On Thursday May 7th the athletes arrived in Gainesville, GA for the 2015 Southeast Youth Championships. For many it was their first time at a regional championship, and for some they would be returning after racing in Sarasota a year ago.
Practicing on the course Friday allowed the crews to get a feel for the course and work out their race plans accordingly. They also got a taste of the high heat that we hadn't felt in Nashville for some time.
Saturday morning would bring the start to a weekend of exciting racing with the Women's Youth 2- taking first place in their heat with the fastest time out of all the boats qualifying for the final. The Women's Varsity 4+ would come down the course next, again winning their heat with the fastest qualifying time, and a commanding 14 second lead over 2nd place in their heat. The Men's Varsity 4+ continued the trend by winning their heat to move on to the semi finals in a strong position with a 5 second lead over the second place boat.
Next to come down the course would be the novice boats. The Women's Novice 4+ won their heat by 15 seconds, earning them a spot in the semi-finals with several fast boats out of the other heats. The Men's Novice 4+, came from lane 1 and overtook a very competitive field to win their heat as well by 7 seconds. After some issues at the start line and a petition to the Head Referee by Coach Eric, the Women's 2V 4+ was granted a spot in the finals in Lane 7, and a challenge to prove that they deserved to be their.
The Men's Varsity 4+ would have the first semi of the day, which included 5 of the fastest times from the morning heats. Despite a strong race, the Nashville boys were narrowly edged out by Atlanta for the 3rd qualifying spot. The next semi of the afternoon was the Women's Novice 4+. The girls would quicklyseparate themselves from the pack with Miami to take 2nd by almost 20 seconds over the 3rd place boat. The Novice Men's 4+ ended Nashville's racing for Saturday by again proving that they came to Georgia to race, taking 1st place in their semi in a fight with Triangle Rowing. Entering Sunday's racing Nashville Rowing would have 4 out of 5 boats qualified for their respective grand finals.
Sunday would start off with a final anticipated by many for 365 days. After finishing 1.67 seconds out of qualifying for Nationals last year, the Women's Varsity 4+ pulled up to the start line ready for a different outcome. The Nashville boat blew down the course taking a move to break free from Miami and the field to take 1st place by 5 seconds and with it an automatic bid to Youth Nationals!
The Women's Novice 4+ was up next, and would find themselves coming into the last 500 meters 3 across with Miami and Asheville Youth. In the epitome of a photo finish, the Nashville 4+ took 3rd to Asheville by .016 seconds. It was without a doubt the hardest they had been pushed all season, and we look forward to seeing them line up again a year from now at Southeast Regionals again.
The Men's Novice 4+ found themselves in one of the tightest grouped finals of the day, with many of the qualifying times only a second or two apart from each other. Having earned their spot in Lane 3, the novice boys would race down to the wire, being edged out by Atlanta in the last few meters, still earning 4th place when all was said and done.
Out to prove their place in the finals, the Women's 2V 4+ came out of the gates hot in lane 7. As they neared the final 250 meters and the cheers grew louder, the ladies opened their lead to a commanding 13 seconds to take 1st place. A fitting end to this boat's season!
This was without a doubt a proud weekend for the whole Nashville Rowing family. The cheers from our athletes, families, friends and coaches echoed across the finish line, and no doubt hearing "We are, Nashville!" breathed some fire into the legs of our rowers as they entered their sprint. Now it is on to Nationals for the Women's Varsity 4+!
Southeast Regionals Lineups
Women's Youth 2-: (2) A. Tarquinio, (1) M. Holtkamp
Women's Varsity 4+: (cox) C. Lawrence, (4) A. Tarquinio, (3) M. Holtkamp, (2) A. McGinn, (bow) E. Norris
Men's Varsity 4+: (cox) I. Rhinehardt, (4) Owen Cunneely, (3) C. Hullfish, (2) J. Kyne, (bow) A. Hertik
Women's 2nd Varsity 4+: (cox) A. Poindexter, (4) V. Cheij, (3) M. Quinby, (2) E. Frensley, (bow) C. Bearden
Women's Novice 4+: (cox) A. Neville, (4) C. Corcoran, (3) I. Grant, (2) N. Duckworth, (bow) K. Rheins
Men's Novice 4+: (cox) Q. Woodruff, (4) G. Miller, (3) A. Gossett, (2) P. Sloan, (bow) R. Alles