SCC wins bronze medal at U.S. Rowing National Championships


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The Space Coast Crew Men's Youth Quad team of Weston Hall, Jason Bersani, Nick Baney and Jack Baney won the bronze medal at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships.

photo courtesy of Alice Eastwood

Years of hard work and dedication have paid off in a big way for four members of the Space Coast Crew.

The Men’s Youth Quad (sculling) team of Nick Baney, Weston Hall, Jason Bersani and Jack Baney not only became the first boat to reach the grand finals at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships.

They won the bronze medal. “It’s by far the most successful boat we’ve ever had on our team and this is our 21st year as a club,” SCC coach Ethan Shoemaker said.

Put together at the beginning of the season more as a reward for hard work than for nationals potential, the four rowers just kept getting better and better as the season went on.

“They just continually got faster,” Shoemaker said. “It seemed like a boat that didn’t really have a top-end speed. Every time we’d go out to race, they’d go a little bit faster than the race before.

“They always came off the water after every race with something they didn’t like, something that didn’t go right. They never came off the water with this, ‘That was the fastest we’re going to go’ mentality. They always thought they could do better … until the final at youth nationals.”

The Space Coast Crew Men's Youth Quad team of Weston Hall, left, Jason Bersani, Nick Baney and Jack Baney — with coach Ethan Shoemaker — won the bronze medal at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships. | PHOTO COURTESY OF ALICE EASTWOODAfter taking part in a time trial on the first day of the three-day event in Sarasota, the quad finished second in its semifinal heat before covering the 2,000-meter course in 6 minutes, 19 seconds on the final day to earn the bronze medal.

It was the kind of performance that could have long-term ramifications for the SCC inside and outside of its boathouse.

And that’s a good thing.

“Internally, I think it really set a new standard for everybody on the team,” Shoemaker said. “Going back to the boathouse after that weekend, a lot of the younger guys on the team were thinking, ‘We can do that, too.’

“A couple of guys in that (bronze medal) boat started off on the lowest tier when they joined. They were not great athletes. They were really out of shape. They worked for a couple of years and that was their final result — to medal at the youth national championship.

“… I think nationally, it put us on the map as a crew not to be messed with, which fits well with our vision to become one of the most prestigious clubs in the southeast region.”

It was the final SCC race for seniors Jack Baney (Hobart College) and Nick Baney (Florida Tech) as the two cousins will move on to row in college.

Hall and Bersani, meanwhile, will row as a double in the U.S. Rowing U19 World Junior Championship Trials in New Jersey later this month.