SARASOTA, FL - Row New Jersey sent five rowers to compete in the US Rowing Youth Regional Challenge in Sarasota, FL, to represent the Mid-Atlantic region. The Challenge, now in its third year, features top under-18 athletes from across the country competing on a world-class race course.

Representing Row New Jersey were Andrew Treger (Summit), Connor Gay (Mendham), Emmett Infante (Mountain Lakes), Emily Kilroy (Mendham) and Max Nusbaum, who participated with 379 other athletes and 60 coaches from the six US Rowing regions for a three-day camp and weekend of racing.

The Challenge represents 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."

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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 -- ultimately helping 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.

For more information on Row New Jersey, winter training, or spring racing, visit rownj.org or contact Robert Welsh at rwelsh@rownj.org.