Local rower finishes 6th in nation at USRowing National Championships

Sarah Kate Rogers at USRowing Nationals

Sarah Kate Rogers sprints to a second-place finish in the final 250 meters of the Women’s Youth 1x Semifinal at the 2015 USRowing Southeastern Youth Championships. (Photo courtesy J. Rogers)

 

By Jim Rogers

Oak Ridge’s Sarah Kate Rogers continued her memorable run to USRowing’s 2015 Youth Nationals, overcoming windy course conditions and formidable talent to reach the Grand Final of the Women’s Youth sculling singles (WY1x). The Youth Nationals were held June 12-14, in Bradenton, Florida.

Rogers qualified for the Youth Nationals as a result of her victory in the USRowing Southeastern Regionals in May.

Her path to the National Grand Finals was not without significant drama. In her opening heat, she tangled with lane buoys early in the race, and despite a ferocious comeback, finished a narrow fourth. This forced her to the repechage, a last chance to qualify for the semifinals. She responded to that challenge, moving through her opponents to grab the lead at the halfway point and holding off a furious challenge from Rachel Pierce of South Jersey Rowing Club. On short rest, Rogers then out-sprinted Shelby Johnson of Capital Rowing Club in the semifinal to finish second and qualify for the Grand Final. [Read more…]

Dragon Boat Festival includes races, music, beer garden, kids area

Four Dragon Boats

Dragon boats are pictured above at the Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival at Melton Lake Park on May 31, 2014. (Submitted photo) 

 

The second annual Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival this weekend will include dragon boat races, music, vendors, a youth area for kids, and a beer garden.

The Oak Ridge Marina boat ramp will be closed on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, for the festival, organizers said. They expect increased traffic congestion on Melton Lake Drive this weekend. Organizers are encouraging those who attend to park at Roane State Community College on Briarcliff Avenue and catch a ride in a bus or van to the waterfront.

Thirty or or more teams of 20 paddlers each are expected in Oak Ridge for the 2015 Dragon Boat Festival.

The festival, which will raise money for local charities, will start on Friday evening, May 29, with a “Lanterns on the Lake” ceremony, music, beer garden, and other festivities. [Read more…]

Local rower earns invitation to USRowing Youth National Championships

Sarah Kate Rogers and Marc DeRose

Rower Sarah Kate Rogers, who has been invited to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships in June, is pictured above with coach Marc DeRose. (Photo by Suzanne Rogers)

 

By James H. Rogers

Oak Ridge’s Sarah Kate Rogers has earned an invitation to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships by virtue of her first-place finish in the women’s youth sculling singles (WY1x) at the USRowing Southeast Youth Championships earlier this month. Competing against other young women from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, she swept through the heats and won the 2,000-meter final in a time of 8:26.257, more than eight seconds ahead of any other sculler.

At next month’s national championship, which is from June 12-14 in Bradenton, Florida, Rogers will compete against as many as 27 other scullers through both heats and repechage for a coveted spot in the grand finals.

“The competition is incredibly tough,” Rogers said of the national event. “We all train and work as hard as we can to get to this point, and leave nothing on race day.”

Her competitors qualify from 11 separate national regions, and represent powerhouse rowing programs from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Rogers is unique in this regard, rowing as an unaffiliated rower under the watchful eyes of her coaching team, Shannon Moore and Marc DeRose. [Read more…]

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USRowing in Oak Ridge: Vesper Boat Club victorious again

Vesper Boat Club

The Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia swept the competition, winning the men’s, women’s, and overall team trophies at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships for the second consecutive year. The championships were in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Sunday. (Photos courtesy USRowing)

 

By Ella Odland/USRowing

Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia swept the competition, winning the men’s, women’s and overall team trophies at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships for the second consecutive year. Vesper won a total of 14 gold, 12 silver and six bronze medals.

The 2014 championships were in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Sunday. The 2013 championships were in Camden, New Jersey.

