Skyline crew sent seven rowers to the second annual USRowing Youth Regional Challenge last month in Florida. The event featured more than 400 of the top under 18 rowers from across the country, racing on a world-class race course in Sarasota, Fla.
All USRowing ODP camps are instructional with a focus on providing insight into what is required of the best rowers and coxswains and the tools to achieve success at the international level. The event included a highly-qualified coaching staff that works hard to demonstrate ways the athletes can improve and to help athletes discover that the under 19 national team is both attainable and fun.
“It was a very enjoyable experience,” said Olivia Barr, one of the Eagles who flew south for the prestigous event. “The amazing rowing and amazing people made the whole experience phenomenal for me, not to mention getting to row on the World Championships course.”
Barr, a junior, was grateful for the experience.
“It helps being able to row and race on the water after not having rowed for a couple months because it helps you touch up on your technique and re-learn the feel of being on the water,” she said.
“The highlight was definitely race day for me; even though my boat didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, the feeling of racing on the water after a long time indoors was amazing.”
Skyline athletes joined teams from all over the midwest to make the Midwest Regional Team for the US Rowing Challenge.
“The Midwest region had the youngest athlete pool out of all attending, so whilst they didn’t dominate the medal stand, the future is looking good,” said Skyline Coach Kit Bennett. “We are very proud of everyone’s efforts.”
The Northeast Region placed first overall with 118 points followed by the Southeast (116), Northwest (79), Mid-Atlantic (78), Southwest (57) and Midwest (48).
For Skyline rowers, Paul Middleton, Brenan Dionne and Ethan Gibb-Randall placed fifth out of six in the U 17 Quad. Nolan Force was fourth out of five in the U18 Single. Lily Faris and Olivia Barr were sixth out of six in the U18 Quad. Violet Dudley was sixth out of six in the U17 Quad.
Skyline’s Jacinta De Almeida was selected as the Midwest Region sculling coach.
Gibb-Randall, a sophomore at Community High School, says the trip was “an overall good experience.”
“I learned a lot more about the sport by meeting new people and talking to them about the differences between Skyline crew and other good programs around the country,” he said.
This year’s event brought together 432 athletes and 36 coaches from USRowing’s six regions for a three-day camp and regatta from Dec. 13-15.
The kick-off was for a new series of USRowing U19, U18 and U17 Olympic Development Program (ODP) Identification Camps across the country. The ODP camps are designed to identify talented athletes at the U19, U18 and U17 levels with potential to grow within the system and be a part of challenging, developmentally-appropriate opportunities.