Tag: Hannah Russell

Bronze Winners at Youth National Championships 2014

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. […]

Record Setting Regatta at Northwest Junior District Championships

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 […]

2014 Brentwood International Regatta

2014 Brentwood International Regatta

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.

V4x+ Brentwood

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.

Novice 4x+ Brentwood

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.

Jacob Tom Brentwood

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.

2014 Covered Bridge Regatta in Oregon

2014 Covered Bridge Regatta in Oregon

The Oregon Association of Rowers hosted the 20th Annual regatta whose starting line is a few yards west of the stately, century-old Lowell Covered Bridge from which the regatta derives its name. Five hundred junior, college and masters rowers from 36 clubs competed in 44 […]

Spring Green Lake Regatta

Spring Green Lake Regatta

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 […]

Head of the Gorge and Elk Regattas

Head of the Gorge and Elk Regattas

VIRC made it’s annual fall trip to Canada for the Head of the Gorge and Elk races on October 26th and 27th.

The Angel of the Gorge holds a microphone in one hand and the fate of over a million dollars worth of rowing equipment in his voice.  The 4.5 km Head of the Gorge regatta on Saturday may be the only regatta in North America that features a whitewater “rapid” – a tidal race through a gorge not more than 10 feet wider than a racing shell plus its oars.  The Angel directs the rowers in each shell through the sequence of strokes necessary to align with the current and successfully avoid the rocks on either side.  Because of the serpentine course, the narrow rapids and the ever changing tidal conditions rowers have come to view this regatta as an “event” more than a serious race.  Some teams come dressed in their Halloween finest – the Vashon junior women’s eight this year, for instance, featured coxswain Ally Clevenger decked out as the devil in her scarlet finest commandeering her eight “angels” all in white.

For the Gorge race, Master Women Mary Rothermel and Kim Goforth won their double category.  The Junior Women’s eight with Halimah Griffin, Taegan Lynch, Bryn Gilbert, Te’a Schafer, Riley Lynch, Virginia Miller, Caprial Turner, Mei Vandervelde and coxswain Clevenger, won their division unopposed but posted the third fastest time out of all nine women’s boats. The Junior Women’s quad with Kalie Heffernan, Mia Croonquist, TeraJane Ripley and Kirsten Girard, and the Junior Men’s quad with rowers Tate Gill, Jacob Plihal, Fletcher  and Baxter Call, each took second in the open event racing mostly against college crews.  The Master Women’s quad with Su DeWalt, Marilyn Kleyn, Debby Jackson and Goforth placed second in a highly competitive division with 14 other boats.  The Master Men’s quad with Colby Atwood, Scott Engelhard, John Jannetty and Steve Haworth also took second in their division in spite of taking a detour into a cove above the narrows that caused several spectators to scurry for safety from the incoming boat.

On Sunday the rowers left their costumes behind for a much more serious venue at Elk and Beaver Lakes, a Canadian national training facility and site for the 8 km Head of the Elk regatta.  Brisk windy conditions greeted the rowers but race officials guaranteed that the wind would die down as the sun rose in the sky and indeed they know their course.  The aquatic “mowing” machine had been in dry dock for this summer so rowers were warned that low lake levels combined with lots of extra weeds would make the course more challenging than in years past.

This race included 152 boat entries and Vashon’s crew, again, had some very strong results (lineups the same as for Saturday except where noted).  The Junior Women’s quad won its Open category and was the fastest women’s quad for the day.  The Junior Women’s eight also won its category unopposed but had the fastest women’s eight out of six total entries.  The Master Women’s quad (Rothermel, Kleyn, Jackson and DeWalt) and the Master Men’s eight (Haworth, Atwood, Engelhard, Jeff Hoyt, Jannetty, Andy Johnson, Mark McKallor, Gary Schoch, Olivia Mackie –cox) took two more first places. The Junior Men’s quad placed second in the Open category and had the third fastest quad time out of 30 total men’s quad entries.  The Junior Women’s double (Emily Milbrath and KaiLi Scheer) placed third out of 12 entries in the Open category.  The Mixed Masters Double (Bruce Morser and Goforth) also placed third.

Coach Richard Parr was pleased with the overall team effort and results. “The Junior Women’s eight made huge progress this weekend improving on a fine Gorge row with an absolutely outstanding row on Sunday.  It’s not often that Vashon wins an eight race and to beat all Open college varsity boats in this race is quite an achievement – not to mention that the Vashon boat included three novices, one an eighth grader and another a freshman.”

