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Time Trials, PR3 Finals Wrapped Up After Day One of USRowing NSR I and Senior/Para Speed Order

BY LUKE REYNOLDS
PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY

Jaclyn Smith, Andrew Wigren, and Todd Vogt had a busy, windy morning of rowing Tuesday.

The three each raced in two finals less than two hours apart at the 2022 USRowing NSR I and Senior/Para Speed Order. For Smith—who raced in the first event of the day, the PR3 mixed double followed by the PR3 women’s pair—the day’s racing was constructive.

“Both races went as expected coming off an injury,” Smith said. “I couldn’t pull out the win in the double but we had a very productive race. We’ve learned a lot this week. We’re looking forward to what’s to come with trials.”

Smith and her doubles partner, Andrew Wigren, came in second in the PR3 mixed double behind Portland Boat Club’s Pearl Outlaw and Todd Vogt.

“We were happy with the times considering the wind,” Smith said. “Obviously, you always want more. I was hoping the gap in the double would be a little shorter than what it was but it’s progress. I’m pretty pleased.”

Vogt and Wigren would go on to race each other PR3 men’s 1x. Vogt ended up winning the event over Wigren with a time of 8:17.70.

In addition to the PR3 finals, the first day of racing at NSR I included time trials for the men’s and women’s singles. For the Speed Order portion of the regatta, the men’s and women’s lightweight singles also competed in time trials for semifinal placement.

In the men’s single, Ben Davison representing California Rowing Club had the fastest time followed by Kevin Cardno who rows for Texas Rowing Center’s high-performance program.

“Overall good, tricky conditions today,” Cardno said. “There seemed to be almost a direct cross wind and wind seemed to pick up after the 1km. So, as I got tired it became harder to stay clean but I thought I managed it best I could.”

For Cardno, Davison, Green Racing Project’s Jacob Plihal, and California Rowing Club’s Sorin Koszyk, the top-four finish means a day of rest as the four scullers advance directly to the A/B semifinals Thursday thanks to the new USRowing six-lane progression system.

“The job today was to make it out of the time trial. It was an added bonus to make the top four,” Cardno said. “It feels good, but I try to not get ahead of myself at all. There are lots of boats that are very tight together.”

The new progression system also stipulates that events with 7-12 entries will advance directly to the A/B semifinals. For both the men’s and women’s lightweight singles, this means that all competitors will advance directly to Thursday’s semifinal racing.

In the women’s lightweight event, Sophia Luwis who is unaffiliated, Molly Reckford representing Sarasota, Audrianna Boersen of Potomac Boat Club, and Solveig Imsdahl representing Vesper Boat Club posted the four fastest times.

“The race felt good,” Reckford said. “It was my first all-out 2k of the season. My goal is really the double so this has been my chance to go out, have fun, and see how much I’ve improved since 2019. It felt really good to go out and lay it all out and see what I could do.”

Time trials can be a challenge, Reckford said, and today’s windy conditions didn’t make racing any easier.

“Managing the conditions, with the rip-roaring cross-tail, managing the steering, that was really what I was trying to focus on. Casey [Galvanek] said ‘have fun, don’t flip.’ So I succeeded in that.”

“Managing the conditions, with the rip-roaring cross-tail, managing the steering, that was really what I was trying to focus on. Casey [Galvanek] said ‘have fun, don’t flip.’ So I succeeded in that.”

-Molly Reckford

After the first 250, Reckford says she recalibrated to get a feel for how the racing lane felt with the conditions now factored in as opposed to the warm-up lane.

“I really spent the next 750 meters focusing on pushing my legs, keeping my body still, engaging my glutes, and then being like ‘okay, get me to the 1,000,’ because that’s when I really start rolling. Then the last 500 was really fun because I felt the athlete next to me. I started seeing her puddles and that sort of got me hyped for side-by-side racing in two days.”

The top four competitors in the men’s lightweight event were Zach Heese and Jasper Liu, both members of the Texas Rowing Center High Performance squad, Alex Twist of Riverside, and Sam Melvin representing New York Athletic Club.

Racing will continue at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. eastern with the repechages. A full list of results can be found here.

* Rowing News Trials coverage brought to you by Gemini.

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