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Lake Oswego Community Rowing sends 15 athletes to compete at Vancouver Lake race

COURTESY PHOTO - Lake Oswego Communty Rowing masters head coach Ellie Lesch (center) poses with rowers Clytie Rimberg (left) and Lynne Chicoine.Because some sports take a lifetime to master, Lake Oswego Community Rowing decided to lean on some of its more experienced members in June.

Competing in the Northwest Masters Regional competition at Vancouver Lake from June 21-23, LOCR sent out 15 of its best to compete in a field of more than 1,100 rowers. By the end of the event, LOCR's 15 rowers had given it their all and posted a number of notable finishes.

Among those results were the following: Leonardo Pedrosa claimed gold in the men's-C single race; Lynne Chicoine and Clytie Rimberg finished second in the women's lightweight double; Chris Stewart guided his single to third place in the novice men's event.

In what turned out to be a suspenseful finish, the C-quad — rowers Preston Reep, Chris Stewart, Bill Lomax and Leonardo Pedrosa — took second after being edged out of a gold medal by less than a second.

Additionally, Mark Storey, 67, raced his single to a fifth-place finish, while two other boats — one with Lomax and Pedrosa, the other with Ron Brown and John Skene — also qualified for the finals.

The Vancouver competition was the culmination of countless early training sessions. Rimberg summed up the journey to her second-place finish this way: "I am 59 years old, started rowing eight years ago and this is the first athletic team I have ever been on. I love everything about it — being outside on the water, seeing wildlife and sunrises, the total body and mind exercise, my teammates and coaches and the camaraderie of racing. I am constantly trying to improve and it will take the rest of my life to perfect."

Stewart, who serves as LOCR board president, shared what for him is a newfound perspective — the one from the boat.

"As a new adult rower, it was thrilling to race and medal," he said. "I also improved my times from our last event thanks to our awesome coaches."

Masters head coach Ellie Lesch added the following: "Rowers are some of the most inspiring individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. Rowing truly is an amateur sport that anyone can pick up — our masters are proof of it."

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