Oakland Strokes young men and women rowed to victories at the U.S. Rowing Southwest Youth Championships held on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. May 1-3, 2015. This year the regatta convened 571 crews hailing from 35 clubs in the southwest district. Over 2,000 scholastic and junior competitors raced in 125 races in 36 championship events.
Not always drawing the most advantageous starting lanes on the 2000 meter racecourse for their heat races, 37 Oakland Strokes men’s and women’s crews adapted to especially warm weather, westerly cross winds and Lake Natoma’s noteworthy current conditions favoring lower lanes to claim multiple gold, silver and bronze medals in the finals.
Oakland Strokes won the Men’s Varsity 8+ for the 2015 U.S. Rowing Southwest Youth Championship, having found the right combination to take down their powerful regional and national rivals Marin Rowing Association at the final southwestern showdown for the Founders Cup on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. Saturday, May 2, 2015 which earned the squad a berth at the 2015 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships to be held June 12-14 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
The Strokes Men’s JV 8+ concluded the season undefeated, holding the Julia Burke Memorial Trophy especially high. The last time Oakland Strokes won both the Men’s Varsity 8+ and JV 8+ at the Southwest Youth Championships was in 1999.
Oakland Strokes entered two of 20 boats in the Men’s Varsity 4+ event, which took first and second in their separate heats, and finished third and fourth in the final, edged out by Marin for the Championship and Newport Aquatic Center coming in at second. Finishing in the top three advances the Strokes crew that medaled bronze to youth nationals.
Showcasing synergy with their new coaching staff, Oakland Strokes Women’s Varsity Lightweight 8+ took first in their heat and second in the final, 1.411 seconds behind Newport, placing in a position to also punch their tickets to youth nationals with the indomitable men’s crews.
The weekend again revealed considerable depth in the Strokes program. The Women’s 3rd Varsity 8+ earned silver. Two Strokes boats advanced to the Men’s 3rd Varsity 8+ final race in which the third varsity crew earned bronze and the fourth varsity crew placed 5th. Men’s Novice 4+ and 8+ crews took gold and silver in theirrespective finals. Both the Strokes men’s and women’s results at the Southwest Youth Championships are strong indicators for a great follow-on performance next year.
The Lamorinda Weekly also published an article about our successful weekend here.