“We decided to shrink the numbers of the program this year and try to go for more quality,” said Sean Clarke, Vesper’s program manager. “It made things very exciting at the end for us, but everyone here really did a fine job of living up to Vesper’s tradition of ‘all together.’”

Vesper Boat Club Men

The Vesper Boat Club Men are pictured above.

The Vesper men narrowly beat out New York Athletic Club, winning the men’s trophy by two points.

“We had a solid outing,” said Vesper men’s coach Colin Regan. “We had some good results in a lot of our races and some results we’ll look to improve on going into Canada.” [Read more…]

USRowing: Last day of heats, semis Saturday; more finals Sunday

USRowing Club Nationals

Racing in the USRowing Club National Championships in Oak Ridge on Saturday consisted of heats and semifinals, setting up the second round of finals on Sunday. (Photos courtesy USRowing)

 

By Luke Reynolds/USRowing

If Saturday’s racing on Melton Lake in Oak Ridge could be summed up in a few words, it would be these: wet, saturated, and exhausted. The athletes—some on their fourth day of racing—rowed through a consistent, steady drizzle, and at times, a heavy downpour.

Such was the case for Sagamore’s junior B quadruple sculls boat coming off the water after its heat.

“This is my second race of the day, so I’m pretty exhausted,” Sagamore junior Patrick Ansalon said. “Today’s race went … not so well. We had a U17 eight, which got fourth, and I was in a composite four that qualified for finals tomorrow.”

Luckily though, the rain let up around 1:45 p.m. during the break and held off for the majority of the afternoon. Around the race course though, conditions remained muddy and saturated from the several hours of continuous rain.

Saturday’s racing consisted of heats and semifinals setting up the second round of finals on Sunday. [Read more…]

USRowing: First final session wraps up in Oak Ridge

USRowing-Harborside-Rowing

Harborside Rowing at the at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships in Oak Ridge. (Photos courtesy USRowing)

By Ella Odland/USRowing

“‘Olé, olé, olé,’ rang out across Melton Hill Lake Friday morning as crews battled for the title of club national champion in the first bout of finals at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships.

The “olé” cheer could be heard during every race in which Harborside Rowing competed. Harborside won a gold medal in the lightweight women’s intermediate pair and two silver medals—one in the women’s senior four with coxswain and one in the lightweight women’s intermediate pair.

“We still have a lot to go; we are very excited,” said Harborside coach Hugo Guardo. “We hope the next three days are also good. It was a great day for Harborside.”

As for the unique “olé” cheer, Guardo says that it stems from his Mexican heritage, and it is something the crew has done for a few years now.

“It is one of the first things the kids learn,” Guardo joked. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge hosting 2014 USRowing Club National Championships this week

USRowing Club National Championships

The USRowing Club National Championships started Wednesday and ends Sunday at the Oak Ridge Marina. (Photo courtesy USRowing)

 

Story courtesy USRowing/Luke Reynolds

Crews from across the country ranging in every age and skill level converged on Oak Ridge this week for the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships, which started Wednesday and ends Sunday on Melton Hill Lake.

Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club is the defending overall team points trophy winner. The team brought nearly 200 junior men and women to compete on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., in 2013 and also took the men’s and women’s trophies to sweep the event.

This year, around 1,500 athletes from 80 different clubs will be participating in the event, which is hosted by Oak Ridge Rowing Association.

“The city is really trying their best to welcome people to Oak Ridge,” said Oak Ridge Rowing Association President Terry Holley. “The businesses are very excited for this regatta and all regattas hosted by USRowing. [Read more…]

Volunteers, launch drivers needed for USRowing National Championship

USRowing Youth National Championships Finals

The USRowing Youth National Championships Finals are pictured above in Oak Ridge in June 2013. (File photo)

USRowing is having its 2014 National Club Championship regatta in Oak Ridge from Wednesday, July 16, through Sunday, July 20.

The regatta is on Melton Hill Lake at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association is seeking volunteers for this event, a press release said. No experience is necessary.

