Eight OKC-area schools compete in rowing, kayaking championships

Students from U.S. Grant and other area schools compete in the SandRidge RIVERSPORT Youth League. Permanent lighting will be installed on the Oklahoma River next year, allowing for night racing.
BY ED GODFREY Staff Writer egodfrey@opubco.com Published: November 16, 2011
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Junior Judith Alvarado plays softball at U.S. Grant. Senior Luis Pizano wrestles for the Generals.

They are also teammates. Both row for U.S. Grant in the SandRidge RIVERSPORT Youth League.

Alvarado was one of two girls on the Generals' eight-person crew that easily defeated three other high school crews Wednesday on the Oklahoma River in a 500-meter league championship race.

“You get a rush from rowing,” Alvarado said. “I like it a lot and it's an opportunity to get into college if you are good enough.”

Wednesday's championship races culminated a 10-week fall league for high school and middle school teams.

Eight schools and approximately 200 high school and middle school students currently participate in the rowing and kayaking league.

OKC RIVERSPORT provides the equipment and the training. Students practice twice a week after school with OKC RIVERSPORT coaches either on the Oklahoma River or Lake Overholser.

There are both fall and spring leagues that conclude with championship races. This is only the second season for the youth league.

“This is something we are really trying to build,” said Mike Knopp, executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. “We have this incredible venue. We ought to have every school participating. We would love to have teams from every school.”

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