2012 USRowing Youth National Championships: RR Picks and Predictions

Here at RowingRelated, we're all about knowledge, and putting knowledge to use. In keeping with this idea, below you'll find the 2012 RR Picks and Predictions for USRowing Youth Nationals–a more comprehensive list of predictions full of information you won't find anywhere else–as well as crews to watch, courtesy of the RR Research Department. SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you wish to know what is going to happen this weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Women's 1x:
We expect to see a serious battle in this event between Harvard bound Rosie Grinalds from GMS (formerly of Connecticut Boat Club) and last year's winner Stanford bound Taylor Burdge from Tampa. Don't be surprised if the young up and coming phenom Elizabeth Sharis makes some serious noise this weekend and gets on the medal stand. and Cicely Madden from CRI (formerly of BB&N) will also be in the medal hunt. Look for Syracuse bound Alex Zadravec of GMS and young Kendall Brewer of Texas Rowing Center to round out the final. Victoria Bujala will also be looking to crack the final, but might find herself on the outside looking in when Sunday's finals arrive in this loaded event.

1. Rosie Grinalds (GMS)
2. Taylor Burdge (Tampa)
3. Cicely Madden (CRI)
4. Elizabeth Sharis (Y-Quad Cities)
5. Alex Zadravec (GMS)
6. Kendall Brewer (Texas Rowing Center)

Men's 1x:
We are picking Oliver Salonna who has gone sub-6:10 on the erg from Dallas to win this year's event. Though we expect some serious competition from the likes of Seattle Rowing Center's Chris Wales coached by Conal Groom, Bobby Vernazza of Serra High School and Ezra Carlson from Humboldt. Max Ferguson from Miami Beach Rowing Club and Isaac Mocarski from Narragansett Boat Club in Rhode Island will also be in the conversation.

1. Oliver Salonna (Dallas Rowing Club)
2. Chris Wales (Seattle Rowing Center)
3. Bobby Vernazza (Serra)
4. Max Ferguson (Miami Beach)
5. Ezra Carlson (Humboldt)
6. Isaac Mocarski (Narragansett)

We are picking the CRI duo of Beth Kazimer and Lena Randle, finalists in this event at last year's regatta, to win this event, although they will be pressed by Seattle Rowing Center's Brianna Loudoux and Nicole Lukas and River City Rowing Club's Amy Platencamp and Eleni Spanos. The other crew to watch will be the New Canaan combination of Bea Tobey and Veronica Hoeft who will be back to win in 2013 if they don't pull it off this weekend.

1. CRI
2. Seattle Rowing Center
3. New Canaan
4. River City Rowing Club
5. South Jersey
6. Sarasota

We are picking a state of Connecticut sweep in men's light weight double. The GMS combination of Blaze Kelly and Michael Senf will be very strong should battle with the Francisco Viacava coached Miami Beach Rowing CLub entry of Lucas Di Lena and Fernando Tavara. Y-Quad Cities' John and Chris Tinsman will be looking to get in the medals. The Norwalk crew of Stefan Petreski and Kyle Mikesh will also have some good speed as will the GMS B entry of Jake Snyder and Tim Kile. We are selecting Zak Jatkowski and Andrew Seslei from Detroit to round out the final with malvern, St. Joe Prep and Pacific all fighting to get in as well.

1. GMS
2. Miami Beach Rowing Club
3. Y-Quad Cities
4. Norwalk
5. GMS B
6. Detroit Boat Club

Women's 2x:
This should prove to be a great final when Sunday rolls around as we will see some well-trained, well-coached athletes in this event. We are backing the Saugatuck entry of Louisa Freeman and Jo Gurman. The Long Beach Rowing Association and the GMS entry will be very strong. Each of them includes a member of the 2011 Junior National Team quad that finsihed 4th in Eton last August (Mackenzi Sherman will be in the Long Beach boat and includes Erin Reelick will be racing for GMS). Vashon Island will be strong with Emily Kehoe and Avalon Koenig. The Orlando crew of Christine Cavallo and Elizabeth Kelley and the Long Beach Junior Crew of Katy Newmarker and Reilly Hayes are no slouches either. It should be quite the battle! Conestoga, Y-Quad Cities, Lake Union and Stanford Rowing Center will be hoping to upset a crew or two to get in the final.

