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Quaker Valley students find success at USRowing nationals

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Representing Quaker Valley at the USRowing Youth National Championships at Oak Ridge, Tenn., were, from left, Tim Lagnese, Dylan Redzanic, Callie McGowan and Iris Ferris.

With limited preparation, four Quaker Valley students marked career high points by reaching the finals of the USRowing Youth National Championships at Oak Ridge, Tenn. earlier this month.

Competing for Three Rivers Rowing, junior Dylan Redzanic and senior Tim Lagnese were part of a boat that finished 13th by winning the men's youth 4-plus C final in 6 minutes, 59.71 seconds.

Senior Iris Ferris and junior Callie McGowan placed 16th after competing in the women's youth 2 C final (8:21.32).

With Redzanic in the fourth seat, members of the men's boat were selected shortly before the meet.

“We hadn't raced until this spring,” Lagnese said. “We used different people until we found the right combination.”

Besides Redzanic and Lagnese, the boat included North Hills junior Greg Lewis, Bethel Park senior Adam Davis and Avonworth junior Will Graf.

It was the first year Ferris and McGowan rowed as a pair.

“Iris and I worked hard (in the weeks) after regionals,” McGowan said.

Both boats qualified for the national meet after competing in a regional regatta in Cincinnati last month. Three Rivers Rowing junior coach Rick Brown was impressed by the boats' success.

“They held their own against some big teams,” Brown said.

According to the USRowing website, 369 crews from 153 clubs representing 30 states competed at the championships. Competing for the first time, Redzanic and McGowan had different reactions.

“I had some butterflies,” said McGowan, 17.

“I wasn't nervous,” said Redzanic, 17. “I was excited more than anything.”

Redzanic and McGowan look forward to improving.

“I'd like to make the grand (A) final next year,” Redzanic said.

Lagnese, 18, considered the meet a great way to cap his career.

“It felt good to have qualified for nationals,” Lagnese said. “To have made the final was really exciting.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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