Sewickley area trio participate in USRowing regional camp

Friday, December 21, 2018 | 9:48 PM

Three Sewickley area athletes participated in an event that one day could land them on national rowing teams.

Quaker Valley senior Kendyll Petronick, Quaker Valley junior Ben Farnan and Sewickley Academy freshman Georgia Cox were part of the second USRowing Youth Regional Challenge camp and regatta Dec. 13-15 in Sarasota, Fla.

The event brought together 432 athletes and 36 coaches from USRowing’s six regions. It kicked off a series of Olympic Development Program Identification Camps, which are designed to spot talented athletes at the U19, U18 and U17 levels.

Petronick, Farnan and Cox rowed for the Mid-Atlantic Region, which placed fourth.

“I learned a lot on perfecting my technique,” Petronick, 17, said. “I had the opportunity to listen to Q&As with previous (junior national team) athletes and their experiences with rowing for the U.S. and their takes on nutrition, training and rest.

“While competing, I was able to meet many people from the Mid-Atlantic Region. All this experience will help me (in) being adaptable to new lineups and being able to pull hard despite differences.”

Farnan, 16, learned to adjust.

“Each club has a different rowing style,” he said. “Blending these techniques into one boat is very difficult.

“The best thing (is to) be responsive and aware. Coaches looks for this skill in particular.”

Cox, 15, thinks about the future.

“By attending (such) camps, I am able to row and compete with many of the women who will be involved in my career,” she said. “I can be (a part) of a team I haven’t experienced before.

“In a short amount of time, it’s hard to fully correct my rowing technique (and) speed. However, it’s great to hear from other coaches about things I can correct and get multiple views on my stroke.”

The three were among nine members of the Three Rivers Junior Rowing team on Washington’s Landing who were selected. The others were Daniel Andrud, Brian Mulhern, Julia Casey, Elena Hochheiser, Angelina Mico and Audrey Lyda.

Victoria Gevaudan of Oakland Catholic and Owen O’Malley and Blake Vogel of Central Catholic also were invited.

“It was exciting to see how well our athletes worked with the group and put together solid performances against some of the best rowers in the country,” Three Rivers Junior Rowing coach Matt Grau said.

Earlier, Petronick committed to the Temple women’s team for the 2019-20 season.

She said she visited other schools but always knew Temple was the place for her.

Owls coach Rebecca Smith Grzybowski believes Petronick, who is 5-foot-9, will make a significant contribution in her first season.

“During the recruiting process, I was impressed with Kendyll’s athletic accomplishments and her natural ability, both things that are easy to spot,” Grzybowski said. “As I spent more time with her, I was impressed with (her) leadership, work ethic (and) maturity.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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