Marin Rowing Sends Four 8+’S to 2019 Youth Nationals

The 2018-2019 season comes to an end with an incredible showing at the 2019 USRowing Youth Nationals Invitational Regatta, June 6-9. Marin represented just 4 of 417 total crews that competed over the course of 4 days in humid and hot Sarasota, FL. Marin Rowing has a history of sending multiple crews to Nationals but 2019 marks the first year we represented in all four 8+ categories.

In a word the weekend was unforgettable. Every day and every race was a battle. Let’s set the scene. To start we are racing at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL. At 80% humidity in 90 degree temperatures racers have to quickly adapt to a new environment in order to fend off dehydration and extreme fatigue. You are on the National Stage and the pressure to perform increases with each race. The regatta spans over the course of FOUR days. Sometimes with a race everyday. And each one pushes you to your “peak performance” aka your ultimate max. To be successful you have to be unwavering and consistent in your execution of each race. You must back bounce quickly from setbacks. And above all else, you must fight for every single stroke.

Qualified crews who attend Nationals are tested daily on their mental and physical capacity to drive their boat toward the finish line. Stroke seat of the Men’s V8+ sums it up pretty well, “every single day was a knock-out race… with the pressure increasing every race and I think that type of environment helped us perform the best we could.” Henry was one of 24 Marin Rowing Athletes to attend Nationals for the first time.

Women’s Lightweight 8+

The highlight of the weekend was the Women’s Lightweight 8+ who captured a silver medal in the grand final! The road to silver started by the crew posting the second fastest time in the time trial sending them directly to the Semi Final on Saturday. The semi tested the maturity and grit of these racers as they stampeded down the race course with one rower on the square from an equipment malfunction. Despite the 10+ crabs they caught the crew remained focused and persistent resulting in a photo finish for FIRST sending them to the grand final the next day.

Graduating Senior and Team Captain Moka Gagnon describes the weekend as unforgettable. “Not knowing any future outcome is stressful, but we[my boat] stuck together and leaned on each other when we needed it. We had full trust and full speed ahead. Dara Noonan adds, “the most challenging part of the weekend for me was making sure we were all resting, recovering, and refueling. I had to constantly remind myself to drink water, especially because of the Florida heat and humidity… Looking back at this years nationals I’ll remember all of the sportsmanship and selflessness that helped us succeed.”

The weekend culminated with an exciting grand final and a silver medal. Moka walks us through the final, “I believe that the best race was our final. Right off the bat, we were down on most crews, sitting in 4th place, but that didn't discourage us. Lily Wieland, our coxswain has an amazing racing and competitive attitude, she quickly adapted to the race and gave us the calls that we were needing. In that final sprint we overtook Sarasota Crew, and landed ourselves in 2nd place. One Heart. One Drive. One Boat.”

Men’s Varsity 8+

The Men’s Varsity 8+ had an incredibly exciting set of races. Starting with the time trial at the start of the regatta. The Men’s V8+ posted the 10th fastest time trial which sent them to the repechage the next day (3/10ths of a second faster and the boat would have advanced directly to the semi finals on Saturday avoiding the extra race.) The boat then battled through the rep and the semi final to be the only boat to make the grand final coming out of the reps.

As expected the Grand Final for the Men’s V8+ was extremely competitive down the entire course with all 6 competing crews in contact with one another at various points of the race.  The Marin boys held on tight and managed to push themselves into a position to earn a bronze medal but in the last 200 meters were passed by Connecticut based Greenwich Crew and fellow bay area team, Capital Crew.

Senior and Team Captain Gabe Mandossian and 2 seat of the V8 was disappointed to end his tenure at Marin Rowing but at the same time, he was proud. “Considering how young and inexperienced the crew was, they stepped up. They stayed patient and kept the focus internal… throughout the entire weekend I just kept saying, do not give up. Do not give up. Do not give up. And the boat never did. We fought the entire weekend.

Women’s Varsity 8+

The Women’s Varisty 8+ led by graduating senior and captain, Lulu Gebbie end the regatta in 4th place of the B Final (10th overall). Lulu describes the weekend as emotional and disappointing. The V8+ missed the grand final by placing 4th in their semi-final by 8/10ths of a second.  “Despite the results, we still had a really fun weekend and bonded with each other. We all had each other’s backs and were there for each other, says Lulu.

After winning a Gold Medal at Southwest Regionals just weeks before Nationals it will definitely sting for a little bit. But as rowers, we all know that it’s not all about winning, it’s about the process. The result by no means discredits the tremendous amount of work these girls put in and the amount of progress made. Since September the girls have been hard at work sometimes putting in triple day practices. In the end, this young crew gained invaluable experience that will serve them for the rest of their rowing careers.

Men’s Lightweight 8+

The Men’s Lightweight 8+ kicked the weekend off by posted the 15th fastest time in the time trial sending them to the repechage the next day. Those who advance out of the repechage prove to be a mature group of racers with a ton of tenacity which resulted in Marin winning the rep and advancing to the semi-final. Note: only first place makes it to the semi-final, it is a dog fight.

The lightweight men went on to place 5th in the semi sending them to the B Final where they lead the field for the first 1900 of the race. In the last 100 meters competitive Row America Rye pushed into first resulting in a second place finish for the Marin Lightweight Men (8th overall.)


Women’s Lightweight 8+
C: Lily Wieland
8: Dara Noonan
7: Briehana Morgan
6: Moka Gagnon
5: Anais Gorek
4: Sage Wieland
3: Sophie Nagle
2: Stella Naylor
1: Francesca Donovan

Men’s Varsity 8+
C: Thomas Allen
8: Henry Mills
7: Keith Ryan
6: Luca Unkovic
5: Matthew Wagner
4: Jack Giebler
3. Angus Gosman
2: Gabriel Mandossian
1: Ezekiel Johnson

Women’s Varsity 8+
C: Emma Bradish
8: Lulu Gebbie
7: Julietta Camahort
6: Elizabeth Gardner
5: Sophie Byrne
4: Emily Ferron
3: Caroline Atkeson
2: Rivca Chaver
1: Katherine Mullin

Men’s Lightweight 8+
C: Will Zec
8: Erik Henzl
7: Samuel Gregoire
6: Gian Sandhu
5: Carter Sharp
4: CJ Bowes
3: Aidan Walkeryee
2: Justin Abbey
1: Nicholas Alioto-Pier

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