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Elinor Hannum of Andover, left, and Margaret Bergson of Georgetown, Mass. capture a bronze medal at the Youth National Championship.

Courtesy photo

Andover High School junior Elinor Hannum is competing for a spot to represent the United States at the World Rowing Championship after helping her pair capture a bronze at the US Rowing Youth National Championship recently.

The Essex Rowing Club Inc. Women's Youth Pair of Hannum and Margaret Bergson of Georgetown, Mass. took third place June 13 at the Youth National Championship on Harsha Lake, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

The duo finished in a time of 7 minutes 48.517 seconds in a photo finish with Pacific Rowing Club of San Francisco, Calif. Pacific crossed the line a mere four one-hundredths of a second ahead of Essex in 7 minutes 48.474 seconds, according to Essex Rowing Club. Connecticut Boat Club of Norwalk, Conn. pulled ahead of the field early in the race to finish with a time of 7 minutes 34.630 seconds and take the gold.

"This was an outstanding race by the pair and certainly fun for us to watch at the finish line," said Coach Travis Gardner. The 2000 meter race played out in dramatic fashion, as Pacific and CBC pulled ahead early, leaving Essex in a tight battle with Lakeside School Crew for third position over the first 1000 meters. But at 150 meters to go Essex had pulled to within a boat length of the second place crew and proceeded to unleash a furious sprint. With just four strokes to go the crews were even, exchanging a lead of mere inches with each stroke, but it was Pacific that would have the advantage over the line.

Just four hours after their race in the pair, Hannum and Bergson joined teammates Elyse Pengeroth of Andover and Kelli O'Brien and coxswain Courtney Cronin to contest for yet another national ranking, this time in the Women's Youth Four. The crew came away from that event ranked 18th in the country, a placing Coach Gardner said he was pleased to achieve.

Also competing for Essex was the Men's Youth Eight, which posted a fourth place finish in each of their qualifying rounds to narrowly miss a position in a placing final. The crew of Christian Mund (Groveland), John Corbett (Andover), Anthony Curro (North Andover), Lucius White (Andover), Sean Fanning (North Andover), Mike Bourie (North Andover), Andrew Wait (Andover), John Buchta (North Andover), and Christopher Garvey (Ipswich) placed first in the seven-state Northeast District to qualify for the championship.

For most of the athletes the National Championship marks the end of their season, but for Andover High's Hannum, there is much more to come. She was among approximately 30 under-18 women from across the country invited to Selection Camp for the United States Junior National Team.

"Here she will enter a rigorous selection process from which 14 athletes will be chosen to represent the United States at the World Rowing Championship in Racice, Czech Republic in August," according to an Essex Rowing Club release.

Hannum was expected to leave last week to begin selection at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., according to her club.

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