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Steering them straight at the Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Despite being younger than them, Keaton Langer has no problems coaching his teammates to the finish line at the Oklahoma Regatta Festival in Oklahoma City.
by Adam Kemp Modified: October 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm •  Published: October 6, 2013

Despite being a head shorter and a couple of years younger, Keaton Langer has no problem bossing around older high school boys.

It is, after all, his job.

As coxswain, the 13-year-old Langer is responsible for barking out stroke patterns to his teammates while he rides leisurely on one end of the boat as they cross the finish line.

Langer said he came out to the Oklahoma River with intention of rowing. Instead his size and stature led him to follow another path in the sport.

“My friend came out to row so I joined, too,” Langer said. “It wasn't necessarily that I was too small, but I couldn't pull enough to become a rower so I became a coxswain instead.”

The rowers, Alex Jablonski, James Hunter, Bobby Gibbs and Andrew Fraser are all older than Langer, but they said when he speaks up, they listen.

“He navigates the course and communicates with the other coxswains and tells us when to power up or down,” Gibbs, 16, said. “We try to get him to yell at us more because if it's done correctly then it's all good and it really helps us.”

Langer said he felt hesitant when he first started as the cox. His quiet nature didn't lend itself easily to giving orders.

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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