The 2016 USRowing Central Youth Championships was held May 7-8, 2016 on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Conditions at this year's competition were especially challenging, as crews were met with high winds as high as 30 miles per hour, sweeping across the race course. Open to youth competitors from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, this 2,000 meter event serves as the qualifying regatta for the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships.
Youth National Championship Berths were awarded to crews who posted Top 2 finishes in their respective events. Founders Rowing Club entered 9 crews in various events.
In the Women's Youth Under-17 Single, Elaine Williams placed 2nd overall out of 9 boats competing, earning a silver medal. This event is not contested at the Youth National Championships.
In the Women's Youth Single, Taylor Toudouze placed 2nd overall out of a large field of competitors, earning a silver medal, and Founders Rowing Club's first bid to the 2016 Youth National Championships.
In the Women's Youth Double, Julia Knowles and Elaine Williams, placed 4th overall, among a competitive field of 15 boats. What is remarkable about their performance is that both Julia and Elaine are 9th grade, Novice competitors, within their first year of competition!
In the Women's Youth Lightweight Double, Katherine Fraser and Emily Royal placed 3rd overall, earning a bronze medal.
In the Women's Youth Lightweight Double, Julia Knowles and Hannah Sipes placed 2nd overall, earning a silver medal, and Founders Rowing Club's second bid to the 2016 Youth National Championships.
This year, as a show of strength by the small team of 10 athletes,
Founders Rowing Club submitted two entries to the 'premier' event of the weekend, the Women's Youth Quadruple. Impressively, both crews finished in the Top 6.
In the Women's Youth Quadruple, Caitlin Ferguson, Payton Hart, Emily Royal, and Hannah Sipes finished a 5th overall in the final of this event.
Finally, in the Women's Youth Quadruple, Katherine Fraser, Anna Glasgow, Julia Mitterer-Claudet, and Taylor Toudouze were poised to perform after posting the fastest time in the heats earlier in the regatta weekend.
In the final of this event, Fraser, Glasgow, Mitterer-Claudet, and Toudouze led from the start of the 2,000 meter contest, fending off pursuit by the competition. In poised fashion, the girls powered across the finish line with an open-water margin, to defeat defending champions, and hometown crew, Oklahoma City Riversport. Placing 1st, and earning a gold medal, the crew earned Founders Rowing Club's 3rd bid to the 2016 Youth National Championships.
In only a few years, Founders Rowing Club has proven itself a force in the Central Region, posting top finishes, and qualifying to compete in every USRowing Youth National Championships since the team's inception.