Covered Bridge Regatta 2015
It has been a year since Vashon’s rowers journeyed to Dexter Lake in the Cascade foothills southeast of Eugene, Oregon. In that time the regatta has expanded to become one of the premier rowing events on the west coast spring schedule. Mother Nature provided fantastic weather and nearly every Vashon rower returned home with a medal.
This year the Covered Bridge Regatta fell at the end of spring break for the juniors so they were feeling the effects of a week of heavy workouts and were not peaking for these races. In addition this regatta now attracts the strongest programs from California, Oregon and Washington so the competition was of national quality. Nonetheless the juniors medaled in 22 of the 28 races they entered with 3 first, 13 second and 6 third place results. In particular the junior women had a strong weekend medaling in 15 of the 16 races they entered.
The junior women’s double of Kalie Heffernan and Kirsten Girard overtook powerful local rival Seattle Rowing Center to win by a little more than a second. In this regatta there are no events for lightweight rowers so Coach Parr entered the lightweights in the JV category. Shannon Lipe and KaiLi Scheer won their JV doubles race on Saturday and then on Sunday Lipe joined teammates Emily Milbrath, Maddie McEachern, Virginia Miller and coxswain Callie Andrews for their JV four race crushing the field with a 28 second lead win. Other junior women’s boats that medaled were: the novice 4, two varsity pairs, JV double, varsity eight, JV eight and varsity four (second places) and novice coxed quad, JV four, two varsity quads and a varsity four (third places).
The junior men’s team had six second and one third place finish. The varsity quad lost its first race since last summer. Other second place men’s boats were: the novice four, two coxed quads, novice eight and varsity double. The varsity four took a third place medal.
The masters also had a very strong showing with 3 first, 7 second and 4 third place finishes out of 18 races entered. In fact, the 2015 master’s performance more than doubled the total medal count in either of the last two years while bringing home gold medals for the first time in three years. First place finishers were the mixed quad (Carrie Singer, Chad Magnuson, Jeff Hoyt and Jan Peterson), the women’s four (Mary Rothermel, Holly Zapel, Marilyn Kleyn and Kim Goforth with coxswain Lisa Huggenvik) and women’s double where Rothermel joined Mary Shemeta for another solid victory. The masters also brought in 7 silver medals (women’s single and eight, mixed quad and double, and men’s double, four and quad) and 4 bronze medals (women’s double and quad and mixed double and eight).
Coach Richard Parr congratulated both masters and juniors on a fine weekend of racing. “We have a quick turnaround for the juniors this week as we head to the Brentwood Regatta in Canada on Thursday. The Covered Bridge Regatta was an important building block in our spring program and we performed very well.”