The largest championship in US Rowing history took place in Camden, NJ. recently, where 100 clubs and 2,100 rowers competed to determine the best clubs and rowers in the nation.
After four 12-hour days of racing, Maritime Rowing took third place overall in the best showing the club has ever had.
And it was a remarkable feat, as Maritime is a predominately sculling club.
“I am so proud of our athletes,” said Maritime coach Olga Vengerovskiy. “This is the best showing we have ever had at Club Nationals and to do it with so many younger rowers makes me especially proud.”
Lee Mount, from New Canaan and Blake Lange, of Darien, qualified for finals in two events.
Together they qualified for the finals in the Men’s Junior B (under 17) Double and separately they each made the finals in the Men’s Junior B Singles.
In an unlucky bit of scheduling, the timing of the finals for the singles was close to the finals for the double event, and the team felt the best chance to win was in the double. So Maritime sacrificed its singles, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The strategy paid off as Maritime won the Men’s Double by over three seconds.
Mary Campbell, of New Canaan won a gold medal in the Women’s Junior B (under 17) Singles. Later she joined her sister, Claire Campbell, Lauren Bell, also from New Canaan, and Cara Hoelzl, from Wilton, to win the Women’s Junior B Quad.
Carson West, of Wilton, and his partner Merritt Cullman, from Rye, NY, took the bronze medal in the Intercollegiate Lightweight Double.
At the Club level there are no high school events for light rowers so Merritt, Carson and their coaches were forced to make choice: row against athletes that match their size but are much older and more experienced or row against athletes at their experience level, but are well over their 165 pound weight limit. The boys chose to row “up” and took on much more experienced crews with great gusto.
At the end of a very exciting race, only .15 seconds separated silver and bronze.