Juniors Rowers at CSSRA Championships
26 junior athletes travelled to Saint Catherines, Ontario, to compete at the CSSRAs (Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association) Championship in early June. Every single junior boat, two eights, two fours, two quads, one double and one single, all made it to the A Finals and showed promising results. This is a huge accomplishment considering the majority of those competing were novice rowers, only having started rowing in September.
The hours on the water and early mornings really paid off and massive improvement was shown throughout the year. From their first ever regatta in the fall where the junior girls found themselves facing the wrong way at the starting blocks, to placing fifth in the A finals at nationals, these athletes have come a long way.
Roaring headwinds and white caps made for a thrilling start to day one of racing. Despite the conditions, the rowers embraced the opportunity and pushed themselves to the limits. A notable mention is Erik L, Ellis ‘21 the junior boys coxswain. He perfected his race plan after many practises in the pool, the hallway, and the van, and ended up doing a superb job at motivating the boys during their 2km race.
Both the junior girls and boys flyweight quads also qualified for the senior finals, an impressive achievement. Claire S, Allard ‘21 stood out qualifying top of her heat in the single, one of the hardest races on the water, and Karl D and Thomas L, Rogers 20’ & ‘21 also had a successful first day qualifying with the third fastest time in the junior boys double.
The calm waters and overcast skies on Sunday morning put a smile on everyone's faces. The junior boys four started off the day with a fifth place finish in what was a head to head race, losing to SMUS by only 0.1 seconds. Claire S then placed fifth as well, leading the junior girls off to a good day of racing. The junior boys double earned a bronze medal, rewarding their hard work throughout the season.
Mr Patel’s words to the rowing club after the week of racing was “Was it worth it?” and everyone agreed that it truly was worth it, and that everyone walked away from the weekend with a sense of gratification. It was a successful trip and the junior rowing program showed impressive talent and development throughout the course of the year, finishing with strong results at nationals.
Callum BC, Privett ‘20