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SARASOTA SCULLERS YOUTH ROWING PROGRAM   (1998 - 1999) Next >>

Each year as I become acquainted with the new rowers and reacquainted with the returning rowers, I wonder who, if any of them, might go on to achieve something in the world of rowing beyond our club and college. Will one of them make the National Team or even become a World Champion? Well, Bill Plifka made the dream came true a couple of years ago when he made the National Lightweight 8+ and in 1998 he won a World’s silver at Cologne, Germany, losing the gold by barely a bow ball. This summer at St. Catherines he was in the first US Lightweight to win a gold medal in twenty-five years and our club had produced its first World Champion.

Other success stories in the coaching sector are Dan Newman, Angela Henley, Sarah Bristow and Grant Earl who, after graduating from successful careers rowing at Princeton, University of Central Florida, Charleston University and Northeastern, became involved in coaching.

Other recent graduates who are doing well are Kevin Biegel, captain of our ’94 crew, who is writing scripts in Hollywood for Jim Carrey; Dinko Vucemilovic, ’93 who received a rowing scholarship to Temple, then transferred to Harvard where he continued to pull an oar for Harry Parker. (Current update: A few years after graduating from Harvard, Dinko earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.) Jane Livingston, who coxed our ’93 boat at Henley, graduated from University of Florida, Phi Beta Kappa, and pursued a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies. (Current update: She is now in medical school at Florida). Paul Semian stroked the ’93 Henley boat and is now a pilot with Continental Airlines. Kevin O’Neil rowed for Princeton and won a gold medal in the 1999 Eastern Sprints. Sarah Bristow, is now teaching English in North Carolina. Matt Swick (’93 Henley boat) and Steve Nemeth are now both practicing medicine having graduated from the University of Florida.

Our fall season this year was not up to our usual standards. The boys finished 14th out of 28, just barely keeping alive the streak of never finishing out of the top half. The girls finished 13th out of 21. Our performance at the Head of the Hooch was similar, with most of our entries finishing about the middle of the fleet. As after last year’s fall races, we came face to face with the reality that we had a great deal of work to do before the spring if we were going go be competitive.

We went to work on strength and conditioning over the winter and at the Erg races in February demonstrated that we might be ready for the upcoming sprints by winning the overall points’ trophy for the fourth year in a row. Two weeks later the boys and girls crews each won the team trophy for the third year in a row at the Sarasota Sprints. Then it was on to the Mayor’s cup where the team won three races (MLt 4+, MJV 4+ and WN4+) and added two second place finishes (WV8+ and MV4+). By the next week at The Gainesville Crew Classic, we appeared to be hitting our stride as we won the team points’ trophy with a very strong seven gold medal performance. Our club boat continued to perform well at OARS Invitational, Hood Cup and FIRA where we swept both the men’s and women’s varsity eights. Our Riverview boat had to settle for a bronze medal this year at the states.

Both of our SSYRP club eights and our Men’s Four qualified at Miami for an invitation to Cincinnati for the Youth National Championships. The boys’ eight won the petite finals for seventh over all and the girls placed sixth in the finals at Lake Harsha.

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The boys eight and the girls eight that competed in the Youth Invitational in Cincinnati where the boys finished 7th, winning the petite finals, and the girls finished 6th.


1998 - 1999
 


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