Tag: Vashon Island Junior Crew

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 […]

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Junior crew is asking for your financial support to help represent Vashon Island at the 2015 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida, June 12 – 14th.   Out of a possible 13 boats and 20 team members eligible to compete at Nationals at the […]

2015 Youth Regional Championships

2015 Youth Regional Championships

Two and a half seconds.  In this weekend’s NASCAR race that distance equated to about 700 feet.  In the Preakness Stakes horse race about 130 feet.  And in Sunday’s junior men’s four crew final, twelve feet.  Rowing is a sport of perfection and repetition.  Over the 2000 meter course twelve feet equates to an extra half inch per stroke. On Sunday Vashon’s crew of Cole Puckett (stroke), senior Jack Mask, Josh Davis, David Ngyuen and coxswain Callie Andrews dug deep but couldn’t find that extra half inch per stroke placing fourth and barely missing a trip to Junior Nationals in Florida in three weeks.  A year’s worth of hard practicing and dieting came up just short.  It was a relatively rare disappointment in an otherwise successful weekend of rowing that saw the junior crew consistently finishing in second place.  In fact with 36 races rowed over the three-day event (including heats, timed finals and finals) Vashon’s crew placed second in half of them.

For Junior Varsity and Novice rowers this event is the season finale and the JV women’s double with Katrina Heffernan (stroke) and Caprial Turner (bow) made the most of their opportunity with a thrilling victory (and Vashon’s only gold medal) over rival Seattle Rowing Center that came down to a sprint over the last 100 meters.  Silver medal winners in non-Nationals qualifying races were the women’s novice double and lightweight single and the men’s youth and novice coxed quads, men’s novice double, and high school eight.  The women’s high school eight also took home the bronze.  The high school eight races are the concluding races at the regatta and often feature rowers in elaborate costumes chanting and singing school fight songs at the starting line (and occasionally down the course).

Vashon took 35 rowers and coxswains to this event (18 women and 17 men) entering 24 boats in 22 events with all but five returning with a medal.  Out of a possible 13 boats and 20 team members eligible for Nationals at the regatta’s conclusion, the team had qualified eight boats and 14 rowers.  Vashon’s eight boats is the third highest in the nation behind Oklahoma with 16 and Seattle Rowing Center with 11. Silver medalists were the women’s lightweight double, pair and lightweight four and the men’s quad.  Vashon also won bronze medals in the women’s lightweight double and men’s single and double.  Rowers qualifying for Nationals are Fletcher Call, Ally Clevenger, Rhea Enzian, Kirsten Girard, Patrick Hanson, Kalie Heffernan, Shannon Lipe, Riley Lynch, Liam McConnell, Maddie McEachern, Emily Milbrath, Forrest Miller, Virginia Miller and KaiLi Scheer.

In his remarks following the regatta Richard Parr emphasized the team effort.  “It is an incredible group of athletes and parents that create a program as successful as this one has become.  Not only the results on the water but the sportsmanship off it are what make me so proud of this team.  We will go to work to find several seconds per boat in the next three weeks as we prepare for Nationals.”

This year Nationals will be held in Sarasota, Florida on June 12, 13 and 14. The east coast venue is an especially expensive one for Vashon’s crew so a fish friendly car wash will be held Sunday June 7th at IGA market to support the trip.

By Pat Call.

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood College School located on Mill Bay north of Victoria, British Columbia put on its 45th annual juniors regatta this past weekend with over 1700 rowers participating from 34 clubs in western Canada and the Northwest US.  The competition was spirited and the growing camaraderie […]

Covered Bridge Regatta 2015

Covered Bridge Regatta 2015

It has been a year since Vashon’s rowers journeyed to Dexter Lake in the Cascade foothills southeast of Eugene, Oregon. In that time the regatta has expanded to become one of the premier rowing events on the west coast spring schedule. Mother Nature provided fantastic […]

Husky Open

Husky Open

The Husky Open is the first full scale regatta of the spring season in the northwest and combines a curious mixture of thrilling races to come with a certain amount of intrigue.  Many of the big local area programs are there but they may not be racing their top teams.  It is still “experiment time” in putting together lineups.

The course is University of Washington’s Montlake Cut home “court” – starting in Lake Washington and rowing 2000 meters to finish slightly west of the Montlake Bridge.  The final 800 meters is a concrete lined canal wide enough for only about 4 shells across and decorated with spray painted slogans.

Vashon’s junior crew rowed well on Saturday.  The junior men’s quad (Patrick Hanson, Fletcher Call, Liam McConnell and Forrest Miller coxed by Olivia Mackie) won handily as they have done so far this spring.  Stiffer competition lies just ahead for this quartet as they will likely row against topflight crews in two weeks at the Covered Bridge Regatta near Eugene, Oregon.

The junior women’s quad of Kalie Heffernan, Rhea Enzian, Riley Lynch and Kirsten Girard coxed by Ally Clevenger had the most exciting race of the day as they made their move against a strong boat at about 1200 meters and just missed overtaking them at the finish missing first place by less than a half second.

The junior women’s lightweight four was once again entered in an open division and thus were racing mostly much larger crews.  Emily Milbrath, Virginia Miller, Shannon Lipe and KaiLi Scheer with coxswain Callie Andrews finished second in their heat and fourth overall in their two-heat race.

Coach Richard Parr told the team that he was proud of their effort.  “There is much work to be done but we can build on the positives from today’s regatta.”, he said.

