Stage Set for Final Day of Racing at 2018 USRowing Youth National Championships

GOLD RIVER, Calif. — After taking second and third in the men’s quadruple sculls at the 2018 USRowing Northeast Youth Championships in late May, GMS Rowing Center set a goal of qualifying both boats for the final at the 2018 USRowing Youth National Championships. Tomorrow, both GMS quads will race for gold in the grand final on Lake Natoma.

The GMS A and B quads rowed against each other in their semifinal Saturday morning, placing within the top three spots to qualify for the grand final. The GMS A quad, stroked by Jeffrey Schlyer, won the first semifinal with a time of 6:43.721, while the GMS B boat, stroked by Blake Evans, finished third with a 6:52.176. Tomorrow, the teammates will face each other again in lanes two and six in the hopes of claiming two medals for GMS.

Coach Guenter Beutter said the team worked hard to have both crews make it out of semifinals.

“It feels very good because we’ve been training hard for it and planning to be in this situation, but you never know upfront if it will really happen,” Beutter said. “Unfortunately, we were both in the same semifinal. We were trying to avoid that, but sometimes you can’t project everything.”

Semifinals kicked off this morning at the Youth National Championships presented by Rancho Cordova Travel & Tourism with a close finish in the men’s pair race when Commencement Bay Rowing Club managed to hold off Saugatuck Rowing Club by a little over a second to secure a first-place finish.

Stroke seat Conrad Schmidt felt amazing crossing the finish line first against the approaching crew.

“We were kind of lucky at the start to even get a lead, so we saw them coming back up and started pressing into it with anything left on the water, anything we had left to give. Holding them off was just unbelievable,” Schmidt said.

Commencement Bay finished in a time of 7:12.241 against Saugatuck’s 7:13.365. Both crews will face off again in the men’s pair grand final tomorrow morning.

Saugatuck had a strong showing throughout the morning races. Saugatuck’s women’s eight placed first in its semifinal with a time of 6:56.835. Tomorrow, the crew will race as defending champions, trying to claim a gold medal for the fourth year in a row.

Gordon Getsinger, junior girls’ head coach, was pleased with how the boat performed in its race.

“They had a great start and a great race. Tomorrow is the one that really counts,” Getsinger said.

In addition to its men’s pair and women’s eight, Saugatuck’s women’s lightweight four with coxswain also reached the grand finals. The women’s lightweight four won their semifinal with a time of 7:50.902.

Y Quad Cities will race to make history in the women’s quadruple sculls. The team has won the championship title for the last four years, and a fifth year is unprecedented in the event. Y Quad Cities won its semifinal by open water, finishing in 7:40.234.

Afternoon racing featured the C finals for overall places 13-18 across all 18 events, as crews who missed out on semifinals raced for the final time at youth nationals.

Crews will race for the medals in the A finals on Sunday morning starting at 8:00 a.m., while B finals to determine places 7-12 will take place Sunday afternoon.

General admission tickets for spectators attending this year’s regatta are available for purchase on site. Daily tickets are $10 a day payable in cash only. Parking is $10 a day per vehicle at Lake Natoma.

Watch the livestream broadcast of finals racing on USRowing’s YouTube channel starting at Sunday at 8 a.m. by clicking here.

Stay connected with us! Tag @USRowing in your photos and tweets by using the hashtags #nextstopnatoma, #usryouthnats and #usrowing.

Photos from throughout the event are accessible at usrowing.photos

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