They defend their home pond by hauling in two silvers and a bronze at the USRowing Youth National Championship
The Sarasota Crew flexed their considerable hometown muscle on Sunday in the biggest boats on the water at the 25th annual USRowing Youth National Championships.
The dominant local youth rowing club defended its pond by hauling home three medals from the four-day regatta in the Boys’ 8, the Boys’ Lightweight 8 and the Girls’ Lightweight 8 at Nathan Benderson Park.
The Crew definitely made their presence felt as more than 1,600 athletes from 151 teams across the nation took part, crowning national champions in 18 events.
“It was a terrific across-the-board team success,” veteran Crew head coach Casey Galvanek said. “We didn’t get all four of our boats in the eights into the A Finals, but we still did pretty good with the rest, and medaled in each of them.”
The Boys’ Lightweight 8 was the first Crew boat to medal, finding silver in a time of 5:58.191 on NBP’s 2,000-meter course. The group needed a furious finish at the end to surpass Saratoga Rowing from New York, which finished third in 5:58.899. Newport Aquatic Center of Newport Beach, Calif., won in a time of 5:56.715.
The silver went to stroker Logan Brown, William Young, Dylan Fagiani, Kaden Bowles, Christopher Wolf, Samuel Napoliello, Joshua Wang, Troy Riesenberger and coxswain Camille Edwards. The previous best for the Crew in the event at the national regatta was a fourth-place finish in 2014.
“We had to correct some things from the semifinals,” Brown said. “We found our passion and gave it our all. We sprinted as hard as we could over the last 500 meters.
“We wanted to be patient and have a very mature race. We had the poise and we all had the same goal in mind.”
Galvanek stressed patience for all three Crew boats going into the finals.
“They didn’t get impatient and try to go with the group at the start,” Galvanek said of the Boys’ Lightweight 8. “They paced how they were supposed to. We actually held to the plan.
“We pace all of our practices based on the conditions. This is the best pacing we have ever done. It’s smart to race that way and it paid off today.”
The Crew won the Boys’ Varsity or Heavyweight 8 race at last year’s nationals in Rancho Cordova, Calif. They didn’t win it again, this year. But they did the next best thing by grabbing a silver medal in the sport’s premier race.
Harrison Schofield, Julian Wilberding, Alexander DeGrado, Malakai Leon, Owen Corr, Marlon Bayer, Arlie Haire, Cameron Hutchingson and coxswain Bennett Russell covered the course in a time of 5:47.446. RowAmerica of Rye, N.Y., won in 5:45.306 and Greenwich Crew of Connecticut was third in 5:49.362.
“We all realized that this was what we had worked for,” said Wilberding, who will row for Stetson University beginning next fall. “It was time to push through.”
The Crew earned bronze in the Girls’ Lightweight 8, snagging their first-ever national medal in the event. Like the other two Crew boats, it was all about patience and a strong sprint at the finish.
Isabella Gomez, Juliette Schuhmacher, Cecilia Plass, Eiley Maginness, Eva Harris, Chyara Kruger, Eliazbeth Jendrysik, Lucy LaCivita and coxswain Graycen Arias cruised the course in a time of 6:44.767. Greenwich won in 6:40.595 and Marin County Rowing of Cailfornia was second in 6:44.045.
“It’s very exciting,” said LaCivita, who will be a senior at the Out-of-Door Academy this fall. “It’s cool that we did that.
“It all started at the beginning of the fall season. We all focused our workouts. We had a set goal. I think we did a good job of working toward our goal.”
The national junior regatta is scheduled to return to Nathan Benderson Park in 2020 and 2021.