from the other side of the world, and even though we both speak English …. there’s lots of differences. They did an outstanding job of welcoming me and showing me how we do things on Vashon.” The coxswains were complemented, as well. “They do such an amazing job of helping and being my right hand people. They never complain, they just do.”, said Parr.
The Junior Nationals Regatta will be held June 8th -10th in Oakridge, TN.