Shannon Gallup, a senior from Casa Grande High School and member of the North Bay Rowing Club, raced to a fifth-place finish in the B final in the USRowing National Youth Invitational in Sarasota, Florida. The result gave her the 11th overall spot in the nation.
“It was an amazing experience to conclude my high school rowing career, and I am honored and proud to race against these girls,” said Gallup. She competed against a total of 23 entrants from across the country, all of whom placed in the top of their regional qualifier.
Racing began Friday with a time trial to rank the invitees. Since the event featured athletes from so many regions, this race set up the progression for the weekend. The top 12 moved forward to the A/B semifinals and the remainder raced in the C or D finals. Gallup raced to a 12th place finish in 8 minutes, 22.6 seconds over 1,900 meters to move forward to the semifinal event on Saturday.
In the first race on Saturday morning, Gallup got out early and raced in a tightly packed field to the mid point of the race. She raced to a 5th-place finish and posted the 10th-fastest time between the two heats. The result placed her in the B final, for places 7-12, on Sunday morning.
The B, or Petite, final featured entrants from New York, Texas, Colorado and Washington as well as another California rower. The pack slowly separated, with the first three places moving forward, and Gallup dueling it out with one of her fellow Southwest regional competitors from NorCal crew in San Mateo. The two fought back and forth with no more than a few feet separating them for the last mile of the race. NorCal eventually prevailed in a photo finish to place Gallup fifth by 0.2 seconds.
“It was great to have my last high school race come down to a duel against a friend and strong competitor from the Bay Area,” said Gallup.
“It was a great weekend of racing,” said NBRC head coach Will Whalen. “The weather was a little crazy, and the competition was really intense, but she handled all of it like a seasoned competitor, and came away with a great result.”
Gallup will attend Boston University in the fall.
This is the second consecutive year that North Bay has sent rowers to the National Invitational. Last season, the men’s pair (2-) of Ryan Cardiff and Ben Holm placed 15th at the event. Cardiff now rows for Stanford and Holm will row for the University of Washington in the fall.
“Shannon has really helped lift the bar for our club,” Whalen said. “There are a ton of young rowers coming up that know how hard Shannon worked for this opportunity and are hungry to get there themselves. I can’t wait for Fall season to start.”