Sarasota, FL - The Nashville Juniors Rowing Women's Youth 4+ arrived early in Sarasota, FL for the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships to acclimate to the heat, practice on the course, and continue getting in tune with each other and their rowing shell. This, 2015, was the first appearance of Nashville Rowing at Youth Nationals, and an exciting one in our second year of existence. The five athletes racing (Caroline Lawrence [cox], Eden Norris [bow], Aine McGinn , Michele Holtkamp , and Abigail Tarquinio [stroke]) and their alternate (Madeline Quinby) were especially motivated to perform well this year after barely missing qualification in 2014 as novices in the Varsity 4+ event by just 1.67 seconds. That motivation proved useful as the boat of young ladies won the USRowing Southeast Regionals, and cementing their continuation of training for 5 more weeks leading into Nationals.
Over the three days of racing, the Nashville Juniors Rowing Women's Youth 4+ placed second in their heat, second in their repechage, and then fifth in their semi-final, before earning fourth in the B Final, placing them 10th overall. The entire Nashville Rowing family tuned in at home over the live-feed and constantly expressed support and excitement throughout the tough racing.
"We are very happy with how well the young ladies performed this year. I would have liked to peak better after Regionals and coming into Nationals but the boat handled the fast field very well," Head Coach Eric Gehrke expressed, "they put their minds on a goal and achieved it over a short period of time, considering two years ago our program didn't even exist. Our goals now are even higher for 2016 and beyond, and I am excited to coach them towards those plans."
For graduating senior captain, Caroline Lawrence, the performance was exactly how she wanted to leave the program, as she knows her legacy with her younger boat mates is to aim high and break down walls. Her, and the rest of our growing group of alumni, are excited to see what Nashville Juniors Rowing can do in the years to come.