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PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association’s (OPRA) youth members had a strong showing recently at Ergomania, the Pacific Northwest’s Indoor Rowing championship.
Also competing were adult members of both OPRA and Port Townsend’s Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club.
Ergomania is an indoor regatta where athletes of all ages compete in a variety of races on rowing machines known as ergometers.
The race typically attracts contestants from throughout the Pacific Northwest region from beginner teens to high school and collegiate rowers, recreational and masters rowers as well as Olympic champions.
The event attracted 425 entries from five states and two countries; including 213 high school athletes and 50 middle school rowers.
“I am very, very proud of our athletes and coaches,” OPRA president John Halberg said of OPRA’s second time competing at Ergomania.
“We will be back next year.”
OPRA Youth Rowing coach Rodrigo Rodrigues, who relocated to Port Angeles from Brazil to work with OPRA’s young athletes this past fall, is a “world-class rowing coach,” Halberg said. (See photo on Page B6 in Scoreboard).
With just four months work with the OPRA youth, “we were able to do good,” Halberg said.
“With some more months and years, we will be able to do more and more.”
Rodrigues lauded several youth rowers who brought home medals.
That included Stevens Middle School eighth grader Royce Duncan, who received a gold medal for his first-place finish with a time of 1:43.5 in the 13-year-old Middle School Boys 500-meter final, with teammate Gabe Wegener a close second at 1:44.6.
Fellow middle schoolers Nate and Ryan Adamire finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the same event.
Davian Wood, also a Stevens eighth grader, placed first in the Middle School Boys 500-meter final for age 14 with a time of 1:41.6. It was the first such competition for Wood and Wegener, and second for Duncan.
OPRA’s Hannah Officer, a Stevens eighth grader, almost pulled off an upset victory in her first competition, finishing second in a field of five in the Women’s Coxswain’s 500 dash with a score of 1:59.6, just barely behind winner Danya Axelrad-Hasum of University of Puget Sound at 1:59.2.
Officer also was the second finisher in the 14-year-old Middle School Girls dash.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, handily won the Men’s Coxswain 500 dash with a time of 1:42.2.
Other OPRA middle school competitors included Kristina Kennedy of Queen of Angels, who claimed sixth in the Middle School 13-year-old Girls Final with a time of 1:52.8, with teammate Jennifer Danielson immediately behind in seventh with a time of 1:53.3 in a field of 14.
OPRA’s Nick Lasorsa, a Port Angeles High School junior, easily won the Junior Boys 1,000-meter Open Weight final with a time of 3:10.5.
Lasorsa also competed in the Junior Boys Open Weight 2,000 final, finishing 19th out of 39 in an extremely competitive and fast field.
Also competing in two races was OPRA’s Aubree Officer. The Port Angeles High School sophomore, competing against older and more experienced juniors and seniors from Seattle, finished 14th in the highly competitive field of 35 in the Junior Girls Light Weight 2,000 final.
Aubree received a gold medal in the Junior Girls 1,000 Light-Weight event.
In the adult races, Port Townsend Mari Friend of the Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club won the Masters Women ages 60-69 Light-Weight final with a time of 8:47.9, beating out her Rat Island teammates Ann Weinmann, who finished second with a time of 9:12.6, and Jana Fili, who took third at 9:26.8.
Rat Island’s Connie Voight won the Master Women’s Ages 70-79 2,000 Open Weight final with a time of 9:55.5.
OPRA’s Linda Allen of Sequim was second in the Masters Women’s Ages 50-59 2,000 Light-Weight with a time of 8:10.4.
Rat Island’s Lorraine Rimson finished third with a time of 8:01.3 in the Masters Women’s ages 40-49 2,000 Open Weight Final.
OPRA is looking for more rowers.
“We need more people,” Rodrigues said.
“Our door is open to receive everybody who wants to row, or to know about rowing.”
For more information, email Halberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 360-928-3341.
For information about Rat Island Rowing and Sculling, contact Mari Friend at email@example.com or call 360-301-0596.