Sports

Bainbridge pair prep for National Rowing Trials in New Jersey

Grace Miles, 17, competes in the rowing 2014 Youth National Championship. She and her older sister Nancy, 20, also a national champion rower, will now compete for a spot on the national team and a chance at a World Championship later this year.  - Photo courtesy of Ruth Miles
Grace Miles, 17, competes in the rowing 2014 Youth National Championship. She and her older sister Nancy, 20, also a national champion rower, will now compete for a spot on the national team and a chance at a World Championship later this year.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Ruth Miles

The sister duo of Grace and Nancy Miles have set their sights on a World Rowing Championship, and their opponents better start worrying because they’re the kind of young women who usually do what they set out to.

The Bainbridge Island sisters traveled to Princeton, New Jersey, Friday, June 20 to compete in the Under 23 National Trials for the chance to go on as part of the national team.

Nancy, 20, has made the trip once before and claimed a silver medal at the World Championship last fall.

Grace, 17, recently became the 2014 Youth National Champion in the women’s light weight double division during the Youth National Championship outside of Sacramento, California.

The 2014 Holy Names valedictorian recently said she is excited and nervous about the upcoming trials, but has been enjoying the chance to row with her older sister.

“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “I hadn’t rowed with [Nancy] before this summer.”

Grace said that contrary to what some might think, she and her sister work very well together and have no problem getting along both on and off the water.

“It’s really nice [and] we have such a similar rowing background it’s been really smooth,” she explained.

“I’m really excited because we’re pretty fast,” she laughed. “We’ve been going really close to gold standard pace for the World Championship level. I’m nervous because we haven’t raced together a lot, and there’s a lot on the line. But I would say that we’re both pretty good at performing under pressure.”

The girls are being coached in the trials by University of Washington women’s rowing coach Bob Ernst.

Speaking to her recent academic achievements, Grace said that her heavy involvement in rowing was at times a difficult commitment, but one that she knows will pay off in the long run.

“I was pretty shocked,” she said of being named a HNA valedictorian. “I would say [rowing] definitely made [high school] harder, but I think that it’s going to make college a lot easier because I’ve had to become so good at time management. I didn’t have three hours to study for a test, I had to do it in one.”

The athletic island scholar plans to attend Princeton in the fall and study neuroscience.

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