SARASOTA — Sarasota Crew member Ben Delaney fell backward and began to cry as he realized what had happened: he’d become a national champion.
Delaney and his teammates — Andre Dupuis, Nick Edwards, Jose Colon, Andrew Konecny, Maddux Castle, Travis Taaffe, Ryan Hails and Benson Stevens — won gold at the 2013 USRowing Youth National Championships June 7 through June 9, in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The Men’s Varsity 8+ team crossed the finish line of the 2,000-meter course in 5 minutes, 52.99 seconds, finishing ahead of Oakland Strokes (5:55.50) and Marin Rowing Association (5:57.15) to become the first Sarasota Crew team to win a national championship. The team finished second at last year’s national championships.
“It was definitely hard, but so unbelievably rewarding,” Delaney says. “Being a national champion is not something a lot of people become, so being a part of that prestigious and elite few means the world to me.
“Winning was confirmation that all of the work that I’ve put in through my entire rowing career finally paid off to something tangible,” says Delaney, who will row for the University of Wisconsin next year.
The Crew sent 39 rowers to the youth national championships. In addition to the Men’s Varsity 8+, the club also competed in the Men’s Lightweight 8+, Women’s Varsity 8+, the Men’s 2- and the Women’s Lightweight 8+.
The Women’s Varsity 8+ boat won its B final, posting the nation’s third fastest time of 6:47.98.
The Men’s Lightweight 8+ finished sixth in the A Final in 6:14.71, and the Women’s Lightweight 8+ finished third in the C Final in 7:18.97. Finally, the Men’s 2- boat won its B Final in 7:19.75.
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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