Bainbridge rowers not deterred by weather in training for national title

Even though the conditions aren’t ideal, the members of the Bainbridge Junior Rowing team still head out for practice on Eagle Harbor. As the city of Seattle sat in the background walled behind a gray sheet of rain Monday, BIRC coach Morgan Seeley calls out the start to the three boats floating in the harbor. As soon as he yells out “Go!” the sculls take off, oars hitting the water in unison.

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:56am
  • Sports
Mikey McGuire heads back to Nationals in Ohio for the second straight year. She placed 13th overall last year.

Mikey McGuire heads back to Nationals in Ohio for the second straight year. She placed 13th overall last year.

Even though the conditions aren’t ideal, the members of the Bainbridge Junior Rowing team still head out for practice on Eagle Harbor.

As the city of Seattle sat in the background walled behind a gray sheet of rain Monday, BIRC coach Morgan Seeley calls out the start to the three boats floating in the harbor.

As soon as he yells out “Go!” the sculls take off, oars hitting the water in unison.

They quickly head off into the distance, as Seeley and assistant coach Sam Hobbs try to keep up by motorboat.

The quintet of Jill O’Mara, Haley Allen, Keziah Beall, Jackie Sullivan and Lynn Anderson, along with solo rower Mikey McGuire, are hoping to move past everyone at the 2008 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships this weekend.

The event, attended by rowing clubs from all over the country, is held on Harsha Lake at East Fork State Park in Ohio, 25 miles east of Cincinatti.

O’Mara, Allen, Beall, Sullivan and Anderson made it with their third place finish in the varsity women’s four with coxswain at the U.S. Rowing Northwest Junior Regional Championships two weeks ago.

McGuire took second overall in the women’s varsity single race.

“Going into (the race), these were the two boats we had the highest hopes for,” Seeley said. “They were the most experienced kids and had done the best over the season.”

It’s the second year in a row that BIRC has sent two boats to nationals, as McGuire made it along with Hobbs and Andrew Powers.

McGuire won the C final last year to finish 13th overall while Hobbs and Powers finished 11th overall.

“It was a lot more competitive than I thought it was going to be,” McGuire said of her time at nationals. “It was so hot last year – it had to have been in the 90s. It was humid too.

“Hopefully it won’t be that bad this time, because I don’t do well in the heat.”

The heat, she said, does help with warmups.

The forecast for this weekend doesn’t look as hot (with the temperature predicted to be in the high 70s to low 80s) but there is the threat of scattered thunderstorms.

Weather concerns aside, McGuire said she has one goal in mind.

“I hope to make it in the A finals,” she said.

“Everybody’s divided by just a few seconds or fractions of seconds so it’s really tight and they do a photo finish and divide everyone up that way.”

The senior, who is headed to Oklahoma City University, an NAIA school in Oklahoma, said she’s been working on getting her stroke rate up and on her end sprints to give her that edge going into the race.

The five rowers that make up the varsity four with coxswain say they’re ready to make the grand final as well.

“It’s just not ‘happy to be there,’” Anderson said. “We definitely want to do well and make it to the final. That’s our goal.”

To get to that goal, the team went through numerous lineup changes this season to get the right fit.

The current team has only been together since mid-April.

“In college rowing I think it’s more normal (for groups to come together in a short time) but on this team it’s more normal to be rowing longer,” Anderson said. “So many people quit – some had some issues.”

“It was kind of a surprise,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think this is the lineup that anyone expected but it obviously worked out.”

The camaraderie is there that enables them to work together (“We all love each other,” O’Mara said) but the other four gave credit to Anderson for her ability to call the race from the stern.

“What we have to our advantage is Lynn,” Allen said. “We do so much more with her. She gives us so much more drive.

“During the race I know we’re all thinking ‘ Why do we do this?’ because it hurts so bad,” she continued. “But Lynn pulls it out of us. She tells us where we’re at and makes us row harder than we ever have before.”

Anderson gave the crew kudos of her own.

“They have a lot of drive,” she said of her teammates. “They’re all willing to give a lot of effort all the time and they all trust they’re working their hardest.”

Seeley likes their chances this weekend.

“They’re not technically the best boat we’ve ever had, but they row better together than any boat we’ve ever had,” he said of the varsity four. “I honestly think they have a good chance to make it in the top six.

“I would be shocked if she didn’t move up in the finals,” Seeley said of McGuire. “I think she has an outside chance of making” it that far.

More in Sports

Bainbridge junior JR Ritchie led the Spartans to an Olympic League title and was selected league MVP for 2021. (Review file photo)
Bainbridge’s JR Ritchie named Olympic League MVP

After a dominant year on the mound, including a no-hitter in the… Continue reading

Anna Kozlosky scored 15 points in Bainbridge's game against Gig Harbor. Kozlosky is the team's leading scorer and had been averaging 13 points per game through her first four games. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Tides sweep away Spartans, 50-37

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Bainbridge Island Spartans girls basketball… Continue reading

North Kitsap junior Makalya Stockman was named one of the game’s MVPs. Stockman picked up a hit and struck out four batters in two innings. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Nationals beat the Americans 11-7 in 18th KAR Softball Showcase

Some of the West Sound’s best softball players took the field Tuesday… Continue reading

Everett Moore gets up and over the Olympic defense for a shot attempt. Moore hit four 3-pointers in Bainbridge’s win over the Trojans. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge improves to 2-0 with 73-34 rout over Olympic

Two games, two 70+ point performances and two wins. It seems Bainbridge… Continue reading

Jay Bowditch, center, got his first hole in one at the age of 83. He was at Wing Point Golf Club on Bainbridge Island on a sunny April 30. He used an 8 iron on Hole 2 from 100 yards away. It was witnessed by four family members, including his granddaughter Kendall. Courtesy Photo
It’s in the hole

Jay Bowditch, center, got his first hole in one at the age… Continue reading

JR Ritchie stole the show in the championship game with a no-hitter and 18 strikeouts against Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Ritchie’s no-hitter, 18 K’s lead BI to league title

2021 could have been an incredible year for the Bainbridge baseball program.… Continue reading

Miranda Grogger gave up just one run and did not walk a batter in the Olympic League championship game against North Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge defies the odd, grabs softball title

The old cliché tells you to throw out the record books when… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
COVID rise makes me wonder about the next season

The spring sports season comes to an end this week — perhaps… Continue reading

Bainbridge gathers to celebrate Ben Wilkinson’s 30th-minute goal that ultimately helped the team clinch the Olympic League championship. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge wraps up Olympic League championship, undefeated season

The Spartans’ strong play from start to finish this season may leave… Continue reading

The Spartans No. 1 player Anna Kozlosky follows through on a swing on the fairway. Courtesy Photos
BHS girls win Olympic League golf title

The Bainbridge High School girls golf team won the Olympic League title… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen broke the Olympic League meet records in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK sprinter stars; boys win team title

Bainbridge Island, Kingston also have top finishes

Ruby Raymundo hits one of her two doubles against Olympic. Raymundo finished the game with three hits and one RBI. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Pep talk sparks Spartans past Olympic

BI responds after Trojans take advantage of errors