Five qualify for U.S. Rowing Junior National Championships

Becca Raffel, Author

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Paly senior Alex Warner (right) and her partner in the Norcal Women's Lightweight Double, Gunn senior Janet Titzler (left), smile with their medals after placing second in the U.S. Rowing Southwest Regional Championships on May 4th. The duo will advance to the U.S. Rowing Junior National Championships this June.

Paly senior Alex Warner (right) and her partner in the Norcal Women’s Lightweight Double, Gunn senior Janet Titzler (left), smile with their medals after placing second in the U.S. Rowing Southwest Regional Championships on May 4th. The duo will advance to the U.S. Rowing Junior National Championships this June. Photo by David Titzler and courtesy of Laura Breyfogle.

Five Palo Alto High School students recently qualified on for the United States Rowing Junior National Championships which will be held June 12-15 at Lake Natoma in Sacramento.

Juniors Christopher Skokowski, Misha Hindery and Marcelo Buxton and senior Alex Warner qualified while rowing for Norcal Crew, and junior Chloe Fishman qualified under the Los Gatos Rowing Club. All five qualified on May 4 in the U.S. Rowing Southwest Regional Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma, the site where the national championships will be held.

Skokowski, Hindery and Buxton all row for the Norcal Crew Lightweight Men’s Four. This team placed second last weekend at Lake Natoma.

Hindery and Buxton both say they are excited to qualify.

“Qualifying for nationals is a feeling impossible to express,” Hindery said.

“I don’t think there is anything greater than finally watching all of your hard work finally pay off,” Buxton said. “I was ecstatic.”

The Lightweight Four members were determined to succeed last weekend, according to Hindery.

“I feel like our boat performed as well as it could have,” Hindery said. “We were set on winning and nothing could get in our way.”

Buxton thinks that the team will be able to improve upon last weekend’s performance in order to take gold this June.

“Though we only placed second at regionals, I believe that with continued hard work my boat definitely can make up the couple seconds needed to get gold at nationals,” Buxton said.

Warner, who qualified in a women’s boat, looks forward to seeing the boys compete.

“I’m really excited to see the boys race,” Warner said. “They’re all so dedicated and they row really well together. It’s going to be a fun regatta.”

Warner rows for the Women’s Lightweight Double, which also placed second this past weekend. Warner is happy to have qualified for nationals in her last season at Norcal before going off to college.

“Qualifying to nationals felt great,” Warner said. “It’s what I’ve been working towards for the past three years and it’s a great way to end my last season with Norcal.”

Warner’s teammate in the double boat, Janet Titzler, is a senior at Gunn High School. Not rowing with her next year will be difficult because rowing together has made them good friends, Warner said.

“I’m really excited that I get to keep rowing with Janet for another month while we train,”  Warner said. “I’m going to miss her so much next year.”

Warner looks forward to performing well in June.

“I think we will do really well at nationals,” Warner said. “Our team won nationals last year in the category Janet and I are entered in so the expectations are pretty high.”

Fishman qualified while rowing in the Los Gatos Rowing Club Women’s Lightweight Eight.

Despite rowing for different boats and rowing clubs, these five Paly students will all come together this June to compete to be the best in the nation in their respective categories.

“I expect to become a national champion and don’t plan on settling for anything else,” Hindery said.