Miami Rowing Club, Belen get wins on Day 1 of USRowing Youth National Championships

Members of the Miami Beach Rowing Club are shown in a previous event.
Members of the Miami Beach Rowing Club are shown in a previous event. FILE PHOTO

The Miami Rowing Club barely beat the weather before defeating the rest of the field Friday in its heat of the Women’s Lightweight Fours during the first day of the USRowing Youth National Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.

The quartet of Elizabeth Ray, Isabel De Vengoechea, Kamila Vasquez and Alexandra Duffy, along with coxswain Natasha Murcia, toured the 1,500-meter course in 7:33.694, just before a powerful thunderstorm shut down the regatta at 4:30 p.m. with 11 more heat races still on tap.

Racing is slated to resume at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Like Miami Rowing, Belen Jesuit Prep School also boasted a first-place boat when brothers Alexander and Nicholas Keenan teamed up to win their heat of the Men’s Pairs in 7:12.351.

“They really did a great job,” Belen coach Yunian Cabrera said. “They set a great pace. They didn’t push it too hard or too fast.”

The top two finishers in each heat of all 18 events — nine for men and nine for women — qualified to race in Saturday’s semifinals. Boats finishing lower than second Friday will need to race well in Saturday’s Reps rounds in hopes of securing a berth in the semis.

The finals in all races are scheduled for Sunday. A total of 163 teams from around the country are competing in the three-day event.

“I’m just glad we were able to win our race before the terrible weather set in,” Miami Rowing Club coach Cesar Herrera said. “We had to quickly get everything tied down. We were lucky to get all [five] of our races in before the storm.

“We had some very good performances. We have made some great gains.”

▪ Miami Rowing’s Emil Andreassen and Antonio Ramos-Rivera advanced to the semis with a second-place finish in their heat of the Men’s Pairs, finishing in 7:19.271.

▪ Miami Rowing’s Men’s 4+ boat also advanced with a second-place finish. Kane Akar, Jacob Sorenson, John Morcos, Viking Mayor and coxswain Miguel Velez were aboard.

▪ Miami Rowing’s Men’s 4x boat finished third and its Women’s 4+ boat placed sixth and will need to battle through Reps Rounds on Saturday.

▪ Belen Jesuit’s Hector Formoso-Murias captured a second-place finish in the Men’s Singles to advance to the semis. Jesuit’s Men’s Lightweight 4+ boat, with Alejandro Seda, Jonathan Menendez, David Gonzalez, Joseph Perez and coxswain Santiago Ugas on board, also made it to the semis with a second-place finish.

▪ Alex Martinez and Jules Kramer of Miami Beach Rowing qualified for Saturday’s semis by finishing second in the Men’s Doubles. Miami Beach Rowing’s Men’s Lightweight 4+ boat finished fourth Friday and its Women’s Lightweight 4+ boat finished sixth.