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 […]
Tag: Baxter Call
The Brentwood College International Regatta is a superbly organized 1500 meter Junior event with 147 races over a two and half day period and is an annual favorite of Vashon’s junior crew. Against rowers representing 38 US and Canadian clubs, VIJC put in another very strong performance, medaling in 15 of the 23 races entered and securing an overall third place in the regatta. Many of the top VIJC rowers over the past decade have not won top honors at Brentwood, symbolic of the strength of the competition (this is the only regatta where Vashon faces western Canada’s top crews). Eighth grade novice rower Riley Lynch scored the most gold medals by winning four events.
Friday’s mid-day start of heat racing concluded with Vashon’s crew qualifying 10 boats in 14 races entered. Saturday morning two crews competed in early exciting final races: the Junior Men’s and Women’s A (Open) Varsity coxed quads. Mia Croonquist, Kalie Heffernan, Riley Lynch, Kirsten Girard, and coxswain Callie Andrews held off a late surge from a competing crew to win the gold.
The Men with Patrick Hanson, Jacob Plihal, Fletcher Call, Baxter Call and cox Olivia Mackie were not quite able to catch the lead boat and finished with a silver medal. Both of these crews faced rowers from an extremely capable Victoria City Rowing Club team.
Vashon completed the morning finals with a gold medal from the Women’s B (U16) Novice coxed quad (R. Lynch, Rhea Enzian, Katrina Heffernan, Madelyn McEachern, cox Andrews) and a bronze for the Men’s A Novice coxed quad (David Ngyuen, Josh Davis, Blake Jeffcoat, Cian Scheer, with coxswian Cody Clevenger). By 1 pm the wind whipped up from the east and turned the course into a patchwork of whitecaps and swells, causing a regatta suspension from which it failed to emerge for the rest of the day.
A 6 am start for Sunday was announced and the first race was a high-octane drama. The Men’s A single scull, with Jacob Plihal at the oars, had the added pressure of defending last year’s trophy win by present day UW rower Gus Magnuson. Jacob, at six foot eight, doesn’t fit easily into a single scull and, in fact, was racing in a shell belonging to Assistant Coach Tom Kicinski – different from the one he qualified in on Friday as he was in peril of sliding entirely out of the smaller shell. This race was Jacob’s third 1x race in his rowing career. He showed the same tenacity as in the qualifying heat when he took over the race in its midst and won the gold by a boat length.
With the postponement of Saturday’s races the regatta organizers used the only available technique they had for squeezing all of the events into a half day on Sunday: only heat races ran and then the relative time of the top three qualifying boats determined the medal winners. A consequence of this scoring system is that if you are not in a strong heat and are substantially ahead you have to have the mental toughness to imagine a competitor right on your stern and pour on the power anyway.
The Junior Women’s A four with Bryn Gilbert, Taegan Lynch, Shannon Lipe, Te’a Shafer, and cox Ally Clevenger was the first of several Vashon boats to succumb to this score keeping method, taking second place by falling less than two tenths of a second shy of the winning time of another heat. Their silver medal was matched by the Men’s (Plihal and B. Call) and Women’s (Croonquist and Girard) doubles. The Women’s B double (R. Lynch and Enzian) and Novice eight (R. Lynch, Enzian, McEachern, Virginia Miller, Katrina Heffernan, Lili Helsby, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Adriana Yarkin with cox Andrews) both won gold medals. This win by the 8+ was a first for Vashon at Brentwood and capped off Riley Lynch’s amazing weekend. The medal tally was completed with a gritty silver medal performance by the Junior Women’s A Lightweight four (Emily Milbrath, Hannah Russell, Lipe, Kai Li Scheer and Andrews) and a bronze for the Junior Men’s B double (Hanson and F. Call).
In summing up the weekend Coach Richard Parr had a single word: “Awesome.” And for those who know him, that’s all you need to know that VIJC did well.
Based on the Brentwood wins two Junior crews (Women’s and Men’s quads) have qualified for next weekend’s prestigious Windermere Cup – Opening Day Regatta in Seattle.
The 52nd Annual Green Lake Spring regatta featured something not experienced for this event in a few years – actual spring conditions. Warm temperatures and light winds greeted rowers as dawn broke on Saturday morning and lasted until precisely the last air horn on the […]
The Jensen Point boathouse buzzed with activity early Saturday morning March 1st as a new format was introduced for the annual contest for the coveted Guinea Pig cup. Coach Richard Parr mixed Masters and Junior rowers into the same shells to make this year’s event a very competitive one. A blustery north wind meant that both the course length and the number of events needed to be shortened (to 1000 meters and 7 total races, respectively) but that didn’t dampen the spirit and fun for everyone from new novice to grizzled veteran. In all over 70 rowers and coxswains took part in the event.
