At the US Rowing Youth National championships a year ago, the Westerville high school club crew team had a boat reach the grand final for just the second time.

At the US Rowing Youth National championships a year ago, the Westerville high school club crew team had a boat reach the grand final for just the second time.

With three boats expected to compete at this year's Youth Nationals, it will have the opportunity to add to that number June 12-14 on Lake Harsha in Batavia.

The boys team's Lightweight 8 of Greg Miller, Brendan Palmer, Austin Hoyles, Danny Just, James Kelly, Andrew Baumgartner, Jeremy Sobiech and Adam Shirey and coxswain Allie Davis won a gold medal at the Midwest Junior championships May 17 by finishing in 7 minutes, 13 seconds. Lucas Miller is expected to compete at nationals in place of Kelly.

The girls team has two 8 boats at nationals. Its 1st Varsity 8 is comprised of Laura Hughes, Ashley LaFollette, Abby LaFollette, Kate Moran, Ellen Hughes, Kayla Kroninger, Tatiana Lundstrom and Kaylee Enscoe and coxswain McKenna Cimperman and was third (7:41.18) at Midwest. The LaFollette sisters signed letters of intent May 21 with Oklahoma and Kroninger signed in early May with Louisville.

The Lightweight Varsity 8 features Emi Grandjean, Ania Czechowski, Elaina Hill, Molly Bradley, Sarah Scott, Alex Sawatzki, Alison Edwards and Gracie Bachmann and coxswain Anna Mercurio and was second (8:15.4) at Midwest. Senior Allison West is expected to replace Bradley at nationals.

Westerville had the same three boats -- as well as its boys Varsity 8 -- advance to nationals last year, with the boys Lightweight 8 finishing fourth (6:09.34). Also at nationals last year, the boys Varsity 8 was ninth (6:02.12) the girls Varsity 8 (10th, 6:46.43) and the girls Lightweight 8 (14th, 7:17.25).

"We want to try and have a super strong finish," said Trish Chase, who coaches Westerville with her husband, Matt. "We'll taper the week beforehand and cut back on our length and intensity. They should be ready to go.

"This year has been tough because there were so many times when we were only able to have half of a practice. I think that hurt us at Midwest. They've all got their sights set on medaling (at nationals)."

•Upper Arlington had three boats at the Scholastic Rowing Association championships for high school programs last Friday through last Sunday on Mercer Lake in Mercer, N.J. and is expected to send three boats to youth nationals.

At the Midwest Junior championships, the boys Lightweight 4 of Alan Chan, Andy Weiland, Mike Caligiuri and Stephen Barthelmas and coxswain Colin Brown was first (7:42.45) and the first Varsity 8 of Zach Lowe, Weiland, Caligiuri, Mark Gramila, Ben Johnson, Barthelmas, Omar Latif, Chan and Brown took third (7:05.41).

The Bears' first Varsity 4 girls boat of Carolina Galluzzi, Corrine Meinert, Sarah Elliott and Alex Smart and coxswain Allie Williams also turned in a third-place finish (9:20.41) to advance to nationals.

UA's boats at Scholastic nationals included its boys Varsity 8, its boys Varsity 4 and its girls Varsity 4.

Boys coach Chris Swartz has been proud of the way his athletes have competed this season, especially since they've had to deal with what happened to captain Blake Haxton in March. Haxton was plagued with a flesh-eating bacteria and had to have both of his legs amputated above the knees and currently is rehabbing.

"This year with the situation with Blake and the fact that they've worked so hard, I'm very proud of them," Swartz said. "It's been an emotional year."

•The Dublin girls program qualified its Lightweight Varsity 8 boat to Youth nationals but won't be attending that regatta because two members were unavailable that weekend.

Competing on the boat which took third (8:25.2) at Midwest were Stephanie Voltmann, Kelly Merecicky, Jordan Vellky, Mariah Hake, Sarah Voltmann, Amy Rohlfing, Kira Reed and Becky Mehl and coxswain Katherine Thomas.

According to coach Gina Geosano, an incident occurred -- known as "catching a crab" -- in the middle of the race which caused the boat to stop during the first 500 meters. The boat still managed to finish third to qualify.

"We didn't perform as well as we usually do, but we qualified and that was the most important thing," Geosano said. "Given what happened, you have to pull like you've never pulled before and they were all completely tired when they were done so I know that they did.

"We had two seniors in that boat and one of them had a scheduled trip to Japan not knowing it was the same weekend, and the other is going to a family reunion that is very important to them. The girls who are coming back next year are hungry to go to nationals and that will be our goal next year."

At a glance

Below are recent results and the coming schedule for the Westerville crew team:

May 16-17 -- Boys: Finished first in Lightweight Varsity 8 (7:13), third in 3rd Varsity 8 (7:53.88) and Lightweight Varsity 4 (7:46.09) at Midwest Junior Rowing Championships on Lake Harsha in Batavia; Girls: Finished second in Lightweight Varsity 8 (8:15.4), 1st Varsity 4 (8:58.4) and Lightweight Varsity 4 (9:08.34) and third in 1st Varsity 8 (7:41.18) at Midwest Junior Rowing Championships

June 12-14 -- At USRowing Youth National championships on Lake Harsha in Batavia. Westerville is expected to send its boys Lightweight 8, girls Lightweight 8 and girls Varsity 8.