Mia Earns Third Medal at Junior World’s
Mia Croonquist’s summer vacation activities: row, eat, sleep and repeat. For the third year out of the last four the recently graduated Vashon High School senior was selected to represent the United States at the World Junior Rowing championships held this summer in Hamburg, Germany. And, as in her two previous appearances, Mia brought home a medal to prove it. As the bow rower in an un-coxed four she had the responsibility to not only pull her oar but also to steer the course and call the race for her crew mates. This boat was the top priority for the 2014 US junior women’s team and the four seniors delivered on that responsibility.
The event at the Dove-Elbe water park took place from August 6th through 10th and included over 700 rowers from 56 countries. Although rowing in Hamburg dates back to 1846, the 2014 course was in a conservation area, meaning that all of the facilities including the starting platforms and spectator viewing area were portable and will be removed after the racing.
On the first morning Mia’s boat placed first in its heat with the fastest time of all of the boats. In Saturday’s semi-final race the women again placed first but this time China, the winner of the other semi-final, had a faster time by two seconds setting up a showdown for Sunday’s final. The US crew got off to their signature fast start in the final leading through 1500 meters but the sprint that China had exhibited in their earlier races proved the decisive move and the American boat finished with the silver medal.
With Sunday’s race Mia ends her junior rowing career with one gold and two silver medals at the Junior World Championships, one of the most successful junior rowers ever. After the World Championships Mia has about a week off before heading to the University of California, Berkeley where (you guessed it) she will row for one of the top women’s college programs in the country. Her story is an even more inspiring one as this season’s successes at the local, national and international levels come after a year of recovery from a potentially career threatening back injury.
Good luck at Cal, Mia! And thank you for representing Vashon Island and our country so well.
By Pat Call