AJR Lightweight Men’s 8+ Compete at Youth Nationals

AJR sent its first ever Lightweight Men’s entry to USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. After a great two days of racing, they placed 17th overall – beating out many crews that had clocked faster times against them over the course of the season. The boat included:  Cox: Sammy Houdaigui, Stroke: Shannon Mahan, 7: Luca Arvanitis, 6: Jack Foster, 5: Pascal Evans, 4: Jack Statter, 3: Michael Primmer, 2: Nate Smitherman, Bow: Nathan Porath. 2019 marked the 7th time a boat from Annapolis Junior Rowing program attended Youth Nationals in our 10 year existence. You can see Coach Davis’ full report below.

Coach Davis’ Report on the Weekend:

As a team, we overcame the odds. A gambler would not have put money on our boys and would have lost. Because these boys were (and are) winners.

Today, like most days, they did exactly as I asked. They went after 1st place in the Repechage. No setting their sights on 3rd just to make the C Final. If they petered out striving to reach the Semis, it would be worth the effort. The cost, D Final instead of C Final. It’s just a letter and worth the gamble to know you gave it your all. And they did! For 1500 meters they raced like serious Youth National Finalist contenders. In the last 400 meters Pocock Rowing Center moved on them. It happens to the best. For anyone who missed the Livestream, if you want to see great racing by AJR, possibly the best ever at Youth Nationals, check out the You Tube replay. (https://youtu.be/VBNm2ralHtc, go to 4:19:30)
Holding our heads high, we took a break from the race course for a couple hours and returned for the boys to race one last time, in the D Final. Once again, the boys did what was asked of them: Go out and race as hard as you can; no regrets; hold nothing back. If you missed the Livestream, watch it on YouTube and beam with AJR pride. Our boys really went for it. A phenomenal start found them clearly in the lead and for over 1,000 meters holding nearly a length over New Canaan, New Trier and Saugatuck among others – crews with reputations that proceed them but also found themselves in the D Final this year. With 500 meters to go we were still hanging on to the lead but could not endure. That last stretch was a noble battle to maintain the lead. We lost it, but it was as impressive and intense a day of racing as any youthrower could expect to experience in his career. For a crew so young and light, our boys did great. They did AJR proud and helped put Annapolis Juniors on the map. Just listen to the race announcer. (https://youtu.be/wbRrHCdQXeU go to 1:33:40, the point our Final starts.)