2016 USRowing Youth National Championships Blog

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  • Belen Jesuit's "The Great Eight"

    Jun 15, 2016

    The Great Eight

    USR_2413(71 of 78) (1)

    Stand tall my brothers,
    The water's still and the wind is dead
    And our day at last has come
    These are the moments of which great things are said
    About boats and boys, from fathers to their sons

    Sit ready my brothers,
    Lock your oars and dip the blades
    Our battle has begun
    We row for each other, not accolades
    Our nine hearts beat as one

    Hold on my brothers,
    Though the dry air
    May set your lungs aflame,
    When you are old you will not care
    For gold pays for pain

    Let loose my brothers,
    Send your oars flying
    Our destiny grows near
    Hear the thunderous roar of the crowd's crying
    And know that the final sprint is here 

    Let go my brothers, we have survived
    Our final race is done
    Eight dead men have never been so alive
    For the prize we'd sought is won 

    By Daniel Brennan
  • Champions Made on the Banks of Mercer Lake

    Jun 11, 2016

    WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- For many of today’s athletes, the short break between the morning’s semifinals and the early afternoon finals meant a quick nap, maybe a snack and hopefully a good chance to stretch before hopping back into their shell to compete for a national title. Seattle Rowing Club’s Elsa Andrews (Seattle, Wash.) did not have such a luxury. 

    Coming off the water after taking the top time in the lightweight women’s double sculls firstimg_8040_1024semifinal, Andrews quickly switched boats to cox the SRC lightweight men’s youth four. Andrews was able to finish her second semifinal just in time to climb back into her doubles shell to claim the title in the lightweight double in the early afternoon with a time of 7:35.747. 

    “It was very exciting to win today,” said Andrews. “We were down at the beginning but we were able to move back up and win.”

    As a seventh grader in 2014, Andrews called the SRC four to a USRowing Youth National Championship title to make the medal she won this afternoon the second to her collection. An impressive number as the young lady is only a freshman in high school. 

    Semifinals and finals were raced and championships made at the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships on Saturday. Approximately 70 athletes donned gold medals with all 18 a finals raced directly after the finish of semifinals. 

    For some of those athletes, the quick turnaround was something that was learned, not taught. For Narragansett Boat Club’s Eliza Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I.), it could be considered a family tradition.

    At the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships, Eliza’s older sister made waves during the Sunday morning finals as she won gold in the women’s single sculls before racing back to the dock to race in the double sculls with her sister. The duo would go on to claim gold, and Emily was on hand this morning to watch her sister attempt to replicate the feat in 2016. 

    “She was right on the sideline,” said Kallfelz. “Even though I couldn’t see her I knew she was there and that meant a lot to me.” 

    The younger Kallfelz would keep her family name on the trophy as the sculler crossed the finish line in a time of 8:06.308. 

     

    Norcal Crew (Redwood City, CA) found success in the men’s four final, finishing first with a time of 6:37.203. 

    “It’s a real mix of emotions,” said Norcal Crew coxswain Thomas Fuller. “We train for nine months and we get an hour of race time so to have that all pay off at the end with not just the the physical reward but also mentally knowing that we accomplished this feat. We’re the best in the nation at this. It’s really rewarding.”

    For Oakland Strokes (Oakland, CA), Saturday came with high expectations which were seen through as the men’s eight defended their 2015 national title and the women’s four took gold. The Strokes lightweight men’s eight placed second in their final, taking home the silver. 

    Notably, this was the largest showing from the California crew at a USRowing Youth Nationals, bringing a total of four crews. 

    “It’s wonderful,” said Oakland Strokes Head Coach Brian de Regt.  “Last year we brought a four and an eight. The four won the B Final but they were all heavyweights and our lightweights didn’t even make the final at Southwest Regionals last year. Then this year, they [the lightweights] won Southwest Youth Championships and then got second here,” said Oakland Strokes head coach Brian de Regt, “the whole program is getting stronger.”

    In total, 54 a,b, and c finals were raced at the largest USRowing Youth National Championships. 

    For a full list of results from this weekend’s racing, click here.

    NEW Photo Site! Check out event photos of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships and USRowing Graduation Ceremony on USRowing's new site: www.usrowingphotos.com. Use coupon code YNC2016PROMO to receive a 15% off coupon code for your first purchase.

    Be Social: Join the Youth Nationals conversation with @USRowing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat with #USRYouthNats and #MeetYouAtMercer. Check out the May Madness blog updated with daily highlights here.

