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Inspiration by Teammates at Masters Nationals

by Courtney Fritts, courtney@usrowing.org | Aug 17, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. – The inspiration to row can come from a variety of places, but for one Orlando crew, the sudden death of a teammate was their reason for competing at the 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships. The crew wore green ribbons on their hats in her memory.

SARASOTA, Fla. – The inspiration to row can come from a variety of places, but for one Orlando crew, the sudden death of a teammate was their reason for competing at the 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships. The crew wore green ribbons on their hats in her memory.

The nine members of Orlando Rowing Club’s women’s club E eight won gold in the race, but admit that they couldn’t have done it without Cathy Heaton.

Earlier this year, Heaton passed away. She had been at practice just four days before her sudden death.

In her memory, Orlando Rowing Club bought a trophy for the event weeks ago, and won their trophy back today.

“We took a few tens during the race for Cathy,” teammate Anita Mishter said. “At the 750, it was all for her.”

“Our boat sponsored the race, bought a trophy and it’s a complete honor to win it back for Cathy,” said Gwenn Hamilton.

The crew had to finish first in the five-boat field to win the trophy, and they did.

“Cathy was so kind,” Mishter said. “She was so professional and not only impacted our rowing club, but the entire community. Everyone knew she was a rower. One of her best friends who rowed in our eight brought her into our program and introduced her to rowing.” 

And like many others, Heaton fell in love with the sport of rowing.

Following two rain delays Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park, racing concluded just before 6:00 p.m.

Despite the extended day of racing, some athletes did have days off in between their races to rest, recharge and watch their team. Oak Ridge Rowing Association’s Kristin Coggin took advantage of her break.

“I enjoyed having today off so that I can watch my teammates and the competition at masters nationals,” Coggin said. “This will help me as a coach and as a team to see where we stand as a club and where to go from here.”

Coggin won a silver medal in the women’s AA pair Friday and will race Sunday in both the women’s AA four and the women’s club and open D quadruple sculls.

“Masters has just been a great experience,” Coggin said. “As both a rower and a coach, I’ve learned a lot and had a great time so far in Sarasota.”

Racing resumes for events 151-199 with heats and finals Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:32 p.m., for the final events.

Finals will be live-streamed on USRowing’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/usrowingorg.

For a full listing of results, visit: http://www.usrowing.org/Events/MastersNationals/2013MastersNatResults.aspx. 

For full event press coverage and photo galleries, visit: http://www.usrowing.org/Events/MastersNationals/2013MastersNatPress.aspx

For full event information, visit: http://www.usrowing.org/Events/MastersNationals.aspx

About USRowing

USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Vespoli, WinTech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, EMCVenues, Connect-A-Dock, JanSport, Rudy Project and Boathouse Sports. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. The USRowing National Team program relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. New opportunities exist to support the teams through the next quadrennial, culminating with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and the USRowing adaptive programs also benefit from corporate support. Free basic membership and championship level membership to USRowing is available and encouraged. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at beth@usrowing.org.

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