Norcal Crew recently participated at the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships. USRowing divides the country into seven regions, each of which is allowed to send their top three finishers in each place to compete at the nationals.
Norcal placed 2nd in the Men’s Pair and 1st in the Lightweight Men’s 8 at Southwest Regionals early in May, earning the right to bring those crews to Sarasota, FL, to compete at the highest level in the US.
After two days of preliminaries, Kurt Songer and Clark Harmon (pictured of the Men’s Pair fought a furious battle to claw through first Pacific RC, then Tampa Prep to win the B final, placing 7th overall in the country. The lead changed hands four times during the course of the race, and turned ugly with steering mishaps in the last 500, however our boys had already put themselves out of reach, and poured on the afterburners to win their final race for Norcal by 2 1/2 seconds.
The Lightweight Men’s Eight showed themselves to be the class of their event, comfortably winning their Heat and Semi-Final by open water before winning the grand by 3 seconds. Although Belen Jesuit (LW8+ winners of this year’s scholastic nationals), shot off the start to an early lead, Norcal nosed back into command by 400 meters on and never looked back.
This is the first time Norcal has won a national championship in an eights category, although it is the second National Championship in two years for three of the crew; Marcelo Buxton, Chris Skokowski, and stroke Misha Hindry. First time Champions include Jonathan Cogan, Colley Loum, Jackson Wood, Phoenix Jarrell-Desch, Ian O’Connor, and coxswain Thomas Fuller.