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Saugatuck Wins, Rowers Young and Old Succeed at Masters Nationals

by Courtney Fritts, courtney@usrowing.org | Aug 18, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. – Three team points trophies were awarded at the medal stand Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park and medals given in the final 49 events of 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships.

SARASOTA, Fla. – Three team points trophies were awarded at the medal stand Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park and medals given in the final 49 events of 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships.

Saugatuck Rowing Club of Westport, Conn., took the most wins overall with 638 points, including 20 gold, 26 silver and 9 bronze medals. Potomac Boat Club finished in second with 496 points and 20 gold medals and Capital Rowing Club in third with 467 points and 11 gold medals.

“Winning the points trophy makes me feel great,” said commodore of Saugatuck Rowing Club Susan Schmidt. “For us to come here, it’s a stretch. We had to come a long way and travel with our boats and we’re very fortunate to have a group of 45 very dedicated rowers who wanted to come and put together some races. I’m so proud.”

Throughout the racecourse during masters nationals Aug. 15-18, small teams and big teams stood together to prove their hard work over the season.

In the women’s club eight, Capital Rowing Club finished second, but a medal around their necks is still considered a success.

“Everybody went into the race to just go for it,” said Capital’s Meredith Summers. “We trained really hard. We always just try to do our best because we don’t have as many entries as other teams. It was nice to finally show up there. Overall, we did a great job.”

Teammate of Summers, Charles Sweeney won his first masters medal in his career, only in his second year in masters rowing.

“It was totally worth all the work,” Sweeney said. “It’s a great thing for the program (to place third). It shows that we have a lot of depth. Capital is a great program to be a part of.”

As many rowers would agree, masters nationals is all about competing in a sport they love.

Following the oldest age category’s race, gold medal winner Arnold Lande, 82, stopped his boat to wait for silver medal winner Alvin Felman, 84, so they could row into the dock together.

“I just wanted to accompany him in because he’s new to rowing,” Lande said. “He’s only been rowing a few years or so and I’ve been rowing for 20 years.”

With Lande’s experience, he’s been racing and rowing on the water for longer than the youngest masters have been alive.

“Rowing is a great fountain of youth and it feels good to row,” Lande said. “It’s the best way to keep going and stay active. Rowing is about the best sport there is because it’s the most energetic and you can do it forever. I throw in some dancing on the side to get the other moves.”

Both Felman and Lande said their first goal was to make it to the finish line. When Felman was asked if the race was his first medal, he seemed slightly offended.

“Oh no, I’ve gotten many medals in the past,” Felman said. “If you can pick a race where there are only two people in it, of course you’re going to medal.

Masters nationals was Lande’s first race of 2013, but says usually he races five times a year.

“I get out there on the bay in Lake Michigan and I know that every time I’m out there, spontaneously, I’ll think, I love it, I love it, I love it,” Lande said. “It’s a high for me.”

And like Lande and Felman, many other rowers left Nathan Benderson Park with multiple medals around their necks.

From the oldest to the youngest, Lindsey Moore traveled with her teammates from Omaha, Neb., to race in four events. Moore medaled in two, but received four medals.

The two extra medals are for her unborn baby.

“I was really excited to row at masters before I knew I was pregnant,” Moore said. “We’ve been talking about this for many months. I found out towards the end of June and I was already committed to come. I talked to my doctors and everything was okay, so I’m here and feeling good.”

Baby Moore is scheduled to be born in February.

The 2014 USRowing Masters National Championships will be held in Grand Rapids, Mich., Aug. 14-17, 2014.

Until then, masters national champions can enjoy their trophies for the one-year cycle.

“It feels pretty darn good,” Summers said. “It was definitely worth all the early mornings and the lack of a social life. It’s been a great experience at masters.”

Videos of finals will be available for purchase following racing at: http://www.usrowing.org/Multimedia/VideoDownloads.aspx.

For a full listing of results and team points, 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

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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