Recent high school graduates Rachel Ersted of Palo Alto and Carolyn Rennels of Castilleja were members of NorCal Crew's Lightweight 4+ boat that won a silver medal at the US Rowing Youth Nationals this past weekend at Harsha Lake outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
NorCal's boat won its first heat on Friday and recorded the second-fastest time in the semifinals on Saturday while finishing first.
In the grand final on Sunday, NorCal battled two other boats -- including the Long Beach Juniors' boat that had placed first in regionals in Sacramento in May -- to take second place and the silver medal. Connecticut Boat Club placed first and won the gold medal while the Sarasota Scullers came in third for the bronze.
Ersted and Rennels were in NorCal's Lightweight 8+ boat that placed fifth in the grand finals in 2008. They both were recruited for college rowing. Ersted will row for Cal and Rennels will row for Stanford. This spring, Cal won the Pac-10 rowing championships and finished second in the NCAA Championships held at Natoma Lake.
The other rowers in the winning NorCal boat are all rising high school seniors: Ariana Cravalho (Notre Dame-Belmont), Sofie Madden (Menlo-Atherton) and Victoria Paterson (Menlo School).
NorCal Crew rows out of the Port of Redwood City.