Masters rowers shine against tough competition at Lake Stevens

  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017 10:23am
  • Sports

Following up on their dominant performance at the Husky Open, the Vashon masters women’s eight rowed to another gold at last weekend’s Spring Sprints at Lake Stevens.

It was an uncommonly calm day on the lake with no rain and even some sunshine as Vashon won eight of the 24 events they entered, capturing 13 medals overall against stiff competition from around the region.

“Many Canadian and U.S. crews competed at Lake Stevens on their way to the World Masters Championships in New Zealand next week,” Vashon Island Rowing Club coach Richard Parr said. “It was nice to see Vashon winning in such a wide variety of events.”

Parr was referring to the rare occurrence of winning a race in every boat class, as Vashon took gold in singles, doubles, pairs, quads, fours and eights.

On the women’s side, Kim Goforth, Kit Gruver and Sarah Eden won gold in three events each. The lightweight women’s quad, featuring club vets Jan Peterson, Carri Singer, Celia Congdon and Therese Smith won another in a long string of victories. Picking up where they left off at last year’s regional championships, the mixed quad of Mary Shemata, Chad Magnuson, Mark Ripley and Lea Heffernan dominated the field.

Magnuson and Ripley also won silver in the men’s double and a bronze in their first row ever in men’s pair. It also appears that a focus on mixed rowing this spring is paying dividends, as the day began with the novice double of Foss Miller and Norine Martinsen winning their race. Toward the end of the day, the mixed masters eight rowed to a second-place finish against formidable crews from Pocock and Lake Sammamish.

As for the Vashon women’s eight, their next challenge comes in two weeks at the Covered Bridge Regatta in Eugene, Oregon. Then, they’ll row in front of some 50,000 spectators at the biggest regatta of the spring, boating season’s Opening Day on the Montlake Cut at the University of Washington.

“It was a really fun day at a well-run regatta,” Parr said.

— Jeff Hoyt is a VIRC masters rower.

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