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News & Results

Oakland Strokes Win Gold and Silver medals at Youth Nationals!

Anita Sarrett

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Women's Lightweight 8+ National Champions

The Oakland Strokes men and women showed their mettle at the US Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota Florida, winning a gold medal in the Women’s Lightweight Eight and a silver medal in the Men’s Varsity Eight. The three day event brings together the fastest crews in the country to race.  This year’s race was held on the course that will hold the World Rowing Championships in September. The world class racecourse provided the junior rowers a chance to show their stuff, and the Oakland Strokes did not disappoint.

Full results can be found here.

From left to right: Coach Anita Sarrett, Caroline Birdsall (1 – San Ramon Valley HS), Annika Heuser (2 – Piedmont HS), Betty Hosler (3 – Piedmont HS), Natalie Foster (4 – Oakland Tech), Caroline Ricksen (cox – Miramonte HS), Chiara Biasi Batchelder (5 – Berkeley HS), Martha Yates (6 – Acalanes HS), Anna Elmgren (7 – Oakland Tech), Maggie Bartchy (8 - Campolindo HS), Coach Allison Ray

The Women’s Lightweight Eight raced to a classy victory, pulling out to a lead of just over one length by the finish line over New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL) and St Louis Rowing Club (Maryland Heights, MO). Clearly the fastest boat in the race, they slowly but inevitably pulled away from the field. This race showed the late burst of speed that they displayed at the Southwest Regionals was no fluke. Head Coach Allison Ray commented, “First in the nation in the light 8 is an incredible accomplishment and one they have earned with hard work and determination.”

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From left to right: Coach Brian de Regt, Matias Hoite (8 – Berkeley HS), Nikita Lilichenko (7 – Miramonte HS), John Mark Ozaeta (6 – Miramonte HS), Spencer Dettlinger (5 – San Ramon Valley HS), Borna Karimi (cox – Berkeley HS), Brian Mundelius (4 – San Ramon Valley HS), Kai Hoite (3 – Berkeley HS), Noah Kim (2 – Independent Charter), Jason Sun (1 – College Prep)

The Men’s Varsity Eight raced to a hard fought silver medal, harassing the eventual winners from Newport Aquatic Center all the way down the course. The effort pushed them one length clear of third place Sarasota Crew (Osprey, FL). The men have been chasing Newport all year and closed the gap significantly at this race, showing the results of the hard work put in since Southwest Regionals. “I’m proud of the boys for attacking all the way to the end.  They made Newport earn their win.” said Head Coach Brian de Regt.

From left to right: Drew Barber (8 – Miramonte HS), Jack Woll (7 – College Prep), Andrew Simpson (6 – Berkeley HS), Calvin McDonald (5 – Miramonte HS), Audrey Gates (cox – Miramonte HS) Brandon Smith (4 – Alameda HS), Andrew Stoddard (3 – Piedmont HS), Calum McLaren (2 – Alameda HS), Matt Schade (1-San Ramon Valley HS)

The Men’s Lightweight eight raced hard against a fast field to a 5th place finish in an event won by last year’s champions Belen Jesuit Preparatory School (Miami, FL). This crew worked extremely hard all year to gain speed and it showed at the regatta.  Their coach Alan Kush added, “It was an honor to work with these athletes and I am looking forward to their future success.”

From left to right: Kate Miles (4 – Campolindo HS), Payton Fraser (3 – Campolindo HS), Lilly Mei (2 – Dougherty Valley HS), and Hailey Mead (1 – Piedmont HS)

The Women’s Quad finished the weekend with a fine third place finish in the B final (9th overall).  These women showed fine spirit as this is the first sculling boat the women have taken to Youth Nationals since 2011, as noted by head coach Allison Ray, “The 4x has so much to be proud of as first time scullers and 9th on the nation in a tight, very competitive field."

Oakland Strokes Sibling Alumni Strike Gold at 2017 IRA Championships

Anita Sarrett

(Erik Johnson, Lafayette, CA, bow seat in Cornell’s Lightweight Mens 8+, second from right) Photo: Cornell Crew

Winning a National Championship is the ultimate goal of all collegiate athletes.  Winning two National Championships during your college career is amazing.  Winning your second National Championship on the same day that your sibling also wins their second gold medal is really special.  That special event happened for Oakland Strokes alumni Erik and Marie Johnson, Lafayette, CA, at the 2017 IRA National Championships June 4 at Lake Natoma in Gold River CA.

