BI junior rowers win big at Vancouver tourney

VANCOUVER, Washington – Bainbridge Island Rowing’s juniors squad stroked their way to victory amid some very strong competitors at the regional USRowing Northwest Youth Championships at Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, Washington last weekend. Two Bainbridge boats qualified for the upcoming Youth Nationals Tournament in Sarasota, Florida.

The annual regatta drew 30 teams from Washington, Oregon and Idaho to the 2,000-meter course.

The weather was perfect, team officials said, the water calm, and the shoreline packed with rowers and fans all weekend long as Bainbridge competed in 15 classes of rowing competition from novice to varsity in both pairs to eights.

On Friday, both the Men’s Novice 2x and Women’s 1st Novice 4+ took first place in the timed finals, with times of 7:50 and 8:23, respectively, while the Women’s 2nd Novice 4+ and Men’s 2nd Novice 4+ each took third in their heats with times of 8:37 and 7:40.

The Men’s Novice 4+ and Women’s Lightweight 8+ each took second place in their qualifying heats with times of 7:22 and 7:12, advancing both boats to the finals.

On Saturday, the Women’s Lightweight 8+ (Elsa Derrickson, Caroline Najarian, Lydia Goss, Ellie Genkinger, Gracie Dymoke, Sofia Wilkinson, Emily Fink, Mina Bianchi and cox Olivia Zachariah) went on to win their final race, beating Holy Names Academy by just under two seconds with a time of 7:12. The win qualified them to participate in nationals.

The Men’s 2nd Varsity pair took second place in their final with a time of 7:58.

Additionally, Bainbridge rowers went on to place in six more qualifying heats to advance to the finals on Sunday, including, in first place, the Men’s Lightweight 4+ and the Women’s 2nd Varsity 4+; in second place, the Women’s lightweight 4+ and the Men’s Novice 8+; and, in third place, the Women’s 1st Varsity 4+ and the Women’s Novice 8+.

On Sunday, Bainbridge placed third in three of the final races, including the Women’s Lightweight 4+ (8:06) and the Men’s High School 8 (6:35).

The Men’s Lightweight 4+ (Noah Faust, Collin Oliver, Matthew Derry, Hudson Dore and cox Nikolai Sublett) also placed third, behind Pocock and Seattle Rowing, edging out Mount Baker by less than a second with a time of 6:59, which qualified them for the national competition.

Bainbridge realized four fourth-place finishes in the finals amid stiff competition from clubs that included Green Lake, Holy Names, Mount Baker, Sammamish and Pocock.

The athletes of the Women’s Lightweight 8 and Men’s Lightweight 4 are now headed to the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota June 9 through 11.

“The lightweight girls had a terrific, unified performance, winning a second historical varsity eight event for Bainbridge Island Rowing,” said Barb Trafton, the women’s team coach.

“There are actually nine rowers who have pushed this boat’s winning effort, including Eve Hurd. In-house competition keeps these athletes on their game,” she added. “We will continue to fine-tune our lineups on Eagle Harbor to ultimately determine the fastest combination. All nine rowers with their coxswain will travel to compete in Sarasota.”

BIR Masters rowers will compete at the Northwest Masters Regional Championships at Vancouver Lake June 23 though June 25.