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Three Rivers Rowers capture silver at Youth Nationals

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Mt. Lebanon senior Tommy McNamara, left, and North Hills senior Brad Walter won a silver medal in pairs at the USRowing Youth National Championships.
Top high school sports
By Karen Kadilak
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 3:30 p.m.

With a different partner, North Hills senior Brad Walter won a second straight silver medal in pairs competition at the USRowing Youth National Championships last weekend in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Members of the Three Rivers Rowing junior team, Walter and Mt. Lebanon senior Tommy McNamara finished second in the Men's Youth 2- A Final (7 minutes, 37.204 seconds).

White Rock of Dallas, Texas (7:34.030) was first.

Walter finished second in the same event with Josh Hockenberry a year ago. Hockenberry, a North Hills graduate, rows at Syracuse University.

“We set ourselves to get first place, but were pleased with second,” said Walter, who plans to row at Northeastern University.

Competing for the first time, McNamara was glad to earn a medal.

“It was a little disappointing we didn't win, but we did well,” McNamara said. “(White Rock) beat us fair and square.”

Three Rivers coach Rick Brown expects Walter and McNamara to feel better in hindsight.

“It's hard to be disappointed in a silver medal at a national championship for too long,” Brown said. “I told the boys it's great to be in a position to do what they did.

“It's an accomplishment they'll be proud of for years to come.”

Walter and McNamara also were on the Men's Youth 4+ boat that finished 11th by placing fifth in the B final (7:21.226).

North Hills senior Greg Lewis and Avonworth senior Will Graf said they were happy to have improved after being part of a crew that reached the C final a year ago.

Quaker Valley senior Dylan Redzanic also competed for a second consecutive year.

Central Catholic, which finished fourth in the grand final, barely missed winning a medal in Men's Youth 8+ (6:23.941).

“It's disappointing because we were right in the mix,” said senior co-captain Lucas Peilert, noting competition was stiffer than a year ago when the Vikings were fifth.

“We had a good regatta,” Central Catholic coach Jay Hammond said. “The boys (were) better each time they raced.

“We would have liked to have (won) a medal, but fourth is the best we have ever done and I was pleased with that.”

Besides Peilert, the crew included senior Alex Butler, junior Michael Grady, junior Devin Kaplan, senior Matt Kreps, junior Kevin Costello, junior Alex Miklasevich, senior Jake Wiedemer and senior Jeffrey Cao.

Four boats representing Steel City Rowing reached the consolation finals.

Salli Bowman (third in Women's Youth 1x B Final), Ben Akers and Ben Chetlin (sixth in Men's Youth 2x C Final), Katie Aswood, Bowman, Natalie Sebastian and Sarah Scheid (sixth in Women's Youth 4x B Final) and Bill Fox III, Wesley Fox, Christian Mazur and Hunter Wise (fourth in Men's Youth 4x B Final) competed.

“The athletes came a long way this year,” coach Dori Tompa said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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