Rowing as the bow seat for Cornell’s Lightweight Mens 8+, Erik and his team won their 8+ Grand Final, capping off a perfect undefeated season.  This was the second time for Erik having won the same event at the 2015 IRAs, also capping another undefeated season.  For Marie, after being on the injured reserve list all year, rowing as the bow seat for Stanford’s Lightweight Womens 2X, she and her teammate won the 2X Grand Final.  This was the second gold in as many years for Marie, as she and her boatmates won the Lightweight Womens 8+ Grand Final at the 2016 IRAs.  For Erik as a graduating senior, it was a great way to finish off his collegiate rowing career.  For sophomore Marie it was a sweet way to cap off a challenging season with a win.  This was her first race in a 2X, and she had talked her coach into entering her into the race only three weeks prior to the 2017 IRAs.

(Marie Johnson, Lafayette, CA, bow seat in Stanford’s Lightweight Women’s 2X, far right) Photo: Stanford Lights

Prior to enrolling at Cornell, Erik rowed both Open and Lightweight events for Oakland Strokes.  Prior to enrolling at Stanford, Marie also rowed both Open and Lightweight events for Strokes.  Both Erik and Marie graduated from Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA.  Go Strokes alumni!

Strokes Victorious at 2016 Head of the Lake and Head of the American

Anita Sarrett

The Oakland Strokes varsity men’s and women’s team excelled once again at the Head of the Lake Regatta in Seattle, Washington, highlighted by gold medals in two events.  The Head of the Lake is one of the West Coast’s largest Fall regattas and is held annually on a course which starts on Lake Union, runs through the Montlake Cut and finishes on Lake Washington in front of the University of Washington boathouse.

The Varsity Women raced a fast second half of the race course to finish in 2nd place, beating all the Northwest teams and finishing just behind regional rivals Capital Crew from Sacramento.  The women’s B entry rowed a strong race to finish 9th in the event.  In the Under-17 Women’s 8+ the Strokes started fourth on the course and powered past all of the crews in front of them to win their event by more than 1 minute.

The Varsity Men’s team successfully defended last year’s victory, placing 1st, 4th and 9th in the Junior Men’s 8+ over a host of Northwest crews and regional rivals Norcal (2nd place) and Capital Crew (3rd place).  The team showed its depth with both the B and C entries beating all other B entries from the other teams.

Results for the Head of the Lake can be found here!

Not to be outdone by their Varsity counterparts, the Novice Women’s team raced to a gold medal at the Head of the American Regatta in Sacramento in the Women’s Junior Novice 8+. The win capped a great day of racing by members of both the Women’s Novice and Varsity teams at the regatta.

Strokes Varsity Men Win Gold And Varsity Women Place 5th Overall At 2016 Head Of The Charles

Anita Sarrett

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The Oakland Strokes youth rowing club men’s varsity eight won gold at The Head of The Charles Regatta in Boston while the women’s varsity eight took 5th place on Sunday, October 23, 2016.

L-R Calum McLaren (Alameda High School), Jason Sun (College Prep), Brian Mundelius (San Ramon Valley HS), Spencer Dettlinger (San Ramon Valley HS), Rohan Saha (Piedmont HS), Noah Kim (Independent Charter School), Nikita Lilichenko (Miramonte HS), Matias Hoite (Berkeley HS), Kai Hoite (Berkeley HS), Coach Brian de Regt

The Oakland Strokes varsity men braved extremely windy and cold weather to win the regatta for the second time in the past three years.  The men beat their regional rivals and defending champions Marin Rowing Association in a strong field of crews that featured 84 crews.  Varsity Men’s Head Coach Brian de Regt credited the crew for their performance, saying, "We are very pleased with how the boys responded to the conditions and competition. The year is just beginning but it's encouraging to have a positive result so early in the process. This is a young group and we're looking forward to watching how they move forward from here."

L-R Annika Heuser (Piedmont HS), Anna Elmgren (Oakland Tech), Amanda Alessandria (Campolindo HS), Analisa Pines (College Prep), Riley Eversole (Miramonte HS), Zoe Cheng (Head-Royce School), Kate Miles (Campolindo HS), Limor Dubrovsky (Acalanes HS), Caroline Ricksen (Miramonte HS)

The Oakland Strokes women also had a strong race, fighting the conditions to pass the crew from Mercer Rowing Club on their way to a 5th place showing.  The crew fared well against another strong field of 85 crews representing the fastest teams from the country.  Interim Varsity Women’s Head Coach Anita Sarrett highlighted the strength of her crew, noting, "Racing at the Head of the Charles is always a great opportunity to see how we stack up against teams from all over the country as well as overseas. The girls stepped up to the challenge of racing in difficult conditions and to place top 5 in such a deep field is a very exciting result. I was impressed with the maturity and toughness with which the Charles 8+ attacked the training and race day and we are looking forward to building on this result for our remaining fall races."

The Head of The Charles is one of the world’s preeminent rowing competitions, featuring races for U.S. and international rowers of all ages and abilities. This year marked the 52nd running of the race, which is the largest two day rowing regatta in the world. The 2016 Regatta attracted over 10,000 competitors from 28 different countries, including 30 gold medalists from the Rio Olympics.