BIR Juniors stroked their way to victory amid some very strong competitors at the regional USRowing Northwest Youth Championships at Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, WA last Friday through Sunday. Two Bainbridge boats qualified for the upcoming Youth Nationals in Sarasota, Florida. The annual regatta drew 30 teams from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho who competed on the 2000 meter course.
The weather was perfect, the water calm, and the shoreline packed with rowers and fans all weekend long as Bainbridge competed in 15 classes of rowing competition, from novice to varsity and from pairs to eights. On Friday, both the Men’s Novice 2x and Women’s 1st Novice 4+ took first place in the timed finals, with times of 7:50 and 8:23, respectively, while the Women’s 2nd Novice 4+ and Men’s 2nd Novice 4+ each took third in their heats, with times of 8:37 and 7:40. The Men’s Novice 4+ and Women’s Lightweight 8+ each took second place in their qualifying heats with times of 7:22 and 7:12, advancing both boats to the finals.
On Saturday, the Women’s Lightweight 8+ (Elsa Derrickson, Caroline Najarian, Lydia Goss, Ellie Genkinger, Gracie Dymoke, Sofia Wilkinson, Emily Fink, Mina Bianchi, and cox Olivia Zachariah) went on to win their final race, beating Holy Names Academy by just under two seconds with a time of 7:12. The win qualified them to participate in Nationals. The Men’s 2nd Varsity Pair took second place in their final with a time of 7:58. Bainbridge rowers went on to place in six more qualifying heats that day to advance to the finals on Sunday, including in first place the Men’s Lightweight 4+ and the Women’s 2nd Varsity 4+, in second place the Women’s Lightweight 4+ and the Men’s Novice 8+, and in third place the Women’s 1st Varsity 4+ and the Women’s Novice 8+.
On Sunday, Bainbridge placed third in three of the final races, including the Women’s Lightweight 4+ (8:06) and the Men’s High School 8 (6:35). The Men’s Lightweight 4+ (Noah Faust, Collin Oliver, Matthew Derry, Hudson Dore, and cox Nikolai Sublett) also placed third behind Pocock and Seattle Rowing, edging out Mount Baker by less than a second with a time of 6:59, which also qualified them for the national competition.
Bainbridge also realized four fourth place finishes in the finals amid stiff competition from clubs that included Green Lake, Holy Names, Mt. Baker, Sammamish, and Pocock. The athletes of the Women’s Lightweight 8+ and Men’s Lightweight 4+ are now headed to the East coast to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, FL from June 9-11.
Women’s coach Barb Trafton said, “The lightweight girls had a terrific, unified performance, winning a second historical Varsity eight event for Bainbridge Island Rowing. There are actually 9 rowers who have pushed this boat’s winning effort, including Eve Hurd. In-house competition keeps these athletes on their game. We will continue to fine-tune our lineups on Eagle Harbor to ultimately determine the fastest combination. All nine rowers with their coxswain will travel to compete in Sarasota.”
Mens’s coach Bruce Beall added, “With a very young squad, the varsity boys had a strong showing, generating excitement for the future. Led by the Lightweight 4, we raced hard under some of the best conditions in years.”
BIR Masters rowers will next follow the Juniors in heading down I-5 to Vancouver Lake for their own Northwest Masters Regional Championships from June 23 to 25.