Morgan Cantrell and Jordan Hronich row to victory in the lightweight double sculls event at the North Carolina Rowing State Championships on April 22, 2017.
Festival Park at Oak Hollow Lake, – High Point Rowing Club hosted the inaugural North Carolina Youth Rowing State Championships on Saturday, which drew hundreds of rowers and thousands of spectators to High Point.
Racing as HPG Rowing to reflect the addition of the new Greensboro chapter of the organization, High Point rowers cleaned up in the Olympic class of sculling events and ultimately won 7 out of the 14 events it entered.
Coaches from across the state unanimously voted High Point’s Festival Park at Oak Hollow Lake as the championship venue for its central location and the local organizing committee’s proven success at hosting regional rowing events. In 2016 High Point hosted two spring regattas and the High Point Autumn Rowing Festival on Oak Hollow Lake.
Festival Park offers spectators unobstructed views of the entire 1,500 meter race course from an elevated location.
In the opening race Ainsley Fox lead her crew of Lindsey York, Molly HIlemn, and Charlotte Curri to gold in the women’s U17 quadsculls event. HPG finished the 1,500m race course three boat lengths ahead of Triangle Rowing Club of Raleigh with Charlotte trailing in a time of 7 minutes 7 seconds.
In the next race High Point’s Junior Ognovich and Maddie Mullins won the women’s open double sculls state championship two boat lengths ahead of Charlotte with Triangle further back.
High Point’s Charles York then upset the pundits by leading his crew of Govind Harish, Jake Bryant, and Parker Young to an upset victory over Charlotte in the men’s open quadruple sculls final. Charlotte had been the dominant regional force in this event over the past decade and the win for High Point represented a changing of the guard in North Carolina rowing.
HPG rower Ben Huitt smiles after winning the Division I middle school eights race at the 2017 North Carolina State Championships.
HPG Rowing won the boys U15 eight-oared event and the HPG girls crew finished second in the U15 event.
In one of the closest races of the day High Point’s Morgan Cantrell and Jordan Hronich raced neck and neck against Charlotte for a majority of the race across Oak Hollow Lake before pulling away in the final stages.
“Races like this come down to a test of wills,” said High Point coach Gene Kininmonth. “Both crews weigh in the same and so they are racing pound for pound against each other. Neither crew has any real physical advantage so the gold medal goes to the crew that wants it most.”
The final two state championships won by HPG came in the Division II women’s U17 fours and the Division I Middle School eights events.
The middle school victory indicates a strong future for the combined High Point-Greensboro club, which boated four eight-oared middle school crews in the two divisional races.
Facing a stiff head wind that threatened to constantly swing her boat sideways, Ella Nichols steered a prefect course for her crew of Matthew Hronich, Henry Parker, Ryan LaPierre, Jeffrey Michael, James Li, Sierra Heer, Ben Huitt, and Grace Denenny to win three boat lengths ahead of Triangle and Asheville.
Festival Park on Oak Hollow Lake was unanimously selected by coaches as the venue for the 2017 North Carolina Youth Rowing State Championships.
A rowing crew returns to dock at Festival Park on Oak Hollow Lake.