Burton Beach junior rowers take on regional champs, earn six medals and a spot at Nationals

The 10 junior athletes of the Burton Beach Rowing Club put the last four months of their hard work, determination and focus to the test this past weekend at USRowing’s Northwest Junior Regional Championships in Vancouver, Washington, and were not disappointed. And while it may have been one of the smallest — and youngest, both club and athletes — clubs in attendance, it made its presence known by coming home with medals in six events, a Northwest champion and two of its members heading to Nationals.

Grabbing the gold and the championship with a commanding race in the women’s lighweight single was Mabel Moses, whose no-holds-barred finish a full 30-seconds ahead of second place was very nearly missed by the officials, who were caught off-guard watching the pack.

Silver medals for second place in the Northwest went to the men’s novice double of Dylan Carmody and Mateo Nigretto-Ellner, Kate Kelly in the women’s junior varsity single and Ros Bellscheidt in the women’s novice single.

And rounding out the medal color spectrum, the women’s junior varsity double of Olivia White and Ruta Milewski, and the women’s varsity pair of Kate Kelly and Gabbie Graves, both earned bronze for third place in the Northwest, and for Kelly and Graves, an invitation to USRowing’s Youth National Championships at Lake Natoma in California, June 8 through 10.

Richard Parr, the club’s volunteer coach, noted that Ava Lorentzen’s fifth place overall in the women’s varsity single was a great accomplishment for a 14 year old competing in a field of 18 year olds.

“We’re a small, young club. And our athletes are young; there are no seniors on this team — and yet 80 percent of the team medaled,” he said. “I am so proud of the whole team, who represented themselves, and the club, well and with so much maturity, both in their races and at the event overall.”

For the next couple of weeks the focus will be on Kelly and Graves as they train for Nationals.