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.
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.”
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."