Blair Rowing had a historical week at Youth Nationals in Sarasota, Florida. For the first time in program history, two boats attended, The U17 Women's Youth 4+, and the Women's Youth 4+. Emily Tierney ‘25, Riley Bacinski ‘25, Hannah Mathews ‘25, Sophia Shah ‘25, and Lyra Phelps ‘24 represented Blair in the U17 Women's 4. Petra Csanyi ‘22, Dylan Bentley ‘22, Isa Dugan ‘22, Caroline Johnson ‘22, and Sami Goldman ‘24 represented Blair in the Women's Youth 4+.
The new U17 category provides the opportunity for younger athletes just starting in the sport to compete in the national stage, giving them exposure to high-level racing against opponents their own age. Blair’s U17 Women’s four had a truly standout week of racing. With three of the five members starting rowing in preseason this year, the team had an amazing week of racing, earning a 7th place finish and winning their B Final race in what has to be one of the best race executions of the season. With confidence and composure, Blair was the top finishing school program in a field of 21 of the top programs across the country, resulting as one of the top accomplishments in Blair Rowing history.
Blair’s Women’s Youth 4+ went into the week on the wave of the fastest season in Blair Rowing history. Fresh of Stotesbury and SRAA National Championships golds, the crew was seeded high going into the week. While SRAA and Stotesbury is a huge accomplishment, Youth Nationals represents the most competitive event the team enters after Mercer Sprints at the beginning of the season. After winning their time trial, the crew earned a top lane in the A/B Semi-Final. In their Semi, they were pushed in a way they hadn't been in two months. Windsor jumped off the line, leaving the crew down for the first time, achieving the 2nd place finish and a bid for the finals.
The combination of their many years of race experience, coming in second in their Semi, and watching their teammates overcome a tough race was the perfect recipe to set the crew up for what the announcers called the race of the regatta. The Youth 4+ took part in a stroke-for-stroke three-boat race with Windsor and St Andrew for an entire 2000m. With the leaders constantly shifting, the Blair crew earned a silver medal for the day, just 0.4 seconds out of 1st place, and just 0.1 seconds in front of 3rd.
“As coaches, we could not be more proud of how the boats grew as people over our week in Florida,” said John Redos ‘09, director of rowing and head girls’ crew coach. “While the results are very impressive, the way the group treated one another and grew together is something special. We are very excited about what lies ahead, and we wish the outgoing seniors the best in their next steps and look forward to working with every returning athlete when we return in September.”
In addition to the historic year Blair Rowing had, a few rowers will go on to compete on the international stage. Ava Gamble '21 will row for the USA U23 lightweight women's quad. Emily Tierney was invited to the USRowing U19 Selection Camp, and will try and earn a spot on the Junior National Team.