New Canaan's Andrew and Charlie Campbell would like to find rowing's copy and paste button. The boys finished 1-2 in the USRowing District Championships Men's Youth 1x final last month. They will compete in the same event at this weekend's Youth National Championships in Cincinnati.
"Hopefully, we'll finish 1-2 again,'' says Andrew, a senior at New Canaan. He won the district race in 7:19.101 while Charlie, a junior, took second in 7:40.67. "We'll be facing some stiff competition from all over the country, but we're ready."
The Campbells compete for the New Canaan crew team that trains at Maritime Rowing Club in Norwalk. They started crew after moving a few years ago from Illinois, where Andrew competed in sailing. Charlie was a runner. "Running just hurts your knees too much,'' Charlie says.
Since joining Maritime, the Campbell brothers have flourished under coaches Yan Venerovskiy and Volodymyr Opalnyk. They are training partners, teammates and competitors. "It's not too neat to race against your brother,'' says Andrew, who will row for Harvard beginning in the fall. "You want to beat everyone, and it's hard to avoid that." Charlie's only race at the nationals is the 1x. Andrew will row with Alec Buckenheimer in the lightweight 2x in addition to the 1x.
The national championships are critical for Charlie as he prepares to enter his senior year in high school. College recruiters will be monitoring the results. After the junior meet, Andrew will be competing in U.S. trials 10 days later in New Jersey. They row year-round and take off for only about two weeks a year.
Besides their commitment to rowing, both boys feel their success is tied directly to their training from the Maritime coaches. "This is a staff that's focused on getting us to the national and international level,'' Andrew says.
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