Bainbridge Rowers place in top 20 at Youth Nationals

Former BIR rower wins gold at Collegiate Nationals.

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 4:18pm
  • Sports
Bainbridge Island Rowing’s Lightweight Girls 8 Nationals team: Chrina Munn

Bainbridge Island Rowing’s Lightweight Girls 8 Nationals team: Chrina Munn


Contributing Writer

WEST WINDSOR, New Jersey — Bainbridge Island’s high school rowers placed among the top crews in the nation at the USRowing Youth National Championships held June 10-12 in West Windsor, New Jersey.

The Girls Lightweight Eight participated in a race program cut short due to high winds and rough water at Mercer Lake. The team included four seniors: Chrina Munn (coxswain), Jemma Blazina, Tica Drury and Jessie Sheldon. Joining the seniors in the boat were Elsa Derrickson, Lydia Goss, Ellie Genkinger, Sofia Wilkinson and Marina Bianchi.

Racing in a boat borrowed from Villanova University and without a practice row due to poor weather conditions, the team posted a qualifying time of 7:05.883 on the 2,000-meter course, shaving approximately 25 seconds off of their performance at the Northwest Youth Championships in May.

Unfortunately, due to stiff competition in their heat and cancellation of repechage races, the team was unable to advance in the competition.

“Our rowers showed great composure overcoming adversity to post the team’s best time,” said Bainbridge Island Rowing Varsity Girls Coach Barb Trafton. “The shortened race program tested all the teams and I was especially proud how our girls handled the rough waters and stiff competition.”

The BIR team has qualified for Youth Nationals for the past 11 years and has consistently placed among the top boats in the nation, including winning second in the nation in the Boys Lightweight Four in 2013.

In addition, several Bainbridge rowers have gone on to row in college: BIR alum Samantha Dore recently won gold in Stanford’s Womens Varsity Lightweight Eight at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, also on Mercer Lake, on June 5, the week prior to Youth Nationals.

When asked why crew appeals to her so strongly, Dore focused on the lessons it has taught her these past five years.

“Crew rewards hard work and perseverance. It requires humility,” she said. “The best rowers simply put their heads down and work, stroke after stroke, practice after practice.

“The hours of work we do culminate in a six and a half minute race. It takes patience and incredible maturity to remember in those long winter months of training that it’s worth it. There’s such an incredible camaraderie on our team that both supports and pushes me beyond my limits.”

Dore also talked about how rowing has made her stronger academically: “Through rowing, I have learned so much about teamwork, commitment and tenacity. Many college students stop participating in sports because they want to focus on their academics, but I’ve actually found that I’m more productive than a lot of my friends. When I sit down to start an assignment, I have the discipline to make myself finish it.”

Dore reflected on how fortunate she was to have rowed with the strong Bainbridge High School program and having the opportunity to race four times at Youth National Championships while at Bainbridge Island Rowing. Dore is grateful that Trafton prepared her well for the rigors of a Division 1 program: “I’m so thankful to have Barb as a mentor in my life. Her passion for the sport is contagious. Barb’s kindness and encouragement inspired me to continue rowing in high school. I’m so glad I stuck with it. Crew provided me direction and empowered me with a newfound confidence I didn’t have before.”

Bainbridge Island Rowing thanks the many community individuals and businesses that generously sponsored the team at Nationals, including Clark Construction, and appreciates the support as well of the parents who traveled with the team.


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