PHOTO AND STORY BY LIZ HINLEY
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. — It was a year of firsts for the 2021 USRowing Central Youth Championships.
It was the first event in over a year since Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District hosted a formal regatta. It was the first time teams such as Newport Aquatic Center and NORCAL Crew were able to participate in the event. And it was a first for hundreds of athletes who — after months of no racing — were able to go head-to-head against competitors.
“This is our first time [racing at the Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District]. We went to Dallas a few times, but it was nothing more than a scrimmage. This is really cool and really fun,” Texas Rowing Center’s Ava Martinez and Marin Maycott said.
“This is our first time [racing at the Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District]. We went to Dallas a few times, but it was nothing more than a scrimmage. This is really cool and really fun.”
-Ava Martinez and Marin Maycott
With 26 clubs lined up to compete for championship titles, it’s a special opportunity for senior student-athletes as well.
“It’s been awesome to be able to get the seniors a real racing season,” Dallas Jesuit Head Coach Randy Dam said. “It would have been a big bummer if they had to go two years without being able to race. Same thing with a lot of the other teams.”
Jesuit placed top-six in their time trial events to earn a slot in tomorrow’s final.
They are joined by Chicago Rowing Foundation who won the time trial for the men’s youth eight as well as Newport Aquatic Center who took second. NORCAL, Dallas United, and White Rock Rowing will take the three remaining spots in the final.
In tomorrow’s women’s youth eight final Chicago Rowing Foundation will line up next to Newport, NORCAL Crew, Dallas United, Texas Rowing Center, and OKC Riversport.
In addition to the many other firsts for the event, crews are not racing for a spot at a national championship due to the fact that this year’s Youth National Championship is open to all crews.