Tor Ormseth and Rohin Petram sit in their double before racing to a personal best time of 6:55 in the repechage at the Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. (Jordan Petram Photo)

Tor Ormseth and Rohin Petram sit in their double before racing to a personal best time of 6:55 in the repechage at the Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. (Jordan Petram Photo)

Vashon Island Rowing Club juniors earn spot in top 18 at Nationals

  • Wednesday, June 12, 2019 12:42pm
  • Sports

In past years, it’s been a bittersweet badge of honor. Most of the past 15 or so years have seen the Vashon Island Rowing Club (VIRC) send senior rowers to the Youth National Championships on the same weekend as high school graduation, costing them the privilege of walking across the Vashon High School stage to accept their diplomas with their friends.

The timing has been more fortuitous in recent years, allowing VIRC’s 2019 seniors Tor Ormseth and Rohin Petram to not only compete at Nationals last weekend in Florida, but also to walk the stage at graduation ceremonies back home on the island the following weekend.

Rowing against the nation’s best junior athletes at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, June 6 through 9, Ormseth and Petram pushed through a heat index that topped 100 degrees to finish fifth in the final race of their VIRC rowing careers. Coming in the C Final, the result slotted Ormseth and Petram at 17th overall in the nation.

Ormseth and Petram, top, as racing gets underway at Nationals. (Jordan Petram Photo)

Ormseth and Petram, top, as racing gets underway at Nationals. (Jordan Petram Photo)

“Over the past five years, Tor and I have experienced a lot of racing against some seriously fast crews,” said Petram. “This weekend we faced some of the toughest competition that we have ever had to go up against.”

“I think that both of us are proud of where we ended up,” said Ormseth, “and the races we had were a great way to finish up our high school rowing careers.”

Boats must finish in the top three in their qualifying regatta in order to even earn an invite to Youth Nationals, so the field that travelled to Sarasota represented the best crews in the country. After a time trial on Thursday, Ormseth and Petram rowed a personal best of 6:55 in the repechage round on Friday, setting up their final race on Saturday.

“In the last year and a half, I have gotten to watch Tor and Rohin grow into respectful young men,” said VIRC coach Ben Steele. “Their actions as leaders have not only shaped themselves, but have been a guiding force for our younger members.”

After graduation, Petram will attend and row for the University of Washington this fall. His rowing partner Ormseth will attend and row for Oregon State, setting up many opportunities for the good friends to line up on the starting line against each other at Pac-12 regattas throughout their college careers.

“They have been an intricate part of establishing our team culture at VIRC, which thrives on being a devoted family,” said Steele. “It was a pleasure to be their coach, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish both on and and off the water.”

— Written by Jeff Hoyt, a VIRC masters rower.

More in Sports

Burton Beach Rowing Club crews finish 11th and 17th at Youth Nationals

This past weekend, three junior athletes from the Burton Beach Rowing Club… Continue reading

Vashon Island Rowing Club juniors earn spot in top 18 at Nationals

In past years, it’s been a bittersweet badge of honor. Most of… Continue reading

Experiencing the Vashon Ultra for the first time

“My body wasn’t conditioned enough for this race. But I’ll be ready next year for the 10.75-mile run.”

In its 10th year, Vashon Ultra draws runners from near and far

The 50k had an unheard-of finishing rate of 97%, with 61 runners completing the course.

Islanders row from Tacoma to Port Townsend

Duo rowed all through the night in rough water with waves from all directions.

Track sends three girls to State competition

Will compete in respective events on Friday and Saturday.

Soccer team heads to State semi-finals

A win will put the Pirates into the finals at Sumner’s Sunset-Chevrolet stadium Saturday.

Burton Beach Rowing Club qualifies two boats for Nationals

Fifteen of young club’s athletes came home with medals from NW Regional championships

Vashon Island Rowing Club juniors compete at Regionals

Several VIRC boats finished well enough in their heats to qualify for the finals.

Baseball finishes season strong

An exciting season was played with heart, said coach Marc McCann.

Pirate soccer team heads to State competition

The boys will compete in the Division championship after a hard-fought win.

Track teams placed third, fifth in League competition

Championship saw all six of the Nisqually league schools come to Vashon.