Three local high school girls earned gold medals in rowing and trips to the national championships following successful efforts at the USRowing Southwest Junior District Championships earlier this month at Lake Natoma near Sacramento.
More than 600 rowers competed for invitations to the USRowing Youth National Championships, set for next month in Oakridge, Tenn. Among those headed to Tennessee will be Sacred Heart Prep senior Danni Struck, Menlo-Atherton junior Katie Kelly and Woodside senior Makayla Karr-Warner.
The US Youth National Championships are a precursor for youth rowers participating in the World Championships, which will occur in Lithuania later this summer.
Struck got things started for the Stanford Junior Crew team competing in the Single Sculling event. She captured the gold medal while racing alone in her red-and-black single named "DESTRUCKTION".
Struck then teamed up with her club teammate Victoria Wallace to win silver in the Double Sculling even.
Struck's third berth to nationals came when the boat rowed by Struck, Wallace, Sharon Wu and Allyssa Meyer captured the bronze medal in the Quadruple Sculling event.
The Stanford Juniors, coached by Monica Hilcu and rowing out of Redwood City, qualified a total of nine boats to nationals next month.
Kelly and Karr-Warner represented NorCal Rowers at the meet and won gold in Doubles. Rowers from Northern and Southern California competed alongside those from Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
Karr-Warner began her rowing in the eighth grade. She was one of a selected set of rowers to participate in the Head of the Charles Regatta the past two years in Boston, Mass. She will attend Boston University in September as a freshman and will be rowing for this accomplished program.
Kelly has rowed for NorCal for three years. She also one of a select number of participants rowing in the Head of the Charles Regatta.
"What makes me most proud of these two young women is their long-term commitment to their team, and to themselves in making their shared dream of heading to the national championship a reality," said NorCal coach Allison Frykman, a former Stanford crew member. "Through the sport of rowing, Katie and Makayla have learned first-hand the benefits of hard work and perseverance. They remind me why I chose this career; to be able to help young people grow and learn the importance of teamwork, hard work, and dedication."