This past weekend, Row New Jersey sent five rowers to compete in the US Rowing Youth Regional Challenge to represent the Mid-Atlantic region. The Challenge, now in its 3rd year, features some of the top under-18 athletes from across the country to compete on a world-class race course in Sarasota, Florida.
Representing Row New Jersey were Connor Gay (Mendham), Emmett Infante (Mountain Lakes), Emily Kilroy (Mendham), Max Nusbaum (Mendham) and Andrew Treger (Summit), who participated with 379 other athletes and 60 coaches from the six US Rowing regions for a three-day camp and weekend of racing. This is a unique opportunity for rowers to race in the same boat as other regional athletes.
"What a time of year to be rowing and racing down in the warm sunshine!” stated Row New Jersey Rowing Director, Robert Welsh. “Row New Jersey is fast becoming one of the major contributors to what is essentially the Mid-Atlantic region all-star team."
The results speak for themselves with Emily Kilroy, helping the Mid-Atlantic girls deliver a top-4 finish in the finals of the Youth U17 Women’s Varsity 8+. The Row New Jersey boys helped the Mid-Atlantic region deliver six medals in the finals- including three gold and a silver medal in the Youth Men’s under-17 events, and two bronze medals in the Youth Men’s under-18 events. This ultimately helped the Mid-Atlantic boys deliver the highest total points for the challenge.
It was an exciting photo finish for two Row New Jersey athletes, and a highlight for the team, as Emmett Infante and Max Nusbaum were oppositionally placed in two cross-region 4+ boats. Nusbaum, leading the Varsity “B” boat as stroke managed to keep an even pace with the Varsity “A”, with a steady stroke rate of 37 strokes per minute (spm). As the boys neared the final stretch of the 2K race, Nusbaum pushed his team to a punishing 50 spm, to overtake the Varsity “A” in the final 150-meter sprint. Nusbaum managed to edged-out a 0.32 sec. win over his teammate with a time of 6:27.41, but both boys contributed to top-two finishes for the Mid-Atlantic region. The teammates, typically rowing together, had a blast pushing their limits in this unique head-to-head challenge.
Overall, the US Rowing Regional Challenge was a great opportunity for top Row New Jersey athletes to compete in a US rowing development camp. Each team member had the opportunity to work with other top national athletes and coaches and build on skills, and insights to achieve success at the international level.