Nash Twins Claim National Youth Rowing Bronze Medal

Saturday, July 5, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
Bronze Medal Winners ... Connor Nash (left) and Quinn Nash celebrate after placing third at the USRowing Youth Nationals in June
Bronze Medal Winners ... Connor Nash (left) and Quinn Nash celebrate after placing third at the USRowing Youth Nationals in June

This is the most sports attention the Lookout Mountain Catholic Church (Our Lady of the Mount) has had since Chris Brown was a national top 10 junior tennis player in the early 1960s and Yogi Anderson was earning 12 varsity letters at the U. of the South (1969-72).

 

Two thousand meters of open water stood between the Nash twins and the medal stand as they were poised on the starting line for their last rowing event of their junior careers.

Not just any finals race, Connor and Quinn Nash of Lookout Mountain occupied one of six boats in the Men’s Youth Pairs Final at the USRowing Youth National Championships at Lake Natoma outside Rancho Cordova, Calif. June 13-15.

Starting out at a steady pace, the 18-year-old Nash twins,rowing under the Chattanooga Junior Rowing banner, were in fifth place after 500 meters, but stayed within striking distance of the leaders before making their move the final 500 and took third and a bronze medal behind champion White Rock and silver medalist Three Rivers.

“We were really happy to have earned a bronze medal (the first national medal for a Chattanooga Junior Rowing boat) as we had trained hard and rowed well in the finals,” said Connor who is 6-foot-5 while Quinn is 6-foot-4 as the brothers took this in the opening heat and then won the repechage (consolation finals) which earned them a spot in the six-boat championship event.

A hectic schedule of 6 a.m. practices with coach David Hall, training at D-I Sports and working as life guards at the Fairyland Club pool ended with a photo-op on the medal stand and the satisfaction of a job well done.

“I knew that Connor and Quinn were talented to make the charge at the end, had put in the time in training for nationals and were well-prepared,” said coach Hall who is a senior at UTC.

“Everyone who gets to nationals is fast and that Connor and Quinn had rowed in the quad a couple of years ago at nationals (18th place with David May and older brother Iain Nash) which gave them invaluable experience for their pair’s race.”

A well rounded twosome on and off the water, the brothers have a home-schooled background, plus courses at Chattanooga State (3.5 grade point average), active at Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church (Lookout Mtn.), are life guards at Fairyland Club and swim for the undefeated Fairyland team.

Far from ready to retire their oars, the brothers head to Gonzaga Univ. (Spokane, Wash.) in August on merit scholarships and will row for the Zags, a non-scholarship NCAA D-I program.

“We look forward to rowing in college at a Division I program and Spokane is a great city much like Chattanooga so it’s a perfect fit for us,” Connor stated.

 A perfect fit.

Just as the national bronze medals were around their necks on a Sunday in June.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


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