Burton Beach rowers continue record of success in college

Some of the club’s alumni were excelling last weekend in their respective college programs.

While current Burton Beach rowers geared up for Regionals this week in Vancouver, Washington, some of the club’s alumni were excelling last weekend in their respective college programs.

Kate Kelly, a 2020 graduate of Vashon High School, won silver in the Women’s Varsity 8 for the University of Virginia’s Women’s crew, which claimed the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Kelly was a founding member of the Burton Beach Rowing Club (BBRC) in 2018 and still rows with the club when she’s on the island.

“The support system back home and the amazing group of rowers and the coaching staff here at Virginia have allowed me to push myself further than I ever think I can,” said Kelly.

She will be attending the Intercollegiate Rowing Association’s Men’s Collegiate National Championship, held June 2-4 in New Jersey. Her brother Davis, who also rowed for BBRC, graduated from Vashon High School in 2022. He took the bronze in the JV-8 rowing for Brown University in the Eastern Sprints. Harvard and Princeton won the race.

Another founding BBRC alum, sophomore Gabbie Graves, was in the University of Michigan’s first Varsity 8 that won the gold medal at the Big 10 Championships in Indianapolis, helping her team to the overall conference title.

On Sunday, BBRC alumni Brigit O’Rourke rowed to silver in the University of Washington’s Varsity Four and the Pac-12 Championship. The Husky Four finished second to a very powerful crew from Stanford.

Burton Beach’s only current high school senior, Ella Jones, has committed to the Huskies for the upcoming fall.

Dylan Carmody, another founding member of the BBRC and a 2022 VHS graduate, rowed in the Junior Varsity Eight for the University of Jacksonville at the Dad Vail this weekend in Philadelphia. His eight had equipment problems in the semi, but responded with a great race to win the B final.

“It’s exciting to see so many of our rowers continuing to see success in the sport,” said BBRC coach Richard Parr. “And what’s even better is that they return and row with us when they’re on the island. Our young rowers are so fortunate to have such amazing role models who are always willing to hop in a boat with them.”