What are the odds that a couple of prom dates from Rye would win Silver medals in two different races at the Youth National Rowing Championships in Folsom, California?
By Mitch Silver
What are the odds that a couple of prom dates from Rye would win Silver medals in two different races at the Youth National Rowing Championships in Folsom, California? Or that Rye rowers would help propel three different clubs to strong finishes? That’s exactly what happened at the climax of the national scholastic rowing season.
The first-ever podium finish for Stanley Nelson and Jennifer Palermo’s Rye High team was earned June 15 when senior Grant Janart and junior Jim Palmer nearly won the Men’s Youth Doubles. With Rye parents lining the banks of the Lake Natoma course and cheering them on (and others watching the live YouTube feed back home), Janart and Palmer mounted a stretch run that carried them past the leaders from Saugatuck in the final 100 meters only to be nipped by 1.1 seconds at the finish.
Janart’s medal win came 45 minutes after his date for the Prom, fellow Garnet senior Melissa Curtis, won her own Silver in the Women’s Youth final under the banner of the Greenwich High Crew. Curtis, an alum of Rye Crew, teamed with good friend Alex Slabbert of Greenwich to finish ahead of teams from Washington State, Detroit, and Dallas.
A third club, Row America Rye — they share the recently constructed boathouse at the end of Milton Road with the Garnets — sent a coxed-four into the C-Finals, stroked by Rye senior Hutch Bryant. Sitting fourth and moving up about a third of the way through the race, the crew caught a boat-stopping crab. Despite a quick recovery and a hard row through the finish, they finished 8th behind the winning Miami Rowing Club.
In the very same race, New York State champs Janart, Palmer, and Rye High juniors Brian Costa, Kiefer Mueller, and cox Ally Sullivan had a strong row, finishing 4th in a time that would have placed 6th in the A-Finals.
The fifth boat of the weekend saw another mixed Greenwich/ Rye boat, a lightweight eight that included Garnet juniors Brakeley Bryant and Julia Davis, come in 4th in the B-Finals, making their’s the 10th-ranked boat in the nation.
Afterwards, Coach Palermo took note of the Janart/Palmer pairing. “They had a rough start, but ended up finishing strong. Grant and Jim have been the strongest boat since the Rye High School Club began in the spring of 2007 with 10 athletes, 5 boys and 5 girls. We had 48 boys and 28 girls this spring, and look forward to qualifying more boats for next year’s Nationals in Sarasota.”