With only 10 months until the start of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, the 2015 National Rowing Championships were hotly contested as athletes across the country tried to showcase their skills to Rowing Canada’s brass. While Alberta athletes were not intending to compete for a spot on the Olympic Team, the 2015 NRC regatta did show that Alberta based athletes have the ability to compete against the World’s best.
In the Women’s pair event Olivia McMurray, Brianna Walsh, Amelie Schumacher, Karen Lefsrud, and Jessie Loutit were at the start line competing against women who returned home from the World Championships with a bronze medal just 3 weeks ago. Undeterred, Olivia McMurray and Brianna Walsh were just 0.3 seconds away from winning a bronze medal in the U23 pair. Jessie and Amelie’s time in the final was within 10 seconds of those garnering hardware at the 2015 World Championships. Karen Lefsrud started rowing with her partner just a few weeks ago and still managed to finish in 5th place in the U23 pair.
Lightweights Stephen Holloway and Mark Bonar were asked to compete in the Open Men’s Pair event on account of a limited number of lightweight entries. Despite competing against athletes virtually double their size (literally) Mark and Stephen narrowly missed out on the A final and finished in 7th place overall. Kiersten Mort competing in her first NRC event finished in 6th place in the U23 Light Single. And the success did not end there.
Alberta based Nicole Hare, competing on behalf of the National Training Centre finished in 2nd place in the U23 Single and has been invited to train with Canada’ Olympic Team this winter with the hope of representing Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Let the results show that Alberta’s 2015 NRC Team was our most successful to date with 8 of our 9 athletes competing in an “A” or “B” Final and no athlete finishing any lower than 8h in their respective field.
When asked to comment about the results from this year’s NRC event, Alberta co-coach Tim Fleming stated “Just a great regatta.” Yes it was.
CANADA SUMMMER GAMES
The 2017 Canada Summer Games are still nearly two years away but in reviewing results from the 2015 National Championships it is becoming evident as to what we need to do here in Alberta. As the ARA starts to organize matters on its end, athletes who wish to be considered for the games should begin to make preparations on their end. With this athletes should be cognizant of the following:
- Athletes had to pull a 7:40 / 7:55 (Heavy Women / Light Women) – 6:40 / 6:55 (Heavy Men / Light Men) 2k erg score to be granted an invite to the 2013 Canada Summer Games Selection Camp. In 2017 athletes should expect that the 2K standard will be set at or around 7:35 / 7:50 (Heavy Women / Light Women) and 6:35 / 6:50 (Heavy Women / Light Women).
- The CSG is a high performance event with Canada’s best U21 athletes in attendance and will require athletes to treat it as such.
With the onset of winter training now only a few weeks away prospective athletes should use the Games to fuel their desire to get on the erg and put in the training. Those who put in the work now, will be rewarded.
The ARA welcomes Don LeClair to Alberta. Don LeClair has accepted the role as the new ERC / UART Head Coach. For the past three years Don has been working in the United Kingdom where he served as the Lead Coach for the men’s sweep and sculling program at Durham University. Prior to working overseas Don was an Assistant Coach with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and Head Coach at the Guelph Rowing Club.
The 2015 Canadian University Rowing Season is now in full swing and Alberta schools are busy preparing for the heart of their regatta schedule in the weeks ahead. Next week Lakeland College and the Universities of Alberta and Calgary will pack their boats and head to Burnaby Lake for the 2015 Western Canada University Rowing Championships. The Western Canada University Rowing Championships (WCURC) features athletes enrolled in post secondary institutions across the four western provinces.
Following WCURC’s athletes will return home for a two week breather before heading to Canada’s other coast in Antigonish Nova Scotia for the Canada University Rowing Championships (CURC). The CURC event features the best university rowers from across the country vying for the title of national champion in 6 separate events for men and women (Open 1x, Lightweight 1x, Lightweight 2x, Lightweight 4+, Open Pair, Open Eight).
The structures of the Canadian University rowing calendar shows that Canadian rowers no longer have to go down south to garner a good racing experience in university. Furthermore, athletes like Olivia McMurray, Steven Payne, and Christine Bennett alumni from the Universities of Calgary and Alberta alike each went on to represent Canada demonstrating that you can stay in Alberta and achieve remarkable success in our sport.
RADAR Reminder. A reminder to all ARA athletes that RADAR submissions are due November 22nd. The ARA encourages all athletes to complete the battery of tests that are required as part of RADAR and post their scores on the on-line database.
Tricia Smith an Olympic Silver medalist in the sport of rowing at the 1984 Olympic Games was named interim president of the Canadian Olympic Committee following the resignation of Marcel Aubut.
The 2015 Alberta Rowing Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) is being held on Saturday (November 7th) in Red Deer, Alberta. This represents your opportunity to have a say in provincial matters.
- ARA AGM November 7th– Red Deer Alberta
- RADAR Submissions Due November 22nd.