    Post-Race Video: Due to technical difficulties with the venue internet speed, live-streaming of the event is not possible. USRowing will post race video of semifinals and finals on its YouTube channel.

  • Semifinals Set at the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships

    Jun 10, 2016

    Narragansett Boat Club’s Jack Luby (Providence, R.I.) has been in this position before. After winning his heat in the single and double sculls on Friday, Luby is preparing for his last USRowing Youth National Championships semifinals race Saturday morning. 

    If he is successful, he will compete in his final USRowing Youth National Championships tomorrow afternoon.

    “I really am going to have to put my all into the single’s race because the quality ofDSC_3454competition is just phenomenal," said Luby. "To medal this year is something I would view as a culmination of all of my years of working with Coach Peter (Wilhelm), and that means a lot to me. 

    "To medal in either the single or the double sculls would validate all that my teammates and I have done to prepare. I’m just ready to race.” 

    Heats were held throughout a breezy Thursday as the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships got underway. The largest ever held, 411 boats raced down the course on Mercer Lake to compete for national titles in eighteen events.

    A revised race schedule will see racing continue Saturday morning with semifinals beginning at 7 a.m. A, B and C finals will begin at 12:15 p.m.

    For Luby, this will be his third and final chance to claim gold at a USRowing Youth National event. In 2015, Luby took fourth in the men’s single event, just narrowly making the podium behind Belen-Jesuit Prep School’s Hector Formosa-Murias.

    Luby and his teammates at Narragansett dominated the early morning’s small boat sculling heats, taking the top time in seven of the first 21 events. 

    “Today couldn’t have gone better,” said Narragansett coach Peter Wilhelm. “We will have to take tomorrow one step at a time, but we are excited.”

    For some clubs, the success of the weekend sits on the shoulders of athletes from one boat alone. Brophy College Preparatory Crew from Tempe, Ariz., had a narrow victory over Austin Rowing Club in one of the closest margins of the day in the first heat of the men's quadruple sculls.

    In the lightweight women’s eight, Sarasota Crew narrowly edged out Newport Aquatic Center by 1.55 seconds to post the second fast time of the event behind Saugatauck Rowing Club’s 6:46.76. 

    In a dramatic finish to end the day’s racing, Mt. Baker Crew kept Marin Rowing Association at bay, finishing just 0.281 seconds ahead. It was 2015 defending champion Oakland Strokes that posted the fastest time of the heats, however, in a 5:49.13.

    For an updated schedule of tomorrow morning’s semifinals and tomorrow afternoon’s finals, click here

    Olympic Day: USRowing will host an Olympic Day Meet and Greet on Saturday, June 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J. For more information, click here.  

    NEW Photo Site! Check out event photos of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships and USRowing Graduation Ceremony on USRowing's new site: www.usrowingphotos.com. Use coupon code YNC2016PROMO to receive a 15% off coupon code for your first purchase.

    Be Social: 
    Join the Youth Nationals conversation with @USRowing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat with #USRYouthNats and #MeetYouAtMercer. Check out the May Madness blog updated with daily highlights here.

    Post-Race Video
    : Due to technical difficulties with the venue internet speed, live-streaming of the event is not possible. USRowing will post race video of semifinals and finals on its YouTube channel.
  • Updates to Race Schedule

    Jun 10, 2016

    ***Saturday/Sunday Schedule Update***

    Due to the high winds forecast for Sunday, the following changes will be made to the Saturday and Sunday schedules:

    • Repechages will be eliminated.
    • Semifinals will be run Saturday morning, beginning at 7:00 AM.
    • “A” Finals will be run Saturday afternoon on 12-minute centers.
    • “B” Finals will follow on Saturday afternoon on 7-minute centers.
    • “C” Finals will follow on Saturday evening, on 7-minute centers.

    An additional notification will be sent out once the online heat sheet is updated.

    The following progression system will be used:

    Heats

    Adv. in each heat

    Semifinals

    Adv. in each Semi

    3

    1st-4thto Semis
    5th-6thto Final C

    2

    1-3 to Final A

    3-6 to Final B

    4

    1st-3rdto Semis

    4thto Final C

    2

    1st-3rdto Final A

    4th-6thto Final B

    ***Friday Evening Parking***
    Due to concert in the park this evening, please plan to arrive significantly ahead of schedule due to expected traffic congestion in the park.

