Bobby Vernazza, a Redwod City resident, placed second in the nation at the prestigious Junior National Rowing Championship in Tennessee on June 9-11.
"I felt relieved knowing that all of the work I've put in during the past four years finally paid off," he said. "The competition was fierce. The time difference between second and fourth place was about a second."
Vernazza rowed a single boat and competed against 18 of the top junior rowers in the nation. After several heats and elimination, he advanced to the finals. Vernazza placed second overall with a fast time of 7:34, beating the third place winner by less than a second. He is ranked as the second fastest junior sculler in the nation.
"I knew that once I passed third and fourth place, my adrenaline would carry me through to the finish line," Vernazza said. "My heart was pounding and my legs were in so much pain, but I kept telling myself to push through the pain and accomplish what I went there to do."
Vernazza competed since his freshman year on the Serra high school crew team. He will attend Oregon State University in the fall, where he plans to row for the Beavers and major in biology.