After having competed only a year and a half in rowing, California Yacht Club (CYC) Junior rowers Anna Rasmussen and Katie O’Hanlon captured gold at the 2007 USRowing Club National Championships.

Rasmussen and O’Hanlon crossed the finish line with a commanding lead in the Women’s Junior Double Sculls 2007 Club National Finals in New Jersey July 20th, nearly four seconds ahead of second-place finishers Quad City Rowing from Moline, Illinois.

Rasmussen and O’Hanlon competed against a field of 28 boats over three days to earn their gold medals.

Rasmussen, who will be a senior at Marlborough School in Los Angeles this fall, and O’Hanlon, who will be a senior at El Segundo High School, are actively looking at Division 1 college rowing programs starting in 2008.

The local club also sent three novice junior rowers to the Club National Regatta who, along with a second-year comrade, made it to the Women’s Quadruple Sculls Finals, as well, in New Jersey.

In the “Quad,” California Yacht Club Junior Rowing placed fifth overall out of 18 boats at the Club National Championships with Gaby Zarate de Macedo, who will enter her senior year at Immaculate Heart High; Becky Waldorf, entering her senior year at Marlborough School; Ariana Chehrazi, also entering her senior year at Marlborough School; and Lindsay Pollock in bow, who will enter her senior year at Windward School.

Junior Rowing head coach Guillermo Lemus offered an explanation on how the relatively inexperienced junior rowers have become nationally-ranked athletes.

“Rowing has a special appeal to athletes who have competed at other sports,” Lemus said. “At our club we train these young athletes in small boats, so that they get a better feel for the stroke and improvement is quicker.”