Strokes Rowing Teams Medal at Nationals

Oakland Strokes    Members of the Men’s Lightweight Eight won gold medals at the US Rowing Junior National Championships.

Several Oakland Strokes rowing teams medaled at the US Rowing Junior National Championships Sunday, June 10, on Lake Natoma in Golf River, Calif. 

The Oakland Strokes rowing team brought four crews to the race. They qualified through their performance at the Southwest Regional Championship in early May. 

The Men’s Lightweight Eight led the way for the Strokes, winning the gold medal by storming through the field. The national championship team trailed in the early moments of the race to the two-time defending champions from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School of Miami, Fla. The lightweight men’s team outpaced the field through the middle half of the race, going on to win by two seconds. Belen Jesuit came second, with Newport Aquatic Center of Newport third. Team member Richard Read attends St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda.

“It was deeply satisfying to see the boys build speed throughout the season, and they capped it off right by taking home the National Championship,” said coach Bert Harney.

The Women’s Lightweight Eight came in second place in their race. The team finished behind Greenwich Crew of Greenwich, Conn., but held off Marin Rowing Association of Greenbrae, Calif., for the silver medal. Team member Nyah Morgan attends Alameda High, while Olivia Harrison attends Alameda Science and Technology Institute. 

The Men’s Varsity Eight team won the silver medal for the second year in a row. They raced for the win by pushing out to the lead through the middle of the race. That effort cost them in the end as they weren’t quite able match the closing speed of Sarasota Crew of Sarasota, Fla.

The Women’s Varsity Eight team finished 11th in their competition. This was the first women’s varsity eight from the Oakland Strokes to qualify for Nationals since 2014. 

The Oakland Strokes had originally qualified seven boats to head to Nationals, but due to race schedules and an emergency appendectomy, they were only able to race four teams. 

The championships, which serve as the premier youth rowing event in the United States, sees approximately 1,500 athletes competing in more than 350 crews, representing some 150 teams from across the country — all vying for national titles in 18 boat classes.