Men's Lightweight 8+ National Champions
The Oakland Strokes rowing team capped off another incredible year by winning a National Championship, two silver medals, and an 11th place finish at the Youth National Championships. Hosted by the United States Rowing Association, the event awards National Championships in nine different boat classes for high school aged men and women. This year the event was raced on Lake Natoma near Sacramento, CA on June 8-10. The Oakland Strokes rowing team brought four squads to the race, who had earned qualification through their performance at the Southwest Regional Championship in early May.
From left to right: Rocky Davis (Asst. Coach), Bert Harney (Ltwt. Coach), Ryan Tripp (8 –Piedmont HS), Jack Woll (7 – College Prep), Richard Reid (6 – St. Joseph Notre Dame), Andrew Stoddard (5 – Piedmont HS), Elizabeth “Z” Romero (cox – The Athenian School), Carter Young (4 – San Ramon Valley HS), Quinn Pelichoff (3 – Burlingame HS), Matt Schade (1 – San Ramon Valley HS), Marius Van Dongen (1 – Miramonte HS), Brian de Regt (Head Men’s Coach), Jovan Jovanovic (Asst. Coach)
The Men’s Lightweight Eight led the way for the Strokes, winning a National Championship by storming through the field. Trailing in the early moments of the race to the two time defending champions from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School (Miami, FL), the lightweight men out paced the field through the middle half of the race, going on to win by two seconds. Belen Jesuit came second, with Newport Aquatic Center (Newport, CA) third. Their coach Bert Harney added, “It was deeply satisfying to see the boys build speed throughout the season, and they capped it off right by taking home the National Championship.”
From left to right: Allison Ray (Women's Varsity Head Coach), Nyah Morgan (8 – Alameda HS), Betty Hosler (7 – Piedmont HS), Martha Yates (6 – Acalanes HS), Caroline Birdsall (5 – San Ramon Valley HS), Caroline Ricksen (cox – Miramonte HS), Grace Nimmo (4 – Carondelet HS ), Isabel Wang (3 – Campolindo HS), Grace MacLean (2 – Bishop O'Dowd), Olivia Harrison (1 – Alameda Science and Technology Institute), Anita Sarrett (Women's Lightweight Coach)
The Women’s Lightweight Eight, under pressure as the defending National champions, pushed the eventual winning crew from Greenwich Crew (Greenwich, CT) in the early portions of the race before holding off cross bay rivals Marin Rowing Association (Greenbrae, CA) for the silver medal. Their gutsy race earned praise from their coach Anita Sarrett, who noted, “We are so proud of our lightweight 8+, who competed today with impressive grit and tenacity!”
From left to right: Rocky Davis (Asst. Coach), Bert Harney (Ltwt. Coach), Noah Kim (8 –Independent Charter), Spencer Dettlinger (7 – San Ramon Valley HS), John Mark Ozaeta (6 – Miramonte HS), Kai Hoite (5 – Berkeley HS), Audrey Gates (cox – Miramonte HS), Matt Boranian (4 – Head-Royce), Cameron Kumagai (3 – Acalanes HS), Adrian Layer (2 – Piedmont HS), Jason Sun (1 – College Prep), Brian de Regt (Head Men’s Coach), Jovan Jovanovic (Asst. Coach)
The Men’s Varsity Eight, last year’s silver medallists, raced for the win by pushing out to the lead through the middle of the race. That effort cost them in the end as they weren’t quite able match the closing speed of Sarasota Crew (Sarasota, FL). The fight between the top two crews put Oakland in second place, 3.5 seconds clear of third place Montclair High School (Montclair, NJ). This performance was their best of the year as noted by Head Coach Brian de Regt, “This was a heck of a year. It was very satisfying to watch the boys start to believe what they were capable of, and to emerge as the fastest crew in the region and runner up in the nation.”
From left to right: Sarah Coufal (8 – Miramonte HS), Payton Fraser (7 – Campolindo HS), Kate Miles (6 – Campolindo HS), Jessica O’Reilly (5 – Campolindo HS), Sara Covin (cox – Head-Royce), Lilly Mei (4 – Dougherty Valley HS), Bridget O’Kelly (3 – College Prep), Genevieve Raushenbush (2 – Piedmont HS), Mary Kate Henderson (1 – Miramonte HS)
The Women’s Varsity Eight finished the weekend with a fifth place finish in the B final (11th overall). The eight was the first women’s varsity eight from Oakland to qualify for Nationals since 2014 and fought hard all weekend long as noted by head coach Allison Ray, “The V8 raced with composure and resilience all weekend. This crew has demonstrated the true meaning of team at every step along by the way and we are so proud of their performance."
The Oakland Strokes are a rowing club for High School and Middle School youth that serves the East Bay, Lamorinda, and San Ramon Valley areas. The National Championship won by the Men’s Lightweight Eight marks the nineteenth National Championship since their inception in 1974, with twelve championships won in the last ten years. Most of Stroke’s athletes have never rowed before joining, and in a few years many are competing at a national level. “What makes this club exceptional is the community of coaches, parents, and other supporters that have come together to enable the young men and women on our club to learn, grow, and flourish. It is truly remarkable what they can achieve with the right support!” notes Dana Hooper, Managing Director.
To find out more about the Oakland Strokes Rowing programs, visit www.oaklandstrokes.org.