1. Saugatuck
2. Long Beach Rowing Association
3. GMS
4. Vashon Island
5. Orlando Area Rowing
6. Long Beach Junior Crew

Men's 2x:
Narragansett is the favorite and should have the right combination of power, skill and experience in Robert Wagner and Chase Buchholz to get the job done when it counts. Look for a challenge from Vashon Island's Ryan Bingham and Gus Magnuson and Malvern's Robert Smith and Chris Frey. The other crew to watch is Humboldt which will feature Ezra Carlson doubling from the 1x. Dallas, Saratoga and Miami Beach will also be hoping to make a statement.

1. Narragansett
2. Vashon Island
3. Malvern
4. Humboldt
5. Conestoga
6. Brophy

Women's 2-:
This is another loaded event that will feature a lot of future Division I collegiate talent. There are three future Cal Bears in the event in Kendall Chase, Savannah Eldridge and Clara Nowinski. The Saratoga pair of Caroline Murphy and Alexis Georgia can also move a pair very well. Detroit's A entry of Casey Wizner and Janney Brennan will pack some good speed as will the Marina Aquatic Center and Commencement Bay pairs who we are picking to round out the fianl. Seattle, Norwalk and the Detroit "B" entry will also be hunting for the final.

1. Mile High
2. Saratoga
3. Upper Natoma
4. Detroit
5. Marina Aquatic Center
6. Commencement Bay

Men's 2-:
This should be a strong event with Arik Torkelson (headed to Cornell in the Fall) and Liam Casey from Saratoga battling it out with Los Gatos' Jordan Vanderstoep (2011 Junior national Team member) and John Chuter. Both those cres are doubling into the four as well. Radnor's and William Aftring and James Purtill will push for the meadals as will the St. Andrews entry. We think the Sarasota and Olympia Area Rowing entries will be racing for the top 6 on Sunday as well. Oakland, Brookline and Newport RC will also be vying for top spots.

1. Saratoga
2. Los Gatos
3. Radnor
4. St. Andrews
5. Olympia Area Rowing
6. Sarasota

Women's 4x:
This will be a fantastic event with top notch athletes and a very high level. We are picking the GMS entry to win going away. With the combination of talent and coaching in the boat, they will be too fast for the rest of the field. Long Beach Rowing Association will row a very sound, mature race and should finish in the medals. Expect to see a push from Conal Groom's Seattle Rowing Center quad led by Lena Jaffe who will be rowing at Georgetown in the Fall.

1. GMS
2. Long Beach Rowing Association
3. Seattle Rowing Center
4. Conestoga
5. Long Beach Junior Crew
6. Miami Beach

Men's 4x:
We think it will be another Connecticut team to win it all in the men's quad. The New Canaan entry led by two-time 4x Youth National Champion and 2011 Junior National Team member Jonathon Rosow and coached by Yan Vengerovskiy will be very hard to stop. Malvern's entry which features Alex Stoczko should be in the medal hunt along with the Nick D'Antoni Long Beach quad stroked by Allen Reitz.

1. New Canaan
2. Malvern
3. Long Beach
4. Conestoga High School
5. Sammamish
6. Vashon Island
Seattle Rowing Center and River City Rowing Club will also be trying to get into the final

Women's lightweight 4+:
1. Upper Natoma
2. Manhasset
3. Blair
4. Lakeside
5. Dayton
6. Miami Beach

Men's Lightweight 4+:
We are picking a west coast sweep in this event with the NorCal crew leading the way led by Jackson Horowitz and Luke Prioleau (related to OCC head coach and former US Olympic Team member Paul Prioleau and his son Will who raced for OCC and Cal). We are picking Los Gatos and Newport Aquatic Center to round out the medals after failing to qualify their lightweight eight.

