Bronze Winners at Youth National Championships 2014
The 2014 spring rowing season for the junior rowers ended with a strong showing from VIJC. US Rowing moved the Youth National Championships venue to Sacramento on Lake Natoma this year, the first time in it’s 18 year history the event was held on the west coast. The regatta provided exciting racing and some significant achievements by rowers from around the county.
Vashon entered ten events with eighteen athletes participating. The National regatta is a three day event that puts rowers through 3 or 4 racing stages leading to either an A, B or C final on Sunday with 6 shells in each final.
After the heat round on Friday, Vashon qualified three boats directly in the semi-finals: the men’s quad, women’s double and lightweight four. In the repechage Vashon fished four more semi-final slots into their net: women’s single and quad and the men’s single and double for a total of seven of their ten entries – an excellent ratio. From the semi-finals Vashon advanced three boats to an A final: the men’s single and quad and the women’s double. Unfortunately the men’s double suffered a disqualification when the Call brothers, in an attempt to preserve the energy of one of the rowers who was to row the quad semi-final forty minutes later ran afoul of the referee’s call that they were not racing fast enough.
At the Sunday finals Vashon continued its four year streak of bringing home National medals in the women’s double with Mia Croonquist and Kirsten Girard and in the men’s quad with Patrick Hanson, Jacob Plihal, Tate Gill and Baxter Call – each earning bronze medals for third place finishes in the nation. The men’s single (Plihal) placed sixth, the women’s quad finished 9th with crew Kalie Heffernan, Croonquist, Riley Lynch, Girard, and the women’s lightweight four with Emily Milbrath, Hannah Russell, Virginia Miller, Maddie McEachern and cox Callie Andrews finished 10th. These two women’s boats in the B finals had a total of 4 novice rowers and 5 underclassmen (sophomore or lower) so their performance is simply amazing in a regatta that features mostly experience upperclassmen. The women’s single (Heffernan) finished 12th overall in the nation.
In the C finals the remaining three Vashon boats were the women’s pair with Bryn Gilbert and Taegan Lynch, the women’s lightweight double with Milbrath and Russell, and the men’s lightweight double with Jack Mask and Forrest Miller which finished 15th, 18th and 19th, respectively.
Summing up the season and the event Coach Richard Parr said, “This is simply the highest youth competition in the country and I am extremely proud of all of our crews who pushed each race to the limit and came back with extraordinary results.”
By Pat Call