Crew: Back at it again with nationals

By Campbell Foster, Design Editor


For the past few years, the Vashon Island Rowing Club has qualified several boats to go to the Junior National Championships, which takes place in different locations each year. This year there are two pairs going to Sarasota, Florida from June 9-11. One boat has senior Selena Mildon and freshman Katherine Kelly, and the other has senior Rhea Enzian — who goes to SAMI (Science and Math Institute) — and junior Riley Lynch.


Teams from all across the nation are going to Florida to compete for a three-day regatta.


At the regional regatta in Vancouver, WA, on May 17-21, Enzian and Lynch pulled away with a first-place win for the women’s pair in the Northwest region. They have been fighting for this win for three years, and this is the first year they have won the women’s pair.


Kelly and Mildon came home with a second-place medal, trailing right behind Enzian and Lynch by 12 seconds. This secured both of them spots at the national championship.


Since then, the girls have been practicing each day with Coach Richard Parr from 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., with practices involving just Parr and the four girls.


“Our practices have increased​ in intensity somewhat, but I think the biggest difference is our focus,” Enzian said. “With only two boats, we get a lot more coaching time and our attention is directed towards our one goal of doing well at nationals.


Last year, 17 people from the team went to nationals in New Jersey, but only four people qualified this year. In order to qualify for nationals, one has to place in the top three in a US Rowing regional regatta, but this year, many people from the Vashon Island Rowing Club placed fourth — meaning they weren’t eligible.


Due to the fact that in the past there have been more boats that have qualified, the nationals-bound girls have been used to the practice schedule with at least 17 other people.


“I have been to nationals three times before,” Lynch said. “The energy at practices is not as high with only four people, but it does give us a chance to really focus on our boats and what we need to be doing.”


This is Mildon’s first year rowing, making her a novice. She joined the team in the fall of 2016, and will go to Marist College in New York to continue with her rowing career.


“I wanted to qualify super bad because even though it’s my first year, it’s my last year to make it to nationals with Vashon Island Rowing Club,” Mildon said. “It being my first year just makes it more exciting.”


At the national level, they will face much stronger competition. “I am excited for the high level of racing and being surrounded by so many amazing and competitive athletes,” Enzian said.


The nationals-bound girls hope to come out with success and possibly a medal or two under their belts.  


“I am hoping to make it to the A final and maybe medal,” Enzian said.


Enzian and Lynch both are united in their goals due to the fact that they are boatmates. They have placed in and won the B final for the last few years at the Junior National Championships, but they have never made it to the A final.


“I am hoping that my pair partner and I will at least make the A final [top 6 in the nation] this year, but we would love to medal if possible,” Lynch said.


“I want to come out feeling good with our races and hopefully end up in the top half of the rankings!” Mildon said.

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1 Comment on “Crew: Back at it again with nationals

  1. Vashon Crew thanks you for keeping the school up to date on your classmates in Crew.
    We are excited to report that both boats did fantastic in the National competition in Florida.
    Seniors Rhea Enzian and Riley Lynch came in 3rd in the Nation receiving a bronze Medal! Their time was 7:55.087 just 4 seconds behind second place.
    Senior Selena Mildon and freshman Katherine Kelly came in 9th in the Nation with a time of 8:15.731.
    Their hard work and dedication has paid off!
    The Vashon Crew coudn’t be prouder.
    Many seniors have received scholarships to University.
    We invite all students to come out and see how fun crew is.

    Junior Crew Summer Camp
    Ages – 13-18 (8th – 12th grades in fall 2017)

    Summer crew camp offers conditioning and hands-on rowing for novice and experienced rowers culminating in an optional summer regatta at Green Lake.
    Novices will learn the basics of rowing and get a well-rounded introduction to this challenging sport.Experienced rowers will improve their fitness level and rowing expertise in preparation for upcoming fall crew season.
    Monday through Thursday, 9am -2pm
    Session 1- June 26th to July 6th.
    Session 2 – July 10th to July 20th.
    Session 3 – July24th and ends August 3rd.
    Session 3 has an optional regatta at Green Lake on Aug 5, which includes an additional practice on Friday, August 4. The fee for the regatta and practice is $95.

    Location – Jensen Point Boathouse, Burton
    Cost – $290 per session, you can register for single or multiple sessions. (Financial aid is available)
    For information contact or register at to register online

    What You Need for Summer Camp
    A signed VIRC Waiver & Health History Form
    Tight fitting shorts and shirt, preferably quick-dry (loose clothing can get caught in the equipment)
    Socks to wear in the boat (these will get wet)
    Water shoes, crocs, or sandals to wear in the water when launching the boat
    Tennis shoes
    Baseball style hat
    Water bottle
    Snacks & lunch

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