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Tiny Titans Take Gold at Oakridge Regatta

Posted April 17, 2013 by Jonathan

As tendrils of fog rose from Melton Hill Lake, the East Tennessee Rowing Coach was giving last minute instructions to his team.  “Keep your strokes clean, listen to your coxswain and save your energy for the final 500 meters”.  Good words to live by as five of ETRO’s teams advanced to the finals at the Oakridge Regatta this past Saturday.

The Men’s Youth Novice 4+ team was the first to qualify, as they easily rowed to a second place finish in their first heat of the day.  The Women’s Youth Novice 8+ boat followed their coach’s instructions to sprint hard in the final 500 meters of their 2K heat, surging to 3rd place in the standings.

An intense preliminary race between 3 teams in the Men’s Lightweight 4+ began at the midway point in their 2,000 meter battle down the river, ending with ETRO placing 2nd and advancing to the finals.  The Men’s Youth Varsity 4+ rowed in complete synchronicity, marked with a full 3-boat length lead, to take first place and also advance to the finals.

The Women’s Youth Varsity 4+ pulled out an exciting first place victory with a commanding 4-boat length lead against their competitors.  The Tiny Titans, named for their small stature, but tremendous core strength, celebrated heartily after receiving their gold medals from Coach Andrew Krug.  “We had a lot of tough competition, but were able to hold our own against more experienced teams.  Our tough daily workouts enabled us to row faster in the final 500 meters of each race.”  Tiny Titan team members include, Katie Silvester, Melanie Vines, Joanna Huntoon, Claire Bianconi and cox, Isabella Green.

Men’s Youth 2nd Novice 4+ took third place in their final race of the day.  Team members Alec Ferguson, Tony Hurst, Andrew Kirkland, Allan Hurst and coxswain, Nadia Jabbour were rewarded with bronze medals for their achievement.  The Men’s Youth Varsity 4+ also took third place in their final sprint to the finish line.  Tyra Brown effectively coxed team members Matthew Calloway, Joshua Bostrom, Nathan Dubs and Andrew Franks to a bronze medal, as well.

On Sunday, the ETRO Masters took to the water in hopes of upping the medal count achieved in Saturday’s Junior’s events.  The Ladies’ Masters did not disappoint.  Liz Hubbard, Shannon Burton, Alice Basler and Debra Potteiger, coxed by Claire Bianconi raced their way to a silver medal in the Ladies’ Masters row.  This is the first medal for the ETRO Master’s program.

ETRO takes their momentum from this race and heads next week to Chattanooga to participate in the Williams Island Regatta.  ETRO rowers will continue working on their speed, in hopes of placing in the US Invitational Rowing Championships in June.  The top 3 qualifiers in their respective divisions will advance to the qualifying rounds, held this year in Oakridge. 

This summer, ETRO will be offering Junior Learn to Row Camps June 17th - 22nd and July 22nd - 27th. The camps will run from 8 - 11 am, focusing on introducing the sport of rowing to athletes around the East Tennessee region. Athletes must be between ages 12-18 and able to swim and engage in physical activity. The camp fee is $300 and will include a unique ETRO T-shirt. 


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