Record Setting Regatta at Northwest Junior District Championships
Coach Richard Parr has been fine tuning the junior crew for a peak performance at the Northwest Regional Championships the entire spring season. And the team did not disappoint, qualifying a record ten boats and 18 rowers for the National Championships to be held at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, California the weekend of June 13th through 15th.
A hot and humid day greeted the crew at Lake Vancouver outside Vancouver, Washington on Thursday, May 15th where over 1300 rowers from 26 clubs arrived to unload boats and gear from their trailers and assemble them for “combat” over the next three days. Weather conditions on Friday and Saturday were ideal with very light breezes leading to some extraordinary times turned in by area crews.
On Friday morning, the varsity crews advanced 8 boats to Saturday’s finals in seven events by placing in the top three in heat races. Then the team powered through by placing in the top three in all seven events on Saturday with three second place and four third place finishes. On Saturday, the junior’s qualified four more boats for Sunday finals and then, under rapidly deteriorating conditions, placed in three of those four races.
The qualifying varsity boats going to Nationals are the Men’s and Women’s quads (both with 2nd place finishes), Men’s and Women’s doubles (3rd and 2nd, respectively), Men’s and Women’s singles (3rd and 2nd), Men’s Lightweight double (3rd), Women’s Lightweight double and four (3rd and 2nd) and Women’s pair (3rd).
In junior varsity and novice races, the rowers entered fourteen races placing in eight of them and winning four. The winners were the Women’s Novice double with Katrina Heffernan and Rhea Enzian, the Men’s JV double with Patrick Hanson and Tate Gill, the Women’s Novice quad with Riley Lynch, Enzian, Heffernan, Adriana Yarkin and cox Cody Clevenger, and the Men’s JV quad where in their last race for Vashon, seniors, Alexander Wright and Ethan Rumburg, joined by teammates Lorenzo Higuera and Liam McConnell, stroked their boat to a win into strong head winds.
The Men’s high school eight took first place in its Sunday race (and second in the event) earning the right to throw Coach Parr into Lake Vancouver after a bet had been made.
The Women’s high school eight, dressed in pirate garb and shouting “argh” as they proceeded down the course, failed to defend last year’s title but still placed a very respectable third.
The Junior Crew will be raising funds to assist in sending the rowers to nationals with another car wash and bake sale scheduled for Saturday, June 7th. Donations can also be made online here. VIJC thanks the entire community for its generous support.
By Pat Call