These days, Linwood native Sam Ojserkis is hoping to steer the U.S. Row Team to gold in Rio, but it wasn't all that long ago that he decided to join the Mainland Regional High School row team to avoid getting a job.

Ojserkis,26, the coxswain for the U.S. team, was convinced by his parents to try rowing when he was a freshmen at Mainland, according to the U.S. Rowing Team's website.

The United States Row team came in second in their men's-eight heat Monday in Olympic competition in Rio. The American team compete again Wednesday for the chance to advance to Saturday's medal round.

After graduating from Mainland in 2008, Ojserkis was a member of two national championship rowing teams at the University of Washington. He then helped the  U.S. under 23 eight boat team win a world championship in 2012.

Ojserkis lives in Princeton Junction and trains at the U.S. Rowing training Training Center in  Princeton.