Friday, April 27, 2012

Manatee Youth Rowing program aims for national bid

By Nick Williams

This Saturday and Sunday, the Manatee County Youth Rowing Program will have a chance to emerge as an up and coming program. The Florida Scholastic Championship Regatta held at the Florida Aquatic Center in Sarasota will host 40 high school and club teams from across the state and depending on their finish, teams can qualify for the National Scholastic Championships in New Jersey.

Trish Jackson, director of the program, is "hopefully optimistic" good things will happen this weekend.

"We're a fairly new program," she said. "The competition will be really steep."

The program consists of three high school teams -- Palmetto, Manatee High and Southeast. Palmetto started the program last January while Southeast created its team this past August. The teams train at the Fort Hamer Rowing Facility in Parrish. So far, Palmetto has won medals in single, double and junior varsity boat races.

If the program can't earn a bid this weekend, they will have another opportunity at the Southeast District Youth Championships May 12-13 at the aquatic center.

"It would be an incredible accomplishment," Jackson said.

Read more about the regatta this weekend:

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