The North Palm Beach Rowing Club finished the regular season with the club’s best-ever results at the Florida State Sculling Championship, held April 8-9th in Sarasota, FL. Five of the club’s six boats entered advanced, with three to Finals and two to Petite Finals. Of those 5 boats, all finished at least 8th or above in the entire state. As you read the results, bear in mind that every single one of the talented rowers named is in their first year of rowing….so the future is looking very bright for our young team.
NPBRC’s Gracie Leon, age 16, earned a SILVER medal in the Girls’ Junior 1x, making her the second fastest junior (11th grade and below) sculler in Florida. With poise and grit, Gracie finished with a time of 6:58.8, just 4.3 seconds off of Jacksonville and a full 16 seconds faster than the next boat in the pack. Gracie’s winning streak began at her first regatta in the fall of 2016. She has medaled in every regatta she’s raced in this year.
NPBRC’s Kolton Paxson, age 16, won his Boys Junior 1x Heat in a commanding fashion to enter Sunday’s Final, where he placed 4th against the fastest junior boys’ scullers in the state. Kolton finished in 6:25.6, a solid finish for a rower who, like the rest of his teammates, continues to add speed with each and every practice.
Our Girls Lightweight (LW) 2x of Aryana Ramsey and Madison Chuchla, ages 17, advanced from their first Heat to a Repechage on Saturday. Their “first place” finish in the Repechage guaranteed them a spot in Sunday’s Final. In a barn-burner of a race that ended in a photo finish, the girls finished 4th in the state – just one tenth of a second off of securing a bronze medal.
Our Boys LW 1x, Dominic Pagan, 17, also advanced through a tough heat and a Repechage on Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s Petite Final. Dominic won the Petite Final handily, betting the 2nd place finisher by 5.3 seconds and placing 7th in the state with a time of 6:49.1.
Facing a fierce field of 21 entries, NPBRC’s Boys Freshman 2x of Grafton Gore (14) and Jonah Kotzen (16) fought their way through a Heat and Repechage on Saturday to qualify for the Petite Final on Sunday, where they finished 2nd. Their time of 6:24.8 put them 8th in the state of Florida overall.
Our Girls Freshman 2x duo of Marcella Adams-Grimaldi (15) and Summer Scott (16) also raced in one of the most competitive events of the regatta against a field of 14 boats. The girls finished 7th in their heat, narrowly missing a chance to advance to the repechage.
Special thanks go to our parents and coaches, without whom none of this success would be possible. This is just the start for NPBRC’s young team. Commitment, character, sound coaching and the indelible bonds of friendship make this a truly exceptional team. Quite a few NPBRC rowers will continue to train in our Summer Rowing Session and compete throughout the summer in races around North America. NPBRC will also offer a summer camp for new rowers (no experience required) from June 5th-16th, followed by continued training for novices throughout the summer. It is truly never too late to pick up an oar!