PARKERSBURG -The Ohio Valley Rowing Club recently competed in a pair of regattas, and they are an indicator of just how fast the its members are progressing.
The OVRC is fielding a novice mens 8 and a novice mens 4 composed of athletes from Warren and Parkersburg South high schools.
At the Hoover Invitational Regatta, the novice mens 8 boat -composed of coxswain Jenna Whitlock and rowers Tyler Welch, Austin Antill, Michael Sams, Adam Garlow, Brogan Davis, Seth Johnson, Alex Miller and Ryan Potter -placed third in its qualifying heat, advancing to the finals, where it placed fifth.
Members of the Ohio Valley Rowing Club include, front row, from left, members of the novice 4, Cody Dobbs, Nick Robinson, coxswains Seneca Cardiff and Jenna Whitlock, Andre Gaughan and Ethan Ida. Back row, head coach Alfonso Morales and members of the novice 8, Tyler Welch, Austin Antill, Michael Sams, Adam Garlow, Brogan Davis, Seth Johnson, Alex Miller and Ryan Potter. Noy Rogers and Logan Ross were absent.
Head coach Alfonso Morales was thrilled with the effort, which was the first performance for the young rowers.
"Not knowing what to expect, it was a learning experience for the rowers and parents,'' he said. "I am pleased with the performance of the OVRC rowers competing with the best clubs in the country.''
Morales noted that the OVRC is just 13 strong while many of the clubs against which it is competing have up to 32 rowers competeing for each boat.
Morales was thrilled by his team's improvement in its second regatta of the spring, the Ohio Governors Cup in Columbus. Not only did the novice men's 8 capture a silver medal, but it finished just five seconds behind champion Dublin Rowing Club. That's significant because the previous week, OVRC had finished 23 seconds behind Dublin. An 18-second improvement in one week is a major accomplishment, one Morales attributes to hard work.
The novice 4 team, composed of Cody Dobbs, Nick Robinson, Andrew Gaughan, Ethan Ida, and coxswains Seneca Cardiff and Jenna Whitlock , was competitive for the first 1,000 meters before running out of gas. Considering this is a crew made up of 145-pound athletes racing against heavyweight boats, the result is expected. But Morales likes the way the crew is coming together.
Athletes from any school in the Mid-Ohio Valley are welcome to join the OVRC, located at the boathouse at the foot of 19th Street.
Next up for the OVRC is the Midwest Regatta Junior Rowing Association Championship in Cincinnati on May 19.