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News & Results

Oakland Strokes Alumnus Wins National Collegiate Championship

Anita Sarrett

2015 IRA Championships, Mercer Lake, NJ.  Erik Johnson, stroke seat (third from right) Cornell University Lightweight Mens Varsity 8+

2015 IRA Championships, Mercer Lake, NJ.  Erik Johnson, stroke seat (third from right) Cornell University Lightweight Mens Varsity 8+

Many of our top Strokes alumni get recruited to row at elite university rowing programs, and then go on to achieve great success at the very competitive college level.  One of our 2013 graduates, Erik Johnson, has reached his ultimate goal of winning a national collegiate championship.  This past June as a sophomore at Cornell University, Erik stroked his Lightweight Mens Varsity 8+ to a season ending victory at the National Championship IRA Regatta, capping a spectacular undefeated 2015 season. Erik also stroked his Lightweight Varsity 8+ to win the 2015 season Ivy League Championship, the Joseph Wright Trophy by taking first overall among all Lightweight Varsity 8+ boats at the 2015 EARC Sprints, and the Jope Cup (awarded to the top EARC Lightweight team overall including the V8+, the JV8+, and the Freshman 8+). By virtue of winning the Ivy League, Erik was named first-team All-Ivy. Following the 2015 season, in a national poll of collegiate rowing coaches, the Cornell Lightweight Varsity 8+ was also named both the EARC and the IRA Lightweight Mens Crew of the Year.  In other words, Erik and his boat mates won every Lightweight Mens 8+ cup and award possible for the 2015 season. To cap off the 2015 season, Cornell sent their Lightweight Mens 8+ to compete at the at the prestigious Henley-On-Thames regatta held in England. After four days of tough competition, the Cornell lighties finally had their first loss of the season, as they were beat in the semi-final heat for the Temple Challenge Cup by a Dutch crew that outweighed Cornell by 40 pounds per rower!  Prior to attending Cornell, Erik was a member of the Oakland Strokes for three years.  He earned the Strokesman of the Year award in 2012, he won a gold medal in the U23 Mens Lightweight 4- at the 2012 Canadian Henley, and stroked the Strokes Varsity 8+ to a second place finish at the 2013 Youth National championships. Go Strokes alumni!