Northeast Wins 2018 USRowing Youth Rowing Challenge

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Northeast Region claimed the overall points trophy on Saturday at the 2018 USRowing Youth Regional Challenge, as athletes from across the country wrapped up the camp held at Nathan Benderson Park.

After a successful inaugural challenge held last year in conjunction with the 2017 World Rowing Championships, this year’s event brought together 432 athletes and 36 coaches from USRowing’s six regions for a three-day camp and regatta. Practices were held Thursday and Friday, with racing being held on Saturday in singles, doubles, pairs, quads, fours with coxswain, and eights.

“We were a little nervous going in since we had increased the number (of athletes) from the inaugural one last year by about 100, but it went off without a hitch,” said Steve Hargis, USRowing’s Director of Under 19 Women’s and Men’s Programs. “These coaches in these regions really worked hard and really made it possible for us to have a quality event here. The kids were well prepared when they got here. We got a lot of feedback that we had done one step better than last year and that we had really moved this ahead, so we are excited about doing it again.”

On the water, the Northeast edged out the Southeast for the team title by just two points, scoring 118 total points. The Northwest took third with 79 points, followed by the Mid-Atlantic with 78 points. The Southwest and Midwest rounded out the team standings.

Northeast boats won gold medals in six U18 events including the women’s eight, men’s eight, women’s single, men’s single, women’s four with coxswain and women’s pair, as well as the U17 women’s eight.

This challenge was the kick-off event for a new series of USRowing U19, U18 and U17 Olympic Development Program (ODP) Identification Camps across the country. The ODP camps are designed to identify talented athletes at the U19, U18 and U17 levels with potential to grow within the system and be a part of challenging, developmentally-appropriate opportunities.

“We said this was a kick-off event for our identification through the Olympic Development Program because we really wanted to bring to the forefront our U17 athletes,” Hargis said. “We know that there are a lot of them out there. Ultimately, we want to expand the base of those athletes who want to continue down the pathway to the under 23 and senior teams. We want to make sure we can elevate that to the national level, so that’s really exciting.”

Full results and additional information can be found by clicking here.

Click here for the event photo gallery.

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