The Mercer Junior Rowing Club, part of Princeton National Rowing Association, relied on its strength and depth to bring home a medal from the Youth Nationals that were competed in Sacramento, Calif.
The event was held from June 8 through June 10.
The men’s youth 4 plus coxswain (Jack Gallagher, Council Rock North; Evan Kinter, Steinert; Eli Kalfaian, Delaware Valley Regional High School; Herbert De Cokere, Montgomery; and coxswain Annie Huber, Stuart Country Day) earned the bronze medal in their category, placing third in the country against teams from Massachusetts, California and Washington, D.C.
The women’s lightweight 4 plus coxswain (Ava Wisnoski, Northern Burlington; Olivia Estes-Downes, Princeton High School; Caroline Adams, Council Rock North; Abby McAllen, Council Rock North; Anna Hu, West Windsor-Plainsboro South) placed fourth in the country competing against teams from Massachusetts, Washington state, Florida, Oklahoma City and Connecticut.
The women’s lightweight 8 plus coxswain (Catherine Vinch Buck, Pennington School; Julia Berdzik, Notre Dame; Chloe Couillens, Hopewell Valley, Taylor Vierling, Northern Burlington; Nathalie Verlinde, Princeton High School; Erin Dobbs, Notre Dame; Madera Bawa, Montgomery; Madeleine Peel, Princeton High School) finished fifth in the nation against teams from Illinois, California, Connecticut and New York.
The club qualified an amazing eight boats – 46 team members – to go to nationals this year. In an unusual move, the club sent two women’s youth 8 plus coxswain boats to compete.
One boat placed ninth overall (Bridget Parker, Princeton High School; Sylvie Tudor, Princeton High School; Elyssa Aronson, Cherry Hill HS East; Katryna Niva, Hunterdon Central Regional HS; Emmanuelle Adamson, Princeton High School; Sarah Closser, Princeton High School; Mia Barkenbush, WW-P South; Sara Hansen, WW-P South; and Lauren Preston, Notre Dame).
The second women’s youth eight plus coxswain (Peri Mishkin, Allentown; Jackie Armetta, Villa Joseph Marie; Sophie Craver, Princeton High School; Morgan Linsley, Princeton High School; Erin Hayek, Pennington School; Catherine Dyevich, Princeton High School; Kieran Wild, Council Rock HS North; Kristen Harkins, Notre Dame; and Helena Wolk, Princeton High School) placed 12th overall.
The club also sent two men’s youth pairs, one of which came in seventh place (Dana Gajewski and Andrew Moss – both of Princeton High School) and the other 17th (Brady Sturgeon of Notre Dame and Pavel Zhelnin of Princeton High School).
There are many Princeton High School students, including seniors heading this fall to Cornell, University of Southern California, Northeastern, Lehigh, Rutgers and Princeton University, as well as students from Stuart Country Day School, Montgomery, Hopewell Valley, Notre Dame and WW-P who participate in the Mercer rowing program.