This Friday and Saturday, two boats from Culver Rowing will be competing in the heralded Scholastic Rowing Association of America's National Championships held on Dillon Lake in Ohio. The qualification came as a result of a solid performance at the Midwest Scholastic Championships May 11-12.
You can watch the races live compliments of US Rowing's Youtube channel.
The two boats to qualify include:
- The Men’s Junior 4+ team (title photo) consisting of Brendan Jarmusz '21 (Winnetka, IL), Corbin Steck '20 (Decatur, IL), Jason Dilena '20 (Tiburon, CA), Diego Gordon '20 (Ukiah, CA), and Benjamin Brummel '20 (Highlands Ranch, CO).
- The Men’s Varsity 4+ team consisting of Noah Tan '21 (Stevensville, MI), Savas Koutsouras '20 (Culver, IN), Henry Stewart '19 (Indianapolis, IN), Jacob Page '20 (Granger, IN) and Charles Jones '20 (Bloomington, IN).
You can find the full heat sheet HERE.
Expectations this year are high for both boats, as each are rife with eager individuals who have experienced success both last year as well as in the 2018-19 Culver Rowing fall campaign. Koutsouras, Stewart, Page, and Jones all took part in the boat that finished fifth overall in the Men's Youth Fours division at the 54th annual Head of the Charles Regatta in October.
The SRAA National Championships are not unfamiliar territory, either, as Culver Rowing had a boat that qualified for and competed in the 2017-18 iteration. That boat recorded a first-place finish in the Men's Junior 4+ event during the Midwest Scholastic Championships event to qualify, and two members from that unit (Jones, Page) will return this year to compete in the Men's Varsity 4+ event.
2017-18 Junior 4+: Nathan Cesarski, Charles Jones, Alex Coleman, Jacob Page, Corbin Steck, and coach Nathan Walker
Additionally, Gordon, Brummel, Tan, Koutsouras, and Stewart also competed in the 2017-18 Midwest Scholastic Championships' Novice 8 event, earning first-place and bringing home with it a championship.
“Qualifying for and performing well at nationals has been the goal of all ten of these athletes all year, and not a day has gone by when their commitment to achieving this goal has wavered in the slightest," said head coach Nathan Walker. "There’s a saying in rowing, 'everyone wants to win on race day, but it’s the dedicated few that have that same internal drive to win on random dreary and cold February practices that actually do win.' The guys in these boats have had that relentless work ethic every practice all year long. It’s a special group, certainly the strongest in sheer physical capacity of any in Culver Rowing’s illustrious history, and we’re all excited to have the chance to showcase Culver Rowing this weekend on the big stage against the fastest high school teams across the nation."
Showcasing speed and establishing Culver Rowing as one of the fastest high school teams in the country is exactly what coach Walker hopes his squads will do. Three members of the Varsity 4+ team have demonstrated their capabilities, as Stewart, Koutsouras, and Jones have the first (6:02.3), third (6:10.0), and fifth (6:17.7) fast 2K times in Culver program history, respectively. Additionally Koutsouras and Jones have been invited to US Rowing's Junior Selection Camp and Stewart, who began the sport a mere 13 months ago, was quickly picked up by the DI college ranks and will be rowing for Stanford University next year.
"Our Varsity boat is full of established successful rowers, and our Junior boat is full of athletic and hard working guys who are driven to become the stars of tomorrow's Culver Rowing program," said Walker of his line up. "Jason Dilena in the second seat, for example, wasn't even in our top novice boat last year. He has worked tremendously hard to get to this position and we are excited he has this opportunity."
Be sure to follow Culver Rowing on Twitter to stay up-to-date with this weekend's results!