 

By Pat Call, a junior parent and recreational rower.

Row for the Cure Regatta

Row for the Cure Regatta

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 […]

Greenlake Summer Extravaganza

Greenlake Summer Extravaganza

The Greenlake Summer Extravaganza regatta marks the end of the 2013 summer rowing season. This year’s event showcased a powerful display by upcoming, current and recently graduated Vashon Junior rowers. Vashon rowers put the “thunder” back in the event with 10 victories and four second place […]

Junior Nationals 2013

Junior Nationals 2013

Melton Hill Lake near Oak Ridge, Tennessee was the site of the 2013 National Junior Rowing Championships this past weekend, June 7th through 9th.   Vashon’s young rowers qualified eight boats – fifth most in this year’s championship.  By Sunday, all boats qualified for a final race, achieving three top ten finishes and one bronze medal.

Since Vashon travels across the country and rents its rowing shells from the Sykes boat manufacturer, the team members decided to have some fun with boat names. Most boats are named after the donors who provided them or trot out an inspirational cliché , but juniors tipped over the creativity meter with names like “The Mantis Shrimp”, “2K Banana Slug” “The Asylum”, and “The Boat Formerly Named Prince”.  However if the District Championships were a beach party then the Nationals had more the overall feel of an accounting convention. So the juniors got down to business.

Friday is for Heat races. In a format unique to rowing only the winning boat of each heat race advances to Saturday’s semifinals. The other boats are then scrambled again and another round of repechage (or second chance) heats are rowed either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. The top two boats in each of the second races go on to the semi-final with the third place boat (plus the next two boats by overall time) going to the C final on Sunday. After the first two rounds of racing Vashon had four boats into the semi-finals and four into C finals, however that tally doesn’t quite tell the whole success story. In 2012 Vashon’s juniors won some very tight races (in one case by 18 milliseconds); in 2013 it was the reverse: two boats missed the semi-finals by a total of a half second.

Saturday’s semi-finals further break the field into Sunday’s A and B finals with the three fastest shells in each semifinal going to the A final. When Saturday’s racing was done Vashon had one crew heading to an A final with three boats going to B finals.

On Sunday the team’s morale was high, the early regatta jitters transformed into steely resolve. The results speak for themselves.

Gus Magnuson and Tate Gill rowed a powerful Men’s Open Double race to take the bronze medal (and keep the club’s three year medal streak alive).

Kalie Heffernan and Kirsten Girard placed 7th overall winning the B final in the Women’s Open Double.

The Lightweight Women’s four with Emily Milbrath, Katelyn Carter, Shannon Lipe, Leanne Anderson and coxswain Ally Clevenger took 8th overall (second in the B final). It is unlikely that any other boat in the regatta placed so high with two novice rowers on board.

Anne Gaspers braved early morning fog and a very competitive field to row her single (the Baby Giraffe) to 12th place in the nation.

Nathaniel Petram and Baxter Call roared back from a close loss in the semi-final to take the C final by open water and a 13th place national finish.

Lipe and Carter in their Women’s Lightweight and the Women’s Open Quad with Heffernan, Anna Ripley, Hannah Russell and Girard both placed 14th.

The Men’s Open quad of Magnuson, Gill, Jacob Plihal and Isaiah Mosser-Rohe took fifth in their C final and 17th in the nation.

Coach Richard Parr summed up the National Championships and the season by saying: “I am extremely proud of our rowers who distinguished themselves this year on and off the water. Our kids and not only great athletes but also great citizens and representatives of Vashon on the national stage. We lived up to our performances from the District competition and we showed ourselves to be a “top ten” program. We’ll start working this summer to find that extra 10 to 15 seconds we need to be in the top three across the board.”

A successful end to the 2012 – 2013 junior season.

 

VIRC Hosts Unique Rowing Drag Race

VIRC Hosts Unique Rowing Drag Race

With the north wind Boreas casting a jaundiced eye on Jensen Point, VIRC hosted its inaugural Drag Race in Quartermaster Harbor on Sunday morning June 2nd.  Eleven masters rowers (7 men and 4 women) braved the choppy waters, rowing single sculls in side by side 500 meter […]