Port Rowing takes home silver medal at national youth championships

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Port Rowing took home silver medals at the national youth championships in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Port Rowing)

Port Rowing took home a silver medal at the Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida, last weekend.

Seniors Lindsay Rust of Roslyn and Carter Shields of Port Washington completed the 2,000-meter stretch in 7:41.23, defeating the third-place team by two seconds.

The girls qualified for the national championship race after winning a gold medal at the state championships in Saratoga Springs on May 12. Shields and Rust took home a gold medal last year as well.

Port Rowing coach Michiel Bartman said that Rust and Shields worked “incredibly hard” to get where they did.

Last year, the girls placed seventh at the national championship when they were juniors, he said, and they were eager to improve for this year’s national regatta.

Bartman said that teams practice six days a week during the race season and Shields and Rust took it upon themselves to complete additional workouts on their own time.  

“If you really put in the extra energy it usually pays off,” Bartman said. “And it really showed with their performance last weekend.”

Port Rowing had three teams qualify for the national championship, which Bartman said is a lot of crews for one program.

“A lot of programs are only able to qualify one boat,” Bartman said. “With three, it means we are one of the top programs.”

The Mens Lightweight Youth Four team came in fifth place in its race and the girls lightweight had a respectable finish, according to Holly Byrne, executive director of Friends of Port Rowing.

The fifth-place team completed the 2,000-meter race in 6:52.340.

Bartman said that the Youth National Championship is the conclusion of the racing season, which typically begins in March.

Many of the seniors on the Port Rowing team are going to row in college and have been recruited by colleges such as Stanford, the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.

The team, which began in 2011, consists of 55 boys rowing on the high school level, 35 high-school-age female rowers and 40 children on the middle school team.

Bartman began rowing at the age of 12 as something to do for fun, he said, and continued to row through college.

After college, he and his team went on to compete in the world championships, and shortly after Bartman went on to qualify for the Olympic Games in which he won a silver medal.

In the offseason, Bartman and Port Rowing host summer programs for middle school and high school rowers and a learn-to-row program for adults.

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