Record Entry Numbers at Club Nationals Aids in Expansion of Rowing
By USRowing Staff • July 11, 2017
BETHEL, Ohio — Rowing favors unity. Just as athletes in a boat must work towards one fluid, cohesive stroke, when competitors from every level of the sport come together, it strengthens the rowing community.
Having been in existence for over 140 years, the Club National Championships continues to show just how far rowing solidarity can span. Combining junior and intermediate events, along with open and elite competition at one regatta, Club Nationals has become one of USRowing’s most entered regattas. In the last ten years alone, the event has increased by over 750 entries, leading to a record of 1,719 entries at the 2017 Club National Championships.
According to USRowing Senior Events Manager AJ Dominique, Club Nationals continues to be a major facilitator in the expansion of the sport.
“Club Nationals has grown into our largest event each year. It provides a great opportunity for athletes looking to further their development during the summer season and to race against quality competition,” Dominique said.
“Club Nationals is where we’ve really seen the explosion of interest in junior sculling. This trend continues to fuel the overall growth of the sport.”
Entries for the 2017 Club National Championships prove how popular junior sculling has become—the most entered event of the regatta is the men’s Under 19 single sculls, boasting 95 competitors this year. The women’s Under 19 single is also going to be a highly contested event, coming second to the men’s event with 70 entries.
These U19 athletes, along with U17 athletes will share the venue with collegiate and elite competitors, including a handful of United States Olympians. Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary, who placed sixth in the women’s double sculls at the 2016 Olympic Games, will each be competing in the women’s elite/senior single sculls as participants of the Lotman Challenge.
In its inaugural year, the Lotman Challenge will be held over the course of three separate regattas. Throughout the men’s and women’s elite/senior single sculls events at Club Nationals, athletes will compete to earn points towards the final standings of the challenge. The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation organized the Lotman Challenge in an effort to promote single sculling in the United States. The foundation will award prize money to the top American male and female scullers accumulating the most points over the three-race series.
“The Lotman Challenge is what first sparked our interest in competing at Club Nationals this year,” O’Leary said. “It’s wonderful that there are efforts to support and develop sculling in the U.S. There are a limited number of racing opportunities for elite athletes and we saw this as a chance to get some more competitive racing in.”
The 2017 Club National Championships will also offer its annual College Fair, providing an opportunity for rising seniors to meet with coaches from 70+ colleges from across the country. The fair will run from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.
A total of 75 events will be contested by 112 clubs at the USRowing Club National Championships this year. Racing will take place from Wednesday, July 12 to Sunday, July 16. Racing will begin at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday with time trials.
All athletes wishing to participate in the College Fair must be risings seniors for the 2017-18 school year and be competing at the 2017 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 14, and Sunday, July 16, on USRowing’s YouTube Channel.
@USRowing | #clubnats17
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written by Elise Gorberg, email@example.com