The junior crew will be hosting its spring car wash next Sunday on April 12th.  A new program is underway with the Vashon’s Groundwater Task Force and IGA Market to channel water into the ground and not into the headwaters of Shinglemill Creek.  You can come check out this “fish friendly” approach starting at 11 am.


By Pat Call

American Lake Scrimmage

American Lake Scrimmage

The spring crew season has proven a challenging one so far with regatta weather conditions so the junior crew picked up the pieces with a visit to American Lake on Sunday to scrimmage against Olympia Area Rowing and Commencement Bay Rowing Club. The conditions were […]

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

The opening event in the calendar for each spring crew season is the Masters-Juniors scrimmage and Saturday’s beautiful conditions were ideal for some spirited rowing.  After four flights of races over a 1500 meter course it all came down to the finale: a head to […]

Sound Bites! Vol.3 #3  Vitamin D:  To D or Not to D?  That is the Question.

Sound Bites! Vol.3 #3 Vitamin D: To D or Not to D? That is the Question.

Now that it’s winter, a nutrition topic that I think particularly germane is vitamin D. Why? Because much of the vitamin D we need is produced through the interaction of the sun’s ultraviolet (UVB) rays with substances under the skin. And winter, besides yielding less than ideal rowing conditions, results in a shortage of vitamin D producing UVB light. In fact, in Seattle and other 47 degree-ish latitudes, some researchers purport UVB may be insufficient in the winter to meet our body’s demand.

Other factors which may decrease levels of vitamin D include pollution, use of sunscreen, little time spent outdoors, use of full body clothing, darker skin color, aging, intestinal malabsorption, kidney or liver dysfunction, and limited dietary intake.

Vitamin D is required for the absorption of minerals like calcium and phosphorus which are needed to build strong bones. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children, resulting in bowed legs and other abnormalities. Rickets was quite prevalent in the United States before the 1930’s, when cod liver oil and eventually fortification of milk became common.

Over the past decade, there have also been many intriguing epidemiological and observational studies suggesting that vitamin D plays an important role in prevention of diseases such as breast, colo-rectal and prostate cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, schizophrenia, and many other conditions.

Recommended intakes for vitamin D are based on a person getting very little vitamin D from the sun. Guidelines from the US Food and Nutrition Board (also see FNB) are:
Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 12 months 400 IU
Children 1–13 years 600 IU
Teens 14–18 years 600 IU
Adults 19–70 years 600 IU
Adults 71 years and older 800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 600 IU

Of course, as rowers, a relevant question might be whether vitamin D enhances performance and do athletes need greater amounts of D compared to the average person. In a 2009 review of the world literature reported in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Cannel and colleagues identified five areas in which vitamin D appeared to have a positive effect on physical characteristics or performance in a variety of populations, including athletes, patients, children, rats, and the elderly.

Observations included 1) the use of UVB light increased the performance of athletes, 2) seasonal correlation can be seen between peak performance and peak vitamin D levels, wherein performance is better in the late summer and drops precipitously in the fall, 3) vitamin D increased the size and number of fast twitch muscle fibers in vitamin D deficient patients as well as increased muscle mass in rats, 4) neuromuscular function improved in subjects with marginal to deficient vitamin D status with supplementation, particularly in relation to reaction time, balance, timed performance tests, and/or muscle strength, and 5) many world records were set in outdoor events during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, a location close to the equator during the long days of summer, whereas few were set at indoor events. As the authors noted, these were primarily observational studies and, though persuasive, were not conclusive in determining efficacy of vitamin D in athletics.

A United Kingdom 2013 study reported in Journal of Sports Science concluded that supplementation with vitamin D resulted in a significant improvement in sprint time and vertical jump compared to placebo in the control group.

A comprehensive review of the literature in 2013 by Ogan and Pritchett of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science at Central WA University in Ellensburg concluded that, although there are limited studies on the effect of vitamin D on performance, there is sufficient data to recommend an optimal goal of >40 ng/mL and that athletes be tested yearly to assure they are meeting this optimal blood level. (Note: blood levels of vitamin D are measured in nanograms per milliliter or millimoles per liter).

So, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “To D or Not To D? That is the Question.” My answer is, based on the reviews and studies highlighted above, you should at least get the recommended intake of vitamin D through a combination of sun, food, and if indicated, supplements. Get out in the sun without sunscreen at least 15 minutes 2-3 times per week when possible and consume foods that are naturally high or fortified with vitamin D, for example:
Salmon, sockeye, 3 ounces 447 IUs
Shrimp, 4 ounces 162 IUs
Orange juice, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 137 IUs
Milk, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 100 IUs
Egg, with yolk, 1 large 41 IUs
Shiitake mushrooms, 1 cup 29 IUs

Since 77% of the general population is estimated to be vitamin D insufficient (20-32 ng/mL), it may make sense to have your vitamin D levels evaluated by your health care provider.

That being said, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in November 2014, citing insufficient data to support otherwise, recommended against routine vitamin D testing in healthy people, saying only people at risk for deficiency need be tested. This includes people with osteoporosis, weight loss surgery, celiac disease, and those on medications that interfere with vitamin D (eg, anticonvulsants). And it makes sense to discuss your risk level with your health care provider before dosing above the recommended levels.

Portland Fall Classic

Portland Fall Classic

In the 1950’s the Portland, OR waterfront was the scene of massive decommissioning of World War II era naval vessels.  Had someone launched a rowing shell into the toxic brew that was then the Willamette River it would likely have dissolved.  In the intervening decades […]