Palmetto, Southeast, Manatee rowers make most of 'Sweeps' petite races

Petite races show how rowing teams have progressed

rdymond@bradenton.comApril 29, 2013 

SARASOTA -- Palmetto, Southeast and Manatee high schools were not able to mount the victory stand after the two-day Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sweep Championships were completed Sunday at Nathan Benderson World Class Water Aquatics Park in Sarasota.

But Trish Jackson, coach for Manatee County Youth Rowing, said a lot of accomplishment was not revealed by the final times.

"We didn't win any medals, but we had a lot of victories," Jackson said. "We had personal goals that were set and achieved."

The best example might be the Palmetto Varsity Girls 8, who came in first in their petite final. Petite races involve schools that did not qualify for the grand final.

The Palmetto Varsity Girls 8 missed qualifying Saturday for the semifinals by fractions of a second.

By winning their petite race Sunday, the Tiger Varsity Girls 8 claim eighth place in the state, Jackson said.

"It was a very good race,"

Jackson said of the win over Bolles School of Jacksonville. "They came off the line even and it was a fight for first place all the way. They were constantly exchanging bows."

Bolles took more strokes per minute -- 32 to 29 for Palmetto -- but the Tigers' greater power application per stroke kept them in the 1,500-meter race, Jackson said.

"In the last 250 meters, Palmetto brought it up to 30 strokes a minute and Bolles brought it up to a 36, but Palmetto won," Jackson said.

The Tigers include sophomores Hannah McCollough, Colleen Monaghan and coxswain Callie Bedford; juniors Brandi Achenbach and Sammy Thiesing; and seniors Erin Monaghan, Brooke Mailloux, Stephanie Brouwerand Shelby Falsetti.

Rowers gain experience

Palmetto is in its third season of rowing, Southeast in its second and Manatee in its first.

Other schools entered in this weekend have been rowing since the 1960s.

The three local schools clearly are making progress, Jackson said.

"I think our times were faster this year," Jackson said. "Our technique is better than last year. Also, when you see kids fight for placement in the finals and not get it and shake the row off and go on to next one, you know they are learning it takes more than strength. It takes guts to get out there.

"They have a realistic understanding that the competition is fierce and they are racing against kids more experienced," Jackson said. "But I am pleased to say it doesn't intimidate them."

Manatee High junior Jarrett Tsai, a member of the Manatee Junior 4 boat, said he has learned rowing requires commitment, hard work and dedication.

"Everyone out here has a competitive nature," Jarrett said Saturday. "This is not for someone looking for an easy sport to play. I played freshman football and never had to work as hard as I am now."

Led by Jarrett, Manatee's Junior 4 boat came in fourth in its petite final, Jackson said, to rank No. 11 in state.

That boat includes Jarrett Tsai, Cole Tomlin, Joshua Swan, coxswain Cody Tsaiand Alex Martinez.

The Palmetto Boys Varsity 4 came in third in its petite final, Jackson said.

"They will now rank ninth in the state," Jackson said.

That boat includes Todd Chastain, Trevor Lovett, coxswain Emily Whisenant, Grant Fletcher and Luke Myhree.

Palmetto's Varsity 4 B boat came in fourth in its petite final racing against Palmetto's A boat. The B boat will finish 10th in state, Jackson said.

The finish time for the Palmetto Varsity 4 A boat was 5:23.75 and the "B" boat clocked 5:31.29 running next to each other in the same heat.

The B boat includes Gus Brouwer, Courtland Higgins, Clayton Flournoy, Bo Wessel and coxswain Jackie Roberts.

Southeast High's Boys Varsity 4 came in second in petite two, good for No. 14 overall in state, Jackson said.

That boat includes Austin Teaford, Krishna Munhundan, Kaden Henslick, Connor Yaryura and coxswain Coral Nimz.

Southeast's Girls Junior 8 came in third in their petite final, putting them ninth overall in state.

That boat includes Courtney Converse, Erin Fenske, Taylor Barnard, Emily Bailey, Dani Burton, Miranda Johnson, Sabrina Watson, Amber Davis and coxswain Cameron Evans.

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