A Hometown Feel at the 2016 USRowing Club National Championships

BETHEL, Ohio — Craftsbury Sculling Center’s John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) has had a busy year, and it’s only July.

Graves checked-off the 2016 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials, Final Olympic Qualification Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta before making his way home to Cincinnati.

“This is my fourth boat class in the last few weeks,” said Graves. “I haven’t been back here since I was a junior rower, and I have really fond memories of rowing here. This is a great collection of people who are enthusiastic about the sport. When you are an elite rower, you miss that a lot of the time. It’s fun to come back and really feel like it’s a celebration of the sport, to see people who see you all the time and appreciate what you are doing on the elite level. As an elite rower, it’s easy to lose sight of all of this.”

Just a short drive from where he grew up, Lake Harsha is where Graves first picked up a scull and the location he claims is still the best around.

“I have probably rowed the most on this body of water,” he said. “Not a lot has changed as far as the water. It is nice and hot, but it’s still one of the best courses around. I am glad to be back.”

1 of 3 2016 USRowing Club Nationals
2 of 3 2016 USRowing Club Nationals
3 of 3 2016 USRowing Club Nationals

In the men’s elite single sculls, Graves posted the second-fastest time of the heats, finishing 3.308 seconds behind Dattu Bhokanal’s 7:07.992. Bhokanal will represent India at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the single sculls.  

Racing on day one of the 2016 USRowing Club National Championships started smoothly as clear skies and fast racing filled the summer afternoon.

The morning began with time trials in 16 events, with the top 21 times advancing into tomorrow’s semifinals.

Claiming another early victory for the Southern Ohio clan was the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club’s lightweight men’s intermediate four. The crew recorded the top-time of the day in a 6:40.018, finishing .919 seconds ahead of the next fastest boat in the event.

Racing will continue at 8:00 a.m. with eight heats before the mid-morning semifinals begin.

Check out event photos of the 2016 USRowing Club National Championships on USRowing’s new site: www.usrowingphotos.com.

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At the conclusion of Sunday’s racing, USRowing will hold its 13th-Annual College Fair for rising high school seniors and collegiate coaches. The presence of the best high school athletes from around the country provides an ideal opportunity for athletes to showcase their talent for college recruitment.

The fair will be held on Sunday, July 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00p.m. in the pavilion located next to the race course. Over 80 colleges will be in attendance. 

All athletes wishing to participate in the College Fair must be seniors for the 2016-2017 school year and be competing at the 2016 USRowing Club National Championships.

Additionally, athletes are encouraged to bring a rowing resume — an example can be found here.

Watch the live broadcast of finals beginning at 8 a.m., on Friday, July 15, and Sunday, July 17, on USRowing’s YouTube Channel.
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