1. NorCal
2. Los Gatos
3. Newport
4. Miami Beach
5. Cincinnati
6. Westerville
McCallie will also be fighting for a place in the final.

Women's 4+:
This is another pretty talent-laden event. We are picking the Mile High entry to win this one, though they will have to deal with Alana Bobka and Kendall Chase doubling from the pair. Capital City led by stroke seat Karla McDaniel will be making a serious run to see if they can overcome the tired legs in the Mile High boat. Pittsford will also make a run at the medals after winning the event in dominant fashion last year. We think Radnor, Mercer and Commencement Bay will all be in the final with St. Louis and Xavier Prep trying to find their way in.

1. Mile High
2. Capital City
3. Pittsford
4. Radnor
5. Mercer
6. Commencment Bay

Men's 4+:
We are picking the Los Gatos four to take this one with a boat full of talented guys upset that they are not competing in the eight this weekend, though they will have to deal with some tired legs from Vanderstoep and Chuter's races in the pair.

1. Los Gatos
2. Belmont Hill
3. MAC
4. Deerfield
5. Saratoga
6. Sarasota
Green Lake will have high hopes as well.

Women's Lightweight 8+:
CRI is the defending champion, but we are looking for a very strong crew from Oakland to take first place this year in Oak Ridge.

1. Oakland
2. CRI
3. Capital Crew
4. Los Gatos
5. Bainbridge Island
6. Detroit

Men's Lightweight 8+:
This will be a fierce west coast battle between Long Beach and Marin. Marin won early in the year, while Long Beach came on strong at Southwest Junior Regionals to take the crown over Marin. They have had five weeks of training since regionals to prepare for this one. We are picking Nick D'Antoni's Long Beach crew to defeat Graham Willoughby's Marin 8. St. Joe Prep will be hungry to prove that the east coast can produce a lightweight 8 of the same caliber.

1. Long Beach
2. Marin
3. St. Joe Prep
4. Oakland
5. CRI
6. Miami

Women's 8+:
Derek Byrnes has led his very talented and deep Oakland Strokes squad to an almost unblemished season dating back to their win at the Head of the Charles in October. Their only loss came at the hands of last year's National Champion Marin crew five weeks ago at Southwest Junior Regionals. This should be a pretty impressive battle, as Sandy Armstrong knows how to get her crew to peak and perform when it counts, but Derek has had five weeks to respond and make adjustments since regionals. We are picking Oakland in a barn burner. The James Madison crew will be looking to prove last year was no fluke as they return most members of last year's eight. They are coached by Paul Allbright and two very impressive sets of sisters in the boat. After graduating a bunch of seniors from last year's team, Liz Trond has done a marvelous job in a rebuilding year and they will be very much in the discussion for medals this weekend.

1. Oakland
2. Marin
3. James Madison
4. Connecticut Boat Club
5. Mount St. Joseph
6. Saratoga
CRI and New Trier will also be fighting for a spot in the final.

Men's 8+:
We are picking Marin to win this one by open water. Graham Willoughby has a machine running in Northern California. They return many members of last year's undefeated national Champion crew including 2011 Junior National Team members Greg Stein and Patrick Konttinen and have not lost a step. The battle for the medals should be pretty wide open, but we think the Sarasota and Mt. Baker crews are the best of the rest and they certainly have their eyes set on the medal stand.

1. Marin
2. Sarasota
3. Mt. Baker
4. Cincinnati
5. Central Catholic
6. Everett
La Salle and St. Augustine will be trying to get in the mix as well.

So there you have it–our most comprehensive picks to date, hot off the digital press and ready for the weekend. Good luck to all crews racing in Oak Ridge, and we look forward to seeing how it all turns out when the races are run and the finals are done.

-The RR Editorial Staff

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