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

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

The North Kitsap passing game struggled Thursday, but quarterback Colton Bower rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Weather forces NK to use ground game in 32-0 win over BI

If North Kitsap hopes to go far in the state high school… Continue reading

Bainbridge quarterback Jack Grant, left, hands off to Garrett Goade as Port Angeles defender Jeremiah Hall closes in on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 7

Port Angeles 27, Bainbridge 7 The Spartans had their opportunities, but the… Continue reading

Bainbridge senior Eden Michael took home a second-place finish in the final regular season cross country league meet at Battle Point Park. Michael’s performance helped lead Bainbridge to a team victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group photos)
Bainbridge girls win final league meet

NK girls, Kingston boys each run to 2nd place

Bainbridge senior Maddy Brown looks to pry the ball loose from a Sequim player during her team’s 1-0 win Thursday night. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Bainbridge maintains top spot with 1-0 win over Sequim

Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Prep playoffs could mirror Mariners excitement

If you were one of the 44,164 folks who attended the Mariners… Continue reading

Bainbridge middle blocker Allie Wildsmith blasts a shot through Kingston’s defense in her team’s three-set win Tuesday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Spartans defense feeds offense in win over Kingston

Offense might get a lot of attention in volleyball, but without good… Continue reading

Bremerton quarterback Josh Tapangco threw a pair of touchdown passes in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge on Friday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 6

North Kitsap 49, Sequim 7 The Vikings continued their march through the… Continue reading

Bainbridge’s Caleb Durrance closes in on fallen Bremerton quarterback Joshua Tapangco during the Spartans 32-0 loss to the Knights. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
10 turnovers help Bremerton blank BI

It was Friday night and Homecoming night at Memorial Stadium on Bainbridge… Continue reading

Bainbridge sophomore Kathryn Houseman swims to victory in the 500-yard freestyle in Tuesday’s tri-meet against North Kitsap and Kingston. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS swimmers dominating on road to state

With a reloaded roster full of experienced underclassmen, the Bainbridge girls swim… Continue reading

Finn Miller plays defense against his Mercer Island counterpart, Finn Friedland (7), in Monday night’s water polo match agains the Islanders. Bainbridge won 17-8. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS water polo beats Mercer Island to remain undefeated

In the 50-year history of boys high school water polo in Washington… Continue reading

North Kitsap improved to 4-0 on the season with a 42-7 win over Olympic on Friday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football roundup: Week 5

North Kitsap 42, Olympic 7 The Trojans hung tough for a while,… Continue reading