With an Olympic bloodline in their mix, the Claremont secondary’s junior boys eight captured a silver medal at the national school rowing championships June 2 and 3.
Claremont sent a rowing team to the nationals for the first time under coach Gord Redlin, who moved to Claremont four years ago. They returned with the junior eight silver medal as well as some near podium finishes by the junior girls double and quad, junior boys double.
“The great thing about the junior boys eight is they can do it again next year as they’re only in Grade 9,” Redlin said.
To be fair, the junior boys eight team does feature one Grade 10. Kylie Redlin, daughter of the coach, brought her experience to the team and is part of a crew rich in rowing bloodlines.
Sitting sixth in the boat is William Laumann-Wallace, son of Olympic medalists Silken Laumann and John Wallace. In case a refresher is needed, mom Laumann, a hometown hero, totalled one silver and two bronze at three different Olympics. Dad Wallace was part of Canada’s men’s eight gold medal winners in 1992 with another hometown hero, Derek Porter among them.
Overall, Claremont finished 24th among 137 schools, with just 14 rowers.
“The team did well to fight sloppy rowing conditions, including wind and rough waters, as well as torrential downpours that put the regatta on hold at times,” Redlin said.
Grade 11 Ali Zwicker, one of the program’s few seniors, competed in the single scull. A tough initial heat kept Zwicker out of the final, where the top three on the podium were the same three from Zwicker’s opening race.
“She finished with the seventh fastest time overall against a field with (Grade 12s),” Redlin said.
Making up the crew with Laumann-Wallace are Gabe Swift at stroke and Tyler Pickford, Jordan Muller, Domenic Mazzoni, Bailey Walker, Jake Sherman, and Preston Ruygrok in the bow.
Muller and Walker from the eight also competed in the junior boys double but fell short of advancing past the semifinal.
Cailyn Wolski and Sofia Donnecke finished fifth in the girls junior double, and the girls junior quad of Wolski, Kenzie Rosene, Meg Egilson and Donnecke finished fourth, just missing the podium.