Marina Aquatic Center (MAC) Junior Rowers earned two national championship trophies and a total of three medals out of three events entered in the US Rowing Youth Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio June 11th through 13th.
In the women’s single sculls event of the Grand Final, El Segundo High School junior—Maureen O’Hanlon came charging back as the finish line loomed and nearly pulled off the complete comeback against Denver-based Mile High Rowing Club and Cincinnati’s Ursuline Academy, missing the silver medal by only .3 seconds, coaches said.
O’Hanlon rejoined teammates Rockie Curdes, Chloe Kojima,—Grace Riccardi and coxswain—Chelsea Shannon—in the Women’s Varsity Four Grand Final where they made MAC history. As they were 750 meters into the race the crew from Marina Aquatic Center pulled away—from—the rest of the field on their way to a two-and-a-half length victory in a wind-aided, course-record time of 7:08.4, coaches said. It was the first ever championship for a MAC women’s crew.
An hour later, the men’s team lined up for the Grand—Final of the Men’s Lightweight Eight, which quickly became a three-boat race between MAC, Newport Aquatic Center and the Marin Rowing Association. Near the half-way marker MAC began a charge with a call from cox’n Justin Breidenbach and ended up on the medals podium with MAC’s second victory celebration of the day.
The men’s team, which completed 39 strokes per minute from the 500-meter mark on, defeated both the defending national champions from Newport and the heavily favored Marin men to claim the second-ever national championship in MAC men’s team history. This performance was turned in by stroke Matthew France, Jonathan Dobson, Adam Nunziato, Dylan Visher, Kevin Costopoulos, Eliot Harper, Max Morrison and Matthew Rude, with Breidenbach at the helm.
“All in all, a remarkable set of performances by a remarkable group of athletes. It’s an honor and a privilege to have been a part of it,” MAC Head Coach Zohar Abramowitz said.