SD Rowing Club claims bronze medal in youth nationals
by STAFF AND CONTRIBUTION
Jun 26, 2014 | 2569 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Diego Rowing Club junior women's 4x (4 rowers 8 oars) boat won bronze in the U.S. Nationals. Shown from left are Mariko Kelly, Sarah Hoskin, Benton Sparks (coach), Jillian Renly and Marissa Gibson.
The San Diego Rowing Club junior women's 4x (4 rowers 8 oars) boat won bronze in the U.S. Nationals. Shown from left are Mariko Kelly, Sarah Hoskin, Benton Sparks (coach), Jillian Renly and Marissa Gibson.
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Varsity women with the San Diego Rowing Club (SDRC) on Mission Bay have brought home a bronze medal from the U.S. Rowing’s Youth National Championships in Sacramento.

The event was held over three days earlier this month at Lake Natoma, where top high-school-age rowers from across the nation raced on a 2,000-meter (1.25-mile) course to cap off the 2013-14 season.

SDRC’s time of 7:26.852 made them the country’s third-fastest women's youth boat in the “4x” (4 rowers, 8 oars) division.

SDRC junior rowers Marissa Gibson, Jillian Renly, Sarah Hoskin and Mariko Kelly earned their medals after competing against 19 teams in multiple heats.

The SDRC junior women advanced to U.S. Nationals after racing to a gold medal in the same event at the Southwest Junior District Championships in May, beating a field of 30 women’s teams in multiple heats.

“It was a tough weekend of racing," said bow-seat rower Mariko Kelly. "Going into nationals, we were seeded fourth, and we knew we’d have to all pull together to be in medal contention. We did it for our coaches and for our dads. It was a fantastic Father’s Day gift.”

SDRC coach Benton Sparks led the varsity women to bronze at U.S. Nationals.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia coached the women through their winning season, including last month’s gold at southwest regional championships.

U.S. Nationals was the final competition as SDRC rowers for two varsity women: Gibson, a graduate of La Jolla High School, will attend the University of Wisconsin on a rowing scholarship this fall, while Hoskin, a graduate of the Academy of Our Lady Peace in San Diego, heads to Fordham University on a rowing scholarship.

Two rowers will return to SDRC in the fall: Kelly, of Del Mar, who will be a senior at La Jolla Country Day School, and Renly, who will begin her junior year at University City High School.

The SDRC Women’s Varsity Team rows on Mission Bay out of its boathouse on El Carmel Point. The club has novice and varsity teams for boys and girls. SDRC is offering

2-week "Learn to Row" camps in June, July and August that offer youth (ages 10-18) a chance to enter the sport and be a part of something special.

No rowing experience is required to participate in the camps.

The San Diego Rowing Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1888 and committed to helping develop and expand the sport. The club's Juniors Program offers one of the premiere places to learn to row, developing strong athletes who go on to compete on college crew and national teams each year.

The club trains students from dozens of high schools across San Diego County, who compete in races across California and Arizona.

For more information, visit www.sdrcjrs.com., or email Chris Callaghan, director of rowing, at chris@sandiegorowing.org.
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