  • Memories at Mercer, the 2016 USRowing Graduation Ceremony

    Jun 10, 2016

    WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Back in San Diego, California, D’amy Steward’s classmates were busy preparing for their high school graduation ceremony. Making sure her own graduation gown wasn’t wrinkled and her bedazzled blue letter “D” was perfectly intact on top of her cap, so was Steward. The only difference was that she was more than 2,000 miles away at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J., and surrounded by her rowing family instead of her classmates.

    Steward, along with more than 200 senior student-athletes, spent the breezyED1_3926(1 of 1) copy Thursday evening at the 2nd Annual USRowing Graduation Ceremony. The graduates and over 1,500 other athletes are competing in the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships this weekend.

    A member of the San Diego Rowing Club, who will row for Duke University this fall, Steward has been an elite junior sailor for most of her life. Before she was racing in the quadruple sculls for SDRC, Steward qualified for the US Sailing Singlehanded Championships.

    “I don’t mind missing my graduation back home,” said Steward. “This is such a big event, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I would rather graduate with my teammates because they are so important to me. My parents were thrilled that this was here for us and my aunt even changed her flight and flew here to New Jersey to come to this graduation.”

    USR_8935(1 of 1) copyThe USRowing Graduation Ceremony was created for athletes just like Steward, as many rowers miss their high school graduation ceremonies due to long weekends spent at USRowing regional qualifiers or the USRowing Youth National Championships. Since its inaugural year at Nathan Benderson Park in 2015, USRowing is pleased to bring the event back for athletes, parents and coaches, alike.  

    “What I really enjoy about this event is that it truly embodies the essence of the rowing community that we live in," said USRowing CEO Glenn Merry. “So many times, people think of rowing as just the race on the water, but it is about being with your teammates that have become your family over time.”

    An evening set to honor the graduating class of 2016, senior student-athletes were honored in a short ceremony where they received a USRowing Certificate of Excellence and an Honor Cord. Graduates enjoyed speeches from the Scholastic Honor Roll Representatives from the Princeton National Rowing Association, Eileen Hu and Kathryn Miller, and keynote speaker, Austin Hack (Old Lyme, Conn.), stroke seat of the 2016 U.S. Olympic men's eight.

    Hack, who during his time as a junior athlete did not qualify for a USRowing Youth National Championships, shared his wisdom straight from the starting dock of his recent success in Lucerne, where the men’s eight earned Olympic qualification and won bronze at World Rowing Cup II.

    “This is such a special event for the kids,” said Hack. “It is almost cooler now that I get to just sit back and enjoy watching them all race.”

    USRowing will now offer photos of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships, including the USRowing Graduation Ceremony, through it's new website www.usrowingphotos.com

    In honor of the website's inaugural event, USRowing is offering a 15% coupon code for your first purchase using the code below.

    YNC2016PROMO

    Please email any questions to photos@usrowing.org.
  • Get Your 2016 USRowing Graduation Photos!

    Jun 09, 2016
    Looking for photos from last night's USRowing Graduation Ceremony? Look no further!

    ED1_3926(1 of 1) copy

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  • Watch the 2016 USRowing Graduation Ceremony LIVE!

    Jun 09, 2016
  • USRowing Graduation Portraits

    Jun 09, 2016
    USRowing will now offer photos of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships, including the USRowing Graduation Ceremony, through it's new website www.usrowingphotos.com

    In honor of the website's inaugural event, USRowing is offering a 15% coupon code for your first purchase using the code below. 

    YNC2016PROMO

    The first event galleries will be available Thursday night beginning with graduation. Daily event galleries will be available as the competition progresses.

    Please email any questions to photos@usrowing.org

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  • Hu & Miller Set to Represent USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll

    Jun 09, 2016
    WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll representatives Eileen Hu and Katherine Miller of Princeton National Rowing Association are set to speak at the 2016 USRowing Graduation Ceremony on June 9 at 6:30 p.m., on the eve of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships.

    USRowing caught up with the two to chat about the excitement of the regatta in their backyard, their senior year and their advice for the next generation of junior rowers.

  • **THURSDAY PRACTICE UPDATE**

    Jun 09, 2016
    Due to course conditions, both the morning and afternoon practice sessions for the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships have been cancelled today. 

    Registration, the coaches and coxswains meeting as well as the USRowing Graduation Ceremony will continue as planned.

    Text "USRowing" to 313131 for up-to-the-minute notifications.
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