Rowers For Westport Club Earn Berth On National Team

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Saugatuck Rowing's Christina Johnson, left, of Redding, and Weston's Jo Gurman, center, earned berths on a U.S. team that will compete in the world championships in August. They are with coach Chase Graham. Photo Credit: Contributed by Saugatuck Rowing Club

WESTPORT, Conn. – Two women from the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport earned berths on the United States Junior team that will represent the country in the Junior World Championships next month.

Weston’s Jo Gurman and Redding’s Christina Johnson qualified to for the U.S. team in different events during the trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. They will compete for the U.S. team in the world regatta beginning Aug. 7 in Trakai, Lithuania.

Johnson won the women’s single, upsetting a competitor who participated in the USRowing Junior Women’s Selection Sculling Camp. Johnson took the lead in the third 500 meters of the 2,000-meter race and won by seven seconds. New Canaan’s Mary Campbell finished third.

“It was tough,” Johnson said in an interview with USRowing. "But I think I made some improvements during the race and really kind of settled into it and kept calm, and then moved in the middle thousand and then pushed away in the end. It was good. Now I’m going to train a lot and put in a lot of time, but I’m excited.”

Gurman earned a spot on the U.S. team with Haley Zapolski of Bettendorf, Iowa. Gurman and Zapolski had rowed together at the selection camp.

Gurman and Johnson won a silver medal in June at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Tennessee. Gurman will attend the University of Virginia and Johnson will attend Georgetown.

“It tells me we’re doing something right,’’ said Saugatuck girls coach Chase Graham, who will coach the team as it prepares for the world championships. “It’s the first time we’ve had girls make the national team in a  few years. I think it’s going to be an awesome experience.”

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