The Orlando Area Rowing Society (OARS) attended the US Rowing Youth National Championships this past weekend at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, against the best Youth rowers in the Nation. The 4 boats that qualified for Nationals – based on medal-winning performances at last month’s Southeast Regional Championships at Lake Lanier, Georgia – all performed well enough during time trials on Friday to qualify for Finals on Saturday and Sunday (an OARS record). Severe weather forced a consolidated schedule for Sunday’s Finals, but all of our boats were able to race as scheduled.
Our Women’s V4+ (Savannah Sellers, Jaime Armitage, Alison Haas, Jessie Woy, and Samantha Sizelove) built upon their gold-winning rowing at Regionals to finish 8th in the Nation (2nd place in the B Finals). This was the best performance by our Varsity girls in several years.
The Women’s Lightweight V8+ (left to right: Jaelin Figueroa, Hailey Waller, Morgan Cunningham, Payton Graziotti, Kaitlyn Bennett, Nicole Abruzzo, Megan Ford, Jenny Finch, and Ashlie Infante) faced fierce competition, placing 20th in the Nation (2nd place in the D Finals).
Our Men’s V8+ (left to right: Valentine Lindsay, John Stephan, Jack Kiely, Ryan McKinney, Timothy Miller, Nathan Kohl, Sean McKinney, Owen Villaneuva, and (in front) Clarissa Barquist) placed 14th in the Nation (2nd in the C Finals). This was an improvement over last year’s Nationals performance of 20th in the Nation.
Overall, this was a great weekend of racing against the most competitive teams from 48 states across the United States (all but Alaska and Hawaii). Further, with only one senior each in both the Women’s V4+ and Women’s Lightweight V8+, and with two seniors each in the Men’s V4+ and V8+, we have loads of experienced rowers returning for next season.