Tag: Mia Croonquist

Vashon Island Junior Crew:  21 Years and Still gROWING Strong!

Vashon Island Junior Crew: 21 Years and Still gROWING Strong!

At least two or three times a month each spring and fall, a story is bound to show up in the Beachcomber about Vashon Island Rowing Club’s Junior Crew.  From articles about success at regattas to stories of junior rowers headed off to a college […]

Mia Earns Third Medal at Junior World’s

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.  […]

Bronze Winners at Youth National Championships 2014

Bronze Winners at Youth National Championships 2014

2014 Quad medals

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.  The regatta provided exciting racing and some significant achievements by rowers from around the county.

Vashon entered ten events with eighteen athletes participating.  The National regatta is a three day event that puts rowers through 3 or 4 racing stages leading to either an A, B or C final on Sunday with 6 shells in each final.

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After the heat round on Friday, Vashon qualified three boats directly in the semi-finals:  the men’s quad, women’s double and lightweight four.  In the repechage Vashon fished four more semi-final slots into their net: women’s single and quad and the men’s single and double for a total of seven of their ten entries – an excellent ratio.   From the semi-finals Vashon advanced three boats to an A final: the men’s single and quad and the women’s double.  Unfortunately the men’s double suffered a disqualification when the Call brothers, in an attempt to preserve the energy of one of the rowers who was to row the quad semi-final forty minutes later ran afoul of the referee’s call that they were not racing fast enough.

At the Sunday finals Vashon continued its four year streak of bringing home National medals in the women’s double with Mia Croonquist and Kirsten Girard and in the men’s quad with Patrick Hanson, Jacob Plihal, Tate Gill and Baxter Call – each earning bronze medals for third place finishes in the nation.  The men’s single (Plihal) placed sixth, the women’s quad finished 9th  with crew Kalie Heffernan, Croonquist, Riley Lynch, Girard, and the women’s lightweight four with Emily Milbrath, Hannah Russell, Virginia Miller, Maddie McEachern and cox Callie Andrews finished 10th.  These two women’s boats in the B finals had a total of 4 novice rowers and 5 underclassmen (sophomore or lower) so their performance is simply amazing in a regatta that features mostly experience upperclassmen.  The women’s single (Heffernan) finished 12th overall in the nation.

In the C finals the remaining three Vashon boats were the women’s pair with Bryn Gilbert and Taegan Lynch, the women’s lightweight double with Milbrath and Russell, and the men’s lightweight double with Jack Mask and Forrest Miller which finished 15th, 18th and 19th, respectively.

Summing up the season and the event Coach Richard Parr  said, “This is simply the highest youth competition in the country and I am extremely proud of all of our crews who pushed each race to the limit and came back with extraordinary results.”


By Pat Call


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 Windermere Cup

2014 Windermere Cup

The Windermere Cup regatta at the University of Washington is a unique venue.  The first 1300 meters, of the 2000 meter course, proceeds down a canyon whose walls are comprised of moored yachts on either side of the course – there celebrating boating opening day. […]

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 […]

2014 Husky Open

2014 Husky Open

For the second year in a row Vashon crews were invited to participate in the University of Washington Husky Open Regatta on Saturday, April 5th .  The course began in Lake Washington, ran through the Montlake cut and finished at the mouth of Lake Union.  This […]

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 final race when the rains returned.  If the spring crew season is likened to an academic semester then this regatta is more like a quiz than a test or final exam with a relatively short 1000-meter course.  Nonetheless, as Coach Richard Parr observed at the day’s end: “I am really proud of both our Junior and Master crews.  It was a great start to the season and one of Vashon’s best regatta performances ever.  We will need to build off of this success.”  The summary stats tell the tale: with 24 race events entered, Vashon’s Junior and Masters crews failed to medal in only one race with 15 first, 3 second and 5 third place finishes.  And with those 15 first place finishes the average time over the second place boat was almost 10 seconds.

Here are the first place finishers were:

Open Men’s Quad (Baxter Call, Fletcher Call, Jacob Plihal, Tate Gill, Olivia Mackie- coxswain)

Open Women’s Double (Kirsten Girard, Mia Croonquist)

Open Women’s Quad (Hannah Russell, Kalie Heffernan, Girard, Croonquist, Ally Clevenger – coxswain)

Open Men’s Double (Plihal, Gill)

Open Novice Women’s Eight (Lily Helsby, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Oakley Reid, Madelyn McEachern,  Virginia Miller, Katrina Heffernan, Rhea Enzian, Riley Lynch, Clevenger, coxswain)

Master’s Women’s Four (Debby Jackson, Nancy Foster-Moss, Marilyn Kleyn, Mary Rothermel, Callie Andrews – coxswain)

Master’s Women’s Quad (Therese Smith – bow, Kleyn, Kim Goforth, Rotherme)

Master’s Women’s Double (Goforth, Rothermel)

Junior Women’s Quad (KaiLi Scheer, Shannon Lipe, Russell, Emily Milbrath, Andrews – coxswain)

Junior Men’s Four (B. Call, F. Call, Plihal, Gill, Mackie – coxswain)

Junior Men’s Quad (Ethan Rumberg, Alexander Wright, Liam McConnell, F. Call, Mackie – coxswain)

Mixed Double (Rumberg, Kalie Heffernan)

Lightweight Women’s Four (Scheer, Lipe, Russell, Milbrath, Andrews – coxswain)

Junior Novice Women’s Eight (Adriana Yarkin, Illerbrunn, Helsby, McEachern, Miller, Katrina Heffernan, Enzian, Lynch, Andrews – coxswain)

Mixed Master’s Eight (Gary Schoch, Jackson, Kleyn, Foster-Moss, Chad Magnuson, Andy Johnson, Colby Atwood, Goforth Clevenger – coxswain)

In total 37 Vashon rowers returned home with gold medals.  Seven rowers had three first place finishes and coxswain Callie Andrews won the “bling” award with a neck-straining 4 winning races.


By Pat Call

Club Scrimmage & Shell Christenings

Club Scrimmage & Shell Christenings

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 […]