Top Crews Set to Compete at the 2017 USRowing Youth National Championships

Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. — For junior rowers, the USRowing Youth National Championships is one of the most prestigious regattas on the race schedule. For many teams, just racing at the national level is an honor, let alone reaching a grand final or winning a medal. For Holy Names Academy in Seattle, Wash., high performance is the standard.

Holy Names, an all-girls team, has been represented at Youth Nationals for the past 15 consecutive years. The team’s boats have medaled several times, most recently bringing home silver in the lightweight women’s eight in 2016. The girls intend to continue their tradition of success this year, entering a four, quad, lightweight eight and lightweight four.

The rowing team at Holy Names features an average of 75-100 athletes a year, meaning that roughly 10 percent of the high school’s students are members of the team.

Head coach and program coordinator Caitlin McClain, who graduated from Holy Names in 2001, attributes the team’s long history of successful performance on the water to the school’s ability to foster a positive and unified community within which girls can work together toward a common goal.

“I think one of the reasons we are successful both in results and retention is because the sport is truly analogous with the school’s culture of high standards and work ethic within a supportive environment,” McClain said. “There’s a sense [that] anything is possible with hard work and friends to do it with.”

Holy Names will join a record number of more than 150 clubs at Nathan-Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla., all vying for a national championship title. Thirty-two states are represented, with California being the highest represented state with 49 total entries. The regatta boasts more than 1,700 athletes competing in 18 different events.


1 of 4 Nashville Juniors departing to Sarasota (@nashvillejrs)
2 of 4 Olympia Area Rowing Club flying to Sarasota, oars in hand (@olympiaarearowing)
3 of 4 Dallas United arrives at Nathan Benderson Park (@randydam)
4 of 4 Oakland Strokes arrives at Nathan Benderson Park (@gostrokes)

Bids to the USRowing Youth National Championships were awarded to crews placing in top spots at the USRowing Central Youth Rowing Championships, Philadelphia City Championships, USRowing Mid-Atlantic Junior District Championships, Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships, Midwest Scholastic Championships, Midwest Junior Rowing Championships, New York State Scholastic Championships, USRowing Northeast Junior District Championships, NEIRA Championships, USRowing Northwest Junior District Championships, USRowing Southeast Junior District Championships and USRowing Southwest Junior District Championships.

Racing is scheduled to begin Friday at 8 a.m. with time trial heats. Semifinals for events 9-18 will occur Friday afternoon. Semifinals will continue at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for events 1-8. C and D Finals will follow on Saturday. Sunday will begin at 8 a.m. with A-finals, followed by B-finals.

Preceding the regatta will be the USRowing Graduation Ceremony, which will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, June 8, at the hospitality tent at Nathan Benderson Park. Rowers from the graduating class of 2017 will be honored with a 30-minute ceremony, and each athlete will receive a USRowing Certificate of Excellence. The event will feature keynote speaker Jacqui Kapinowski, along with selected valedictorians.

On Sunday, June 11, USRowing will be hosting a 2017 Olympic Day meet and greet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., giving everyone attending the regatta a chance to meet Olympic athletes, pose for photos and get autographs.

General Admission tickets for all spectators attending the 2017 Youth National Championships are available online. Daily tickets are $10, or a 3-day pass is available for $25. Tickets include admission to the spectator and team tent areas during race days.  Parking is $5/day at Nathan Benderson Park.

Watch the live broadcast of racing on USRowing’s Youtube Channel beginning Friday, June 9, with semifinals:

Stay connected with us! Tag @USRowing in your photos and use the hashtags #SeeYouInSarasota and #USRYouthNats.

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Where in the world are our teams from? Check out this interactive map!

Official USRowing Youth Nationals Spotify Playlist


Written by Elise Gorberg,

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