“This is a great way to get up close to some of the best racing in the country,” said Terry Holley, president of the Oak Ridge Rowing Association. “We are pleased that USRowing has chosen Melton Hill Lake once again as the venue for this prestigious event.” [Read more…]

Atomic Rowing Women’s Youth team wins regional gold, headed to nationals

Atomic Rowing Women's Youth Team Practice

The regional women’s youth champions, Atomic Rowing, practice six days a week in preparation for the national championship races in Sacramento, California. (Photos by Sara Wise)

 

About two months ago, the girls of Atomic Rowing’s youth team came to Shannon Moore, their coach, and said they wanted to go to the national championship race. Now, they’ve won the gold medal at regionals and are set to race at youth nationals in Sacramento, California, on June 21.

Since winning gold at regionals, in Florida earlier this month, they have been practicing six days a week. Moore said the team of girls, ranging from eighth to 10th grades, are hungry for a national championship title.

“They’re just determined,” said Moore, who started coaching the team in October of last year. She has been coaching professionally since 1998 and was even the assistant coach for Ivy League rowing at Columbia University in New York City. Now though, she thinks she’s found her niche with the juniors team here in Oak Ridge. [Read more…]

New coach hired at Oak Ridge Rowing Association

Marc DeRose

Marc DeRose

Marc DeRose has been hired as the new head coach and director of rowing at the Oak Ridge Rowing Association.

“We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the applicants,” said ORRA President Bob Franks. “Even with such great applicants, Marc was clearly the person for the job.”

DeRose comes to Oak Ridge from the University of Central Florida, where he has served as assistant coach of women’s rowing. His resume includes coaching the 2011 Canadian National Champion in men’s eight at St. George’s School in Vancouver, British Columbia. [Read more…]

Atomic Rowing qualifies at Southeast District Championships

Atomic Rowing

Submitted

Local women’s varsity four headed to national rowing championship

Atomic Rowing had the home field advantage going into the 2013 USRowing Southeast Junior District Championships held May 4-5 on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge. Atomic Rowing entered 18 entries into the two-day rain-soaked event that attracted 339 boats and 43 teams from across six states.

“Despite the rain, the racing was high quality throughout the weekend,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “The Oak Ridge organizing committee and referee corps from the Southeast stepped up to the challenge presented by the weather and delivered a championship-level racing experience.” [Read more…]

New pavilion erected at Oak Ridge Marina

Melton Lake Park Pavilion

Construction workers erect a pavilion this week on the city’s waterfront at Melton Lake Park.

A few weeks after the old pavilion was removed, construction workers have started erecting a new pavilion at Melton Lake Park.

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department has hired Rich Construction of Lenoir City to build the 2,300-square-foot pavilion at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The pavilion is in the same spot as the old 880-square-foot picnic shelter that was between the playground and the Melton Lake Greenway. The picnic shelter was torn down in late September.

The $159,000 pavilion could be used for rowing and community events. The Oak Ridge City Council awarded a construction contract for it in May.

It’s the second major step in a waterfront development plan approved by City Council in December 2009. The first was the paving of the parking lot at Elza Gate Park.

Rich Construction began site work for the new pavilion in early October. The pavilion itself has arrived and is now under construction on the city’s waterfront, offering “exceptional views of Melton Hill Lake and the Oak Ridge rowing course,” a city press release said.

Construction could be completed sometime in late November, depending upon the weather, the press release said.

The city asked the public to use caution in the park while the pavilion is under construction.

The hexagonal, prefabricated picnic pavilion will include a metal roof, ceiling lighting, and a low stone wall with electrical outlets. It’s designed to serve as a “signature facility” that sets the theme for future waterfront development.

Funding for the proposed pavilion comes from a $140,000 donation from UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and from savings that result from staff turnover in the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department, the city staff said.

The park is used by rowers, runners, walkers, bikers, and families.

For more information, contact the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department at (865) 425-3450 or visit the city’s website at www.oakridgetn.gov.