Curtis, Lindsay take fifth at Worlds

 

Liliane Lindsay, left, is one of two local rowers who got the nod to compete in the World Rowing Junior Championships in Lithuania this week. Joining her is Melissa Curtis of Rye. Contributed photo

Liliane Lindsay, left, and Me lissa Curtis brought home a fifth-place finish at the World Rowing Junior Championship on Aug. 15. According to Lindsay, the chance to face-off against the best young rowers in the world was a “humbling” experience. Contributed photo

By MIKE SMITH
On Aug. 15, half a world away, two local rowers, Lilian Lindsay and Melissa Curtis represented the United States in the World Rowing Junior Championships. Though the duo’s boat didn’t come away with a medal, the experience was certainly a high point on the year.

Racing as part of the Junior 8 boat in the Trakai, Lithuania, Lindsay and Curtis took fifth place, no small feat considering their competition.

“Coming in, our goal was to do as well as last year’s boat did,” said Harrison’s Lindsay. “They came in second and really, it was kind of a lofty goal.”

Lindsay said that the relative youth of the boat–seven out of the eight girls will be eligible to compete next year as well–may have been a factor in the finish, but the chance to go back next year should serve as motivation until next summer.

“I think overall, we were satisfied,” she said. “It was a very young boat.”

The girls were selected to the national team in mid-July and, after a few weeks of training together, were paired-off into boats, giving the Junior 8 about three weeks to
prepare as a cohesive unit.

According to Lindsay, who was a hopeful for worlds the last few years, the chance to represent the USA was a tremendous honor and something of a surprise, despite the strides she has made over the last few years.

“Even if things were looking in my favor, hearing the selection, it’s really shocking because you never know what is going to happen,” she said. “It’s definitely a great way to validate all of the training you’ve been doing.”

Once she got to Lithuania, however, Lindsay admitted that the thrill of just being there took a backseat to competition.

“There was definitely a lot of focus on the race,” she said. “You’re only there for two weeks so you’ve got to be focused.”

The Harrison senior did admit that she was taken aback by some of the other teams–and the fact that her boat was able to compete with those elite rowers was yet another validating experience.

“It’s definitely a humbling experience,” she said. “From rowing with these various high school programs, you’re competing with everyone just to get to this level. Then you come here and you see all these elite rowers, people who have been training for this for years. It’s a wonderful experience, a whole new level.”
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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.