By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
With three crews and the organization’s usual boatload of optimism, the Everett Rowing Association is looking forward to strong races and perhaps medals for top-three finishes at this weekend’s USRowing Youth National Championships in Oakridge, Tenn.
Everett has entries in the men’s lightweight eight, the women’s lightweight eight and the men’s four at the regatta, which opens today and continues through Sunday at Melton Lake.
The three boats qualified at the regional championships, held May 18-19 at Vancouver Lake in Vancouver. All three placed second in finals, with the top three advancing to nationals.
The national championships begin with qualifying races, and the top six boats in each event move on to the grand finals.
“The kids are real passionate and really focused about what they’re doing, and they’ve definitely gained speed since regionals,” association director Pasha Spencer said. “So we’re expecting big things.
“We’re always hoping to be in the grand finals at nationals … and our expectation is that we’re going to be in there with all three boats.”
Everett has had success with its lightweight crews in recent years, including a national title in 2008 with the men’s lightweight eight.
The men’s lightweight eight includes Drew Kristjanson (Meadowdale High School), Connor Murray (Bothell), brothers Conrad and Elliott Forde (Archbishop Murphy), Ryan Foster (Arlington), Tim Shur (Archbishop Murphy), Ian Ferguson (Kamiak), Jack Byrne (Archbishop Murphy) and coxswain Mitchell Borseth (Archbishop Murphy).
The women’s lightweight eight includes Kiriko Anthony (Monroe), Julia Brodie (Archbishop Murphy), Haley Finley (Everett), Jessica Hochanadel (Glacier Peak), Summer Keyes (Arlington), Samantha Schwisow (Kamiak), Malia Wendling (Archbishop Murphy), Emily O’Hare (Jackson) and coxswain Samantha Alexander (Snohomish).
The men’s four includes David Shur (Jackson), Eric Engel (Snohomish), Griffin Siadek (Lake Stevens), Beau Skalley (Archbishop Murphy) and coxswain Amber Cary (Archbishop Murphy).
The latter team “has a really good chance of bringing home a medal,” Spencer said.
A year ago Everett had two boats in grand finals, and the women’s four placed third.