junior national championships

Miami team moves closer to front row


Although the Miami Rowing Club finished sixth at the USRowing Junior Nationals on Sunday, it made some history in the process.

Special to The Miami Herald

Leo and Luciano Mercenari helped the Miami Rowing Club make history Sunday, but the twins were hardly ready to rest on their laurels.

After helping MRC’s men’s lightweight eight boat place sixth in Sunday’s “A” finals at the USRowing Junior National Championships on Melton Hill Lake, the brothers were already looking ahead to next season.

Sunday marked the first time in 18 years that a crew from Miami Rowing has advanced to an “A” finals event at the junior nationals.

MRC was timed in 6 minutes 24.667 seconds on the 2,000-meter course. Marin won in 6:13.678.

MRC had posted the fastest time in the country in the event earlier this season and was considered a threat to capture gold Sunday.

Other members of the crew were Jose Bared, J.P. Gutierrez, Bernie Ramirez, Frankie Aguilar, Dominic Prego, Nick Montalvo and Brandt Roen.

“We were kind of disappointed in our finish, but we’ll use it as motivation for next season,” Leo Mercenari said. “Now, we are more hungry to win.”

MRC should field one of the top boats in the event once again next year as seven of the nine crew members return for 2013.

“We gave it our all,” Luciano Mercenari said. “We didn’t come in overconfident. It [finishing sixth] was tough, but we’ll come back next year. We’ll use that as motivation.”

Despite the somewhat disappointing sixth-place finish, MRC coach Cesar Herrera said it didn’t diminish an otherwise outstanding season by his crew.

“It’s normal that they feel bad at this moment, but this boat has been doing a good job all season,” Herrera said.

MRC also rowed in two other Sunday finals.

The women’s lightweight eight took second in the “C” finals. Adriana Ocampo, Catalina Calvete, Raquel Olson, Marissa Williford, Cristina Navia, Briana Livingston, Catherine Roen, Sol Helou and Alessandra Zaldivar (7:14.379) were edged out by Moorestown (7:13.392) at the finish line.

In the men’s lightweight four “C” final, MRC (Maurice Ferre, Juan Avila, Danny Behar, Carlos Tornell and Marcie Vidaurri) took fifth in 7:04.593. Newport won in 6:55.528.

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