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.
Thompson Boat Center had 15 boats racing in Friday morning finals, including three boats in the final of the women’s junior B four with coxswain. TBC A finished third, TBC B finished fourth, and TBC D finished sixth.
“We have a lot of talent this year,” TBC coach Rachel Gabbay said. “It’s remarkable that we are able to put three boats in the final and win a medal. I think the future looks really great.”
Texas Rowing Center was making its debut at club nationals and had success from the start with the women’s junior B quadruple sculls winning the silver medal.
“It was the girls’ first final of the day, so it was pretty exciting to have the medal for the first one,” said Texas Rowing Center coach Falesha Thrash. “Racing has been going pretty well, and we have a lot of racing left to come from our premiere events.”
Vesper Boat Club had the most boats racing in the finals Friday and had a very successful day of racing. The women’s senior double sculls comprised of Katherine McFetridge and Laura Larsen-Strecker was just one of Vesper’s seven gold-medal crews. The duo has been practicing together all summer, and club nationals was a culmination of their training.
“It was a great race; we were excited to be there” said Larsen-Strecker. “Beautiful venue, great water, great racing conditions.”
With Friday morning finals complete, crews shifted their focus to the afternoon time trials and preparations to compete in Sunday morning finals.
For photos, results and press coverage of the event, click here. Follow USRowing Club National Championships on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #clubnats14.
In addition to racing, USRowing also will host its 11th-Annual College Fair on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The fair will have more than 50 colleges represented with coaches on site to discuss various aspects of rowing in college. Athletes wishing to participate in the college fair must be seniors for the 2014-2015 school year and be competing at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships. Those who would like to attend can register here.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 75,000 individual members and 1,200 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all.