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Rowers from Mercer Island head to national championships in Ohio
Eight members of Mercer Island High School who row with the Mount Baker Rowing Club in Seattle will be attending this weekend’s national event in Ohio.
The rowers, who qualified for the U.S. Rowing National Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 11-13, are from a variety of boats. The teams qualified after the regional event in Vancouver, Wash., in the middle of May. Approximately 15 to 20 students from MIHS row with Mt. Baker every year.
Senior Cole Johnson, who will be missing his high school graduation for the event, said he was excited for Nationals.
“We have a really good team, and I’m hoping we do well,” said Johnson. “It’s a lot of fun; a lot of work, but it’s rewarding.” Johnson has been rowing with Mt. Baker for five years.
Claire Ihle, a junior and member of the lightweight varsity 8’s, is also heading to Cincinnati. The trip will be her second time to the national competition.
“I’m really excited to race and see our hard work and training go into effect,” she said. Ihle said racing last year was a lot of run and also just getting to spend time with the team.
“There are so many great memories,” said the junior who has been rowing with Mt. Baker for three years. For her rowing is not only a great training exercise, but it’s an adrenaline boost.
“I like the training and enjoy the competitions,” she said. “It’s such a rush, going fast and feeling good after.”
Others who earned spots at the national competition include: Cole Johnson (boys varsity 8, first place); Abby Elggren and Claire Ihle (girls lightweight 8, first place); Kyle Wunderin (girls quad first place); Jennifer Travis, Lizzy Vincent, Meghan Weisfield (girls varsity 8, third place).
The boys varsity 8 team also finished third at the UW Windermere Cup on Opening Day, finishing behind the Marin Rowing Club and the Cincinnati Rowing Club. The Mt. Baker Boys varsity 8 team was the only team from Washington to be invited to the event.