Del Mar resident Mariko Kelly recently rowed her way to three first-place finishes at the Long Beach Invitational on April 12-13. The regatta featured over 20 of the state’s top rowing teams and was held at historic Marine Stadium in Long Beach, the site of the 1932 Olympic rowing venue.
Kelly was joined by San Diego Rowing Club teammates Sarah Hoskin, Marissa Gibson, and Jillian Renly to win the women’s quadruple sculls. Kelly is a junior at La Jolla Country Day School and has been rowing for SDRC for three years. Hoskin is a senior at the Academy of Our Lady Peace in San Diego and is headed to Fordham University next year. Senior Marissa Gibson shared two of those golds with Kelly, one in the quad and another in the women’s pair. Gibson, a senior at La Jolla High School, will be attending the University of Wisconsin on a rowing scholarship. Jillian Renly is a sophomore attending University City High School. She won gold in the quad and double with Kelly, in addition to nabbing the bronze in the women’s single.
The team rows on Mission Bay out of the San Diego Rowing Club and is coached by two-time Olympic gold medalist, Susan Francia. The Long Beach Invitational is considered to be the final “tune-up” before the boats head to Southwest Regionals Junior Championships at Lake Natoma in Sacramento on May 3-4. Southwest Regionals is the qualifier for US Junior Nationals. At Nationals last year, the Quad representing SDRC, took fourth place by a mere one-100th of a second.