The women’s eight race pitted a mixed boat of veteran Junior and Masters’ women against a promising crew of Junior novices was one of the highlights of the day with novices Adriana Yarkin, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Lili Helsby, Madelyn McEachern, Virginia Miller, Katrina Heffernan, Rhea Enzian and Riley Lynch and coxswain Ally Clevenger pulling out a win by a boat length.
The final race of the day was for the Cup and this year’s format featured “mixed eights” (four men/four women rowing in each shell). The Junior eight, with all senior rowers, pulled off a 3 boat-length win over the Masters ensuring that the Guinea Pig Cup will reside with the Juniors for another season. Normally the coxswain of a boat is the smallest person in the crew but the Junior crew chose world champion rower Mia Croonquist as their cox. Junior women rowers in the winning boat were: Captain Taegan Lynch, Bryn Gilbert, Maya Krah and Terra-Jane Ripley. The Junior men were: Captain Baxter Call, Tate Gill, Jacob Plihal and Alexander Wright.
After the races and awards ceremony VIRC held a christening ceremony for four new shells. The Vashon community has been incredibly generous and supportive of the rowing program over the years. After a short reading beseeching that the boats encounter “light breezes and calm waters” a few cups of Quartermaster harbor water were poured over the bow of each of the new boats. The names revealed on Saturday morning were: Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, Windermere Vashon/Class of 2013, Geraldine, named by Leslie Mackie of Macrina Bakery in honor of her grandmother, and Parr-fection, named by the Call family in honor of Coach Richard Parr.
The purchase of these boats was made possible by the generous contributions of those mentioned above and donations from numerous rowing parents and community members.
By: Pat Call
Established in 1981, the Head of the Lake regatta, hosted by Lake Washington Rowing Club and University of Washington, was held Sunday November 3rd and is the largest fall regatta on the West Coast. With 493 boats organized into 45 race categories the HOTL lived […]
On Sunday, October 13th, Vashon showed up in force at American Lake, recording strong times on the 5000 meter course with 16 entries and 14 wins.
Taking home two Varsity gold medals each at the Fall Classic were: Kalie Heffernan, Kirsten Girard, Baxter and Fletcher Call, Jack Mask and Mia Croonquist. Heffernan, Girard and Croonquist were joined by Terra Jane Ripley to win the Junior Women’s quad race. Then Heffernan and Girard teamed up to win the Junior Women’s double event. Fletcher Call and Mask joined Tate Gill and Jacob Plihal to win the Junior Men’s quad with the fifth fastest time of the day. Baxter Call won the Men’s Open single event and then teamed with younger brother Fletcher to win the most competitive event of the day, the Junior Men’s double with 7 entries. Mask joined Patrick Hanson, Charles Elliot, Forrest Miller and coxswain Olivia Mackie to win the Junior Men’s Lightweight four. Croonquist won the Women’s Open single event.
Other winning Varsity boats were the Junior Women’s Lightweight four with Emily Milbrath, Virginia Miller, Shannon Lipe, KaiLi Scheer and coxswain Callie Andrews and the Junior Women’s four with Halimah Griffin, Maya Krah, Bryn Gilbert, Taegan Lynch and coxswain Mackie.
Other gold medal boats were: the Junior Men’s JV quad (Liam McConnell, Alexander Wright, Eli Sedgemore and Ben Zaglin) , the Junior Women’s novice eight (Riley Lynch, Te’a Schafer, Oakley Reid, Rhea Enzian, Katrina Heffernan, Lili Helsby, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Adriana Yarkin and coxswain Ally Clevenger), the Junior Women’s novice four (Lynch, Miller, Reid, Heffernan and Clevenger) and the Women’s Masters quad (Mary Rothermel, Marilyn Kleyn, Debby Jackson and Su Dewalt).
Coach Richard Parr was grateful for the excellent rowing conditions and a chance for the team to show the results of its solid practices this fall season. “We have a team of strong veteran rowers and many upcoming competitors who have pushed hard in practice. It is great to see some good times leading into our final fall season regattas in Victoria, BC and the Head of the Lake on Lake Washington over the next three weeks.”
By Pat Call, a recreational rower and father of two junior crew members.
A record number of 760 participants donning pink attire showed up on Lake Union on Sunday morning, September 15th to participate in the annual Seattle Row for the Cure regatta. Competitors represent clubs from as far away as Wenatchee and Everett, WA with many dressed for the costume competition. VIRC rowed […]