The Deerfield boys rowing team finished fourth in the A Final of the Boys 4+ division at the 2019 US Rowing Youth National Championships hosted at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL on Sunday, June 9.
The Big Green crew automatically qualified for the 2019 US Rowing Youth Championships after capturing the gold medal in the 1V race at the New England Interscholastic Championships on May 25 at Lake Quinsigamond for the sixth consecutive year.
After the NEIRA Championships, the Big Green crew refocused their training on preparing for the national championship races. In the two weeks between the NEIRA Championships and the National Championships, the Deerfield crew incorporated a new member, George Fauver ’22 for post-graduate student-athlete Nico Salazar ’19 (post-graduate student-athletes are not eligible to race at the Youth National Championships). In addition to the new boat mate, the crew had to adjust to the added 500 meter distance of the 2000 meter National Championships course (NEIRA Championships race the 1500 meter distance).
The reassembled Big Green 1V crew now, including teammates; Jimmy Patton ‘20, Tommy Gilmore ‘20, Henry Lowe ’19, George Fauver ’22 and Coxswain Kristen Ivey ’19 began their quest on Thursday, June 6 to defend their back-to-back National Championships. In the opening trials, along with 21 other boats in the boys 4+ field, the Big Green crew rowed their way to the second best time trial finish of 6:05.970, only an a half a second behind fellow northeast competitor, Belmont Hill (6:05.438).
It was the top-eight teams from the time trials, who advanced to the semifinal races and earned a day of rest along the way. Along with the Deerfield crew, the other semifinal qualifying teams included; Belmont Hill, PNRA/Mercer, Saratoga, Row America Rye, Christian Brothers, Bainbridge Island and Saugatuck.
In addition to the top-eight qualifying teams, four more teams earned their way into the AB semifinal races via Friday’s repechage races, these added teams included; Asheville Youth Association, Capital, OARS, and San Diego.
The field was set for the two, six boat semifinal races. The Big Green crew raced in the second semifinal alongside PNRA/Mercer, Christian Brothers, OARS, San Diego and Bainbridge Island. In the opening 500 meters it was a close race between all six boats; Deerfield, PNRA/Mercer and Christian Brothers held the early lead over the semifinal field. At mid-way point in the race, the top three boats continued to increase lead over the other three boats.
At the 1500 meter mark, it quickly became a two-boat race between the Big Green and PNRA/Mercer. Both teams battled over the final 500 meters. PNRA/Mercer and Deerfield crossed the finish line in first and second place respectively, both earning their place in Sunday’s Grand A Final along with third place finisher, Christian Brothers.
In the second semifinal race, Saratoga, Belmont Hill, and RowAmerica Rye were the top-three finishers, earning their place in the Grand A Final.
The Grand A Final race field was set and the race start time was pushed earlier in anticipation of the afternoon’s rainy forecast. Promptly, at 8:10am on Sunday, June 9 the six boats were off in the Grand A Final; in search of a National title.
With a strong tailwind the Big Green gained an early lead in the opening strokes. The tremendously talented boats in the final remained connected through the midway point in the race. By the 1500 meter mark, Belmont Hill pulled away slightly, while the Big Green, Saratoga and PNRA/Mercer all remained connected. In the final gutsy 500 meters of the race, the Saratoga crew claimed the lead at the finish line and were followed by PNRA/Mercer, Belmont Hill and Deerfield, respectively.
This spring, the Big Green 1v boat accolades include, capturing the gold medal at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships for the sixth consecutive year. Additionally, this crew won every race during the regular season. Furthermore, they are the fourth fastest boys youth 4+ crew in the country! WOW!
For complete results, click here.
Congratulations to the team and coaches on another impressive season!