Nineteen athletes from Newport Rowing Club, including youth from local Delaware and Pennsylvania schools have advanced to the 2013 U.S. Rowing National Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee that will be held from June 7 to June 9. The rowers qualified and earned their invitations to Nationals by taking top honors at the Mid Atlantic Regionals on May 11 at Mercer Lake in Princeton, New Jersey. Mercer Lake is an official training site for the U.S. National Rowing Team.
Members of the Nationals qualifying crews include Salesianum School juniors Nick Malchione (Landenberg, PA), Phil Claudy (Kennett Square, PA), Mike Glaude (Oxford, PA), and Joe Stockburger (Wilmington, DE); Padua Academy senior Erin Mullen (Wilmington, DE), sophomores Maggie Cunningham (Garnet Valley, PA) and Leah Mayfield (Wilmington, DE); Unionville High School seniors Nathan Smith (Kennett Square, PA), Maggie Simpson (Kennett Square, PA), Jake Weltz (Chadds Ford, PA) and Patrick Collins (Chadds Ford, PA), junior Anna Wertz (Chadds Ford), sophomores Justin Best (Kennett Square, PA) and Jennifer Collins (Chadds Ford, PA), freshman Jennifer Beauchamp (Chadds Ford, PA); Conrad School of Science freshman Tara Carr (Newark, DE); Newark Charter School eighth grader Rose Carr (Newark, DE) ; Kennett High School junior Julia Baumel (Kennett Square, PA) and Ursuline Academy sophomore Alyson Kerrigan (Wilmington, DE).
This is a return trip to national competition for Cunningham, Simpson, Weltz, Collins, Kerrigan, Baumel, and Tara and Rose Carr.
This year will mark Salesianum's Phil Claudy's second appearance at Nationals, too. He was recently invited to the USRowing Junior Men's National Team High Performance Camp where he will compete for the chance to represent the US at International and National competitions this summer.
NRC's Nathan Smith is making his fourth appearance in four years at Nationals. Last summer Nathan was selected for the US Junior National Team and is headed off to the University of California at Berkley this fall, rowing for one of the top men's rowing teams in the country.
The local rowers worked hard to qualify for the national competition this year traveling to train on the Christina River six days and upwards of 15 hours a week beginning last summer. Though just in its third year of competition, Newport Rowing Club has sent athletes to Nationals since its start and this year had six of its seven eligible crews qualify for the trip to compete in the National Championships.
"Nationals are like the NCAAs for basketball, you have to earn a bid to participate," Head Coach John Cohn said. "It's quite an honor for these athletes and the venue is one of the best in the country."
"Last year, 14 of our athletes qualified for Nationals... this year we are taking a total of 19 outstanding rowers," he added. "The fact that we have so many crews qualify for the National Championships is testament to the dedication and effort our coaches and athletes have put into taking the club's competition and training to a new level this year." Coach Cohn was recently recognized for his dedication and efforts as a coach at NRC and has been selected to join the coaching staff for the US Junior Men's National Team this summer.
The U.S. Rowing National Championships draw more than 1,500 athletes from high school and junior programs across the country to compete for national titles on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The best 13 to 18 year old rowers in the country race in 2,000 meter heats.
Located along the Christina River, the Newport Rowing Club (NRC) was created in July 2010 as a private/public partnership to train young athletes and promote competitive and recreational rowing as a lifetime sport. By working with local businesses, area schools and the city, the Club's focus is to develop a state-of-the-art rowing center and nationally recognized competitive rowing program. More than 90 area high school students from Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania head down to the Christina River most afternoons to hone their rowing skills and work together to become smoother, faster and more competitive in the water. For more information, visit the Newport Rowing Club website at www.newportrowingclub.org.