(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!