CHATTANOOOGA, TN – Two San Miguel Academy rowers participated in USRowing’s official Youth Development Camp. Gustavo Laureano and Oscar Liendo, 2023 graduates of San Miguel Academy, were invited to attend the camp in Chattanooga as coxswains. Both young men are accomplished rowers and coxswain and have competed in national indoor and outdoor competitions. In February, Gustavo earned a bronze medal in the Mens Coxswain 1k at the USRowing National Indoor Championships. Oscar finished in fourth place, just seconds behind. Gustavo has been to the USRowing Youth National Championships twice: in 2022 as a coxswain and in 2023 as a rower, when his boat advanced to the grand final on Sunday and finished in 8th place. SMA competes in the U15 division, a relatively new event for USRowing.
The youth development camp is an integral part of USRowing’s Olympic Development Program, which prepares athletes to compete at future U19, U23, and Senior National Team events. Oscar and Gustavo were extended full scholarships to attend the camp, where they had the opportunity to train with and learn from elite rowers and coaches, including members of the US Olympic team. At the camp, Gustavo and Oscar were some of the only coxswains with experience rowing, erging, and coxing. They came to understand that their comprehensive knowledge of the boat and what it’s like to be on the water as a rower gave them an advantage as coxswains. Gustavo describes the experience: “I was able to relate to my rowers. I understood the pain that they were in especially in the heat. I improved a lot as a leader and a coxswain, and can now pass my knowledge along to future coxswains at San Miguel Academy.” For Gustavo and Oscar, the camp reaffirmed their commitment to the sport of rowing. “You learn about life from rowing,” said Oscar. “Everyone has to work together. Coxswains bring people together and help them get through problems. A coach told me that for coxswains, less is more. It’s important for coxswains to take control but not too much control.”
As senior rowers at San Miguel Academy, Gustavo and Oscar are spending the summer passing on their rowing knowledge to younger rowers, ensuring the long-term success of the program. San Miguel Academy Rowing, a scholastic program in Newburgh, NY., is one of the largest middle school programs in the country. The program creates access to educational paths that support the mission of San Miguel Program: to break the cycle of poverty through education. Oscar will be attending Deerfield Academy, where he will be training under renowned rower Spencer Washburn. He looks forward to gaining experience coxing on the 8-man shell. Gustavo will be rowing for the Newburgh Free Academy crew team before heading off to boarding school for his sophomore year. He will also be furthering his interest in aeronautics at the RedTail Flight Academy at Stewart International Airport. The opportunity for our rowers to train and complete is made possible through the generosity of donors and several organizations, including the New York Giants Foundation, the Head of the Charles/ Philadelphia Gold Cup Foundation, and Arshay Cooper and the A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund.