By Katrina Craycroft
Dallas United Crew (DUC), went head to head with the top youth rowers in the nation at the 25th annual USRowing Youth National Championship June 6-9 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla. This premier youth rowing event featured racing in 18 different categories. More than 1,600 athletes were in attendance, competing for 151 clubs and vying for a national championship title. With more than 12,000 championship youth rowing members, merely qualifying for Youth Nationals places these athletes among the superlative in their sport.
Returning to Youth Nationals for their fifth straight year, DUC qualified four boats, comprising 33 athletes after qualifying at USRowing’s Central Regional championships. DUC has earned recognition as a powerhouse team. The categories DUC raced in, Men’s and Women’s Eights, Men’s Lightweight Eight, and Men’s Quads, are the fastest and most difficult in rowing, and to compete nationally in these races is impressive, particularly from the Central Region, where rowing is emergent and has yet to gain the popularity it has in the Midwest and coastal regions.
Returning to Youth Nationals after their 4th place finish in 2018, DUC’s Men’s Quad blazed through time trials in one of the largest fields (26 entries) to be among the nine teams automatically qualified for the semi-finals. The four seniors landed in the B Final, competing for 7th through 12th rankings. With their fourth-place finish in the B Final, DUC landed among the top 10 quads in the nation.
Relatively young with only five seniors, DUC’s Men’s Eight raced in the most crowded field, with 27 entries. DUC fans were thrilled with the Eight’s best ever finish in time trials. In repechages, DUC finished a mere two seconds off C Final qualifiers Atlanta Juniors for fourth place. In the D Final, DUC battled against Boston’s Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI), rowing to a nail-biting photofinish, only four tenths of a second behind first place.
DUC’s Women’s Eight wowed fans in the repechages by qualifying for the second year in a row for the C Final, finishing third behind Portland’s Rose City Rowing Club and Boston’s CRI. At an impressive 42 strokes per minute, DUC walked past New Trier and Dayton in the last 500 meters to finish fourth, earning a 16th place finish for the second year in a row.
Returning for a second year to Youth Nationals, DUC Men’s Lightweight 8 landed in repechages after time trials, finishing seventh in the D Final.
Rowing is growing nationally at 27 percent, and this emergent sport represents the best opportunity in youth athletics to earn a collegiate scholarship.
Athletes interested in trying the ultimate team sport are encouraged to register for one (oar more!) of three four-day Learn to Row summer camps offered by DUC in July.
The DUC Women’s Varsity 8+ team: Grace Condon, Georgia Wellborn, Katrina Csaky, Ellie Rodriguez, Kat Moore, Katie Hammonds, Sryia Dodda, Rachel Craycroft and Alyssa Manganello (coxswain).
Men’s Varsity 4x
Will Beck, Bryce Miltenberger, Andrew Schweizer, Mason Gosslee
Men’s Varsity 8+
Elliott Duessel, Nik Knapp, Kristoff Csaky, Conner Alexander, Anthony Wang, Jake Lawson, Anders Ekstrom, Ben Genender, Ava Craycroft (coxswain)
Men’s Lightweight 8+
Garrett Botsch, Henry Isom, Drew Ngo, Diego Avilla, Luca Whittlemore, Brian Huang, Kian Yank, Thomas Botsch, Devon Foley (coxswain)