Newport Aquatic Center men's lightweight four qualifies for nationals

The Newport Aquatic Center men's lightweight four-plus coxswain crew advanced to the USRowing National Youth Championship with a second-place finish over the weekend at the Southwest District Junior Championship Regatta.

Rowers Chase Roosin, Colin Johnson, Brandon Metzger, Jacob Studer and coxswain Jono Keedy covered the 2000-meter course in 6 minutes, 45:30 seconds, trailing only the boat from the Northern California crew club out of Menlo Park. The national championships will be held June 9 and 10 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Saturday's races were contested in difficult conditions with winds up to 30 mph blowing across the Lake Natoma course, kicking up white caps in the afternoon. Sunday's weather was still breezy, but not as challenging as the previous day.

The winds required more precise technical execution and blade work in order for crews to efficiently row the course.

NAC crews advanced to the finals in 17 of 25 events and medaled in 10 of the finals.

The women's third novice A eight-plus took home NAC's one gold medal.

In addition to the men's varsity lightweight four-plus, silver medals went to the men's novice eight-plus, men's second novice eight-plus, men's third novice eight-plus, women's second novice eight-plus, men's freshman eight-plus and women's freshman eight-plus.

Bronze medals were earned by the men's third varsity eight-plus, women's novice eight-plus and the women's third novice B eight-plus.

Novice boats are made up of first-year rowers regardless of age. Freshman boats are all first-year high school students.

Racing was tight throughout the regatta. In the women's freshman eight-plus final, the top four teams were separated by 65 one-hundredths of a second. The NAC boat missed first place by 28 hundredths of a second and held off the third-place boat by six one-hundredths in a photo finish.

The men's novice eight-plus final saw the NAC crew locked in a tremendous three-boat battle with season-long rival Marin and a surprising Oakland Strokes crew. NAC trailed both at the halfway point and had to come from more than a boat length off the pace in the final 500 meters to row through Oakland and finish second by 1.4 seconds to Marin.

In the women's second novice eight-plus, NAC clinched its silver by 1.2 seconds over Oakland.

Both the NAC men's varsity and novice teams finished second in overall points to Marin.

Thirty-two junior crews from Arizona California, and Utah rowed in the regional which is one of 12 regional qualifying events for the national championships.

Full results of the event can be found at

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bill Lewis is a parent of a NAC rower.

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