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Four U.S. Crews Advance on Second Day at Pan American Games Qualification Regatta

STORY COURTESY USROWING
PHOTO BY SANTIAGO 2023, COURTESY USROWING

Four U.S. boats advanced on Sunday at the 2023 Pan American Games Qualification Regatta in Concepcion, Chile. The lightweight women’s double sculls, women’s double sculls, and men’s quadruple sculls all advanced to the finals, while the lightweight men’s double sculls moved on to the semifinals.

Three U.S. crews hit the water for the first time in Sunday’s heats. In the lightweight women’s double sculls, Elizabeth Martin (Lexington, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Riverside Boat Club) and Mary Wilson (Laurens, S.C./Duke University/Vesper Boat Club) finished second in the first of two heats to advance directly to the final. With two spots up for grabs, Martin and Wilson were in a close battle with Peru’s Alessia and Valeria Palacios for second position through the halfway point before the U.S. crew pulled away in the back half of the race. Argentina’s Evelyn Silvestro and Sonia Baluzzo led by 2.54 seconds at the 1,000-meter mark. The U.S. tried to chase down Argentina in the back half of the race but came up a half-second short. Silvestro and Baluzzo crossed the line in a 7:13.26, with Martin and Wilson finishing in a 7:13.78. Chile’s Isidora Niemeyer and Antonia Liewald won the second heat in a 7:14.01, with Brazil’s Antonia Penha Abreu and Isabelle Falck finishing 4.83 seconds back in second.

Isa Darvin (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin/Penn AC), Hannah Paynter (Lyme, Conn./Princeton University/ARION), Cristina Pretto (Prospect, Conn./Trinity College/Penn AC), and Lauren Miller (St Cloud, Minn./University of Minnesota/ARION) finished second in the first heat of the women’s four and now will race in the repechages for a second chance at advancing to the final. The crew finished less than one second behind Mexico, which clocked a 6:39.83 to win the race and advance to the final. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:40.58. Canada finished third. In the second heat, Chile advanced to the final, clocking a 6:44.05 to finish 2.55 seconds ahead of Brazil. Yesterday, Darvin and Pretto finished second in their heat of the women’s pair to move directly to tomorrow’s final.

Racing in the second of two heats, the men’s four of Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif./University of Washington/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), Alexander Hedge (Morristown, N.J./Columbia University/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), Cooper Hurley (Andover, Mass./University of Delaware/Penn AC), and Nicholas Ruggiero (Haddonfield, N.J./University of Delaware/Penn AC) finished second behind Argentina and now will row in the repechages. Argentina won the race in a 6:00.77, with the U.S. finishing in a 6:02.45. Uruguay won the first heat in a 5:59.55. Carlson and Hedge won their heat of the men’s pair yesterday, advancing to tomorrow’s final.

Four additional crews raced in repechages on Sunday.

After finishing second in their heat of the women’s double sculls, Madeleine Focht (Long Beach, Calif./California State University, Long Beach/Long Beach Rowing Association) and Veronica Nicacio (Battle Ground, Wash./University of Portland/ARION) came back to win their repechage Sunday to move on to the final. With two crews advancing, Focht and Nicacio took the lead early in the second repechage ahead of Cuba’s Milena Venega and Yariulvis Cobas. The U.S. continued to expand its lead over the second half of the race, winning by more than 13 seconds in a 7:11.62. Cuba also advanced to the final, clocking a 7:24.92. Mexico’s Mildred Mercado and Devanih Plata won the first repechage in a 7:22.85, with Argentina’s Clara Galfre and Julieta Gonzalez taking second. The four crews join the heat winners, Chile’s Melita Abraham and Victoria Hostetter and Canada’s Caroline DePaiva and Kristen Siermachesky, in the final.

The lightweight men’s double sculls tandem of Sean Richardson (Beverly, Mass./University of Massachusetts/Riverside Boat Club) and Alex Twist (Boston, Mass./University of Puget Sound/Riverside Boat Club) won Sunday’s repechage and now will head to the semifinals. With three to advance, Richardson and Twist took more than a six-second lead in the first half of the race before cruising to a 1.66-second victory over Paraguay’s Matias Ramirez and Gabriel Portillo. Richardson and Twist crossed the line in a 6:43.43, with Paraguay finishing in a 6:45.09. Guatemala finished third to also advance to the semis.

In the first repechage of the men’s double sculls, Luke Rein (Barrington, R.I./College of Charleston/Penn AC) and Casey Fuller (Newtown, Conn./Fairfield University/Saugatuck Rowing Club) finished third and now will race in the B final with Pan American Games’ qualification on the line. With two to advance, Rein and Fuller were fifth at the 1,000-meter mark, and while they tried to chase down the two lead crews, the U.S. boat couldn’t move back into a qualifying spot for the A final. Uruguay’s Marcos Sarraute and Eric Seawright reeled in the Cuban crew of Roberto Paz and Carlos Ajete to win the race in a 6:35.17. Cuba finished just 0.26 seconds back in a 6:35.43. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:38.19. Rein and Fuller will take on crews from Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela in the B final, where a top-two finish would qualify them for the Pan American Games.

In the men’s quadruple sculls, Fuller, Rein, Mark Couwenhoven (Parkton, Md./University of Maryland – Baltimore County/Penn AC), and Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) finished fourth in the lone repechage to advance to the final. The crew sat in fifth position through the midway point before passing Canada to take the last qualifying spot. Chile won the race in a 5:52.40, finishing 1.44 seconds ahead of Argentina. Mexico finished third in a 5:55.51, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:00.48. The top four crews join Cuba and Uruguay in the final.

On Monday, the U.S. will have two pairs and two quadruple sculls crews racing for medals and trying to lock down qualifying spots for the Pan American Games.

In the men’s pair, Carlson and Hedge dominated their heat to advance to the final. They will be joined by Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in the final. Mexico’s Hugo Reyes and Jordi Gutierrez were the other heat winners.

Darvin and Pretto advanced to the final of the women’s pair by placing second in their heat behind Canada’s Kailani Marchak and Olivia McMurray. The two crews will take on Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, and Argentina in the final. Chile’s Antonia Zanetta and Antonia Pichot were the other heat winners.

Focht, Nicacio, Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), and Katherine Horvat (Philadelphia, Pa./Yale University/ARION) advanced to the final of the women’s quadruple sculls by finishing second in their Saturday heat. The crew will take on Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, and Canada in the final. Chile and Argentina won the two heats.

The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Fuller, Rein, Couwenhoven, and Plihal will take on Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, and Uruguay in the final.

In total, the U.S. has 12 boats competing in the five-day regatta. Tuesday’s racing features finals in the men’s and women’s fours and lightweight double sculls, as well as semifinals in several events. Racing concludes on Wednesday with finals in the men’s and women’s single sculls and double sculls.

Click here for a complete look at rowing’s qualification procedures for the 2023 Pan American Games. The 2023 Pan American Games are scheduled to take place October 20-November 5, with the rowing events being contested October 21-25 in Concepcion, Chile.

USRowing would like to thank Filippi Lido, the Official Boat Supplier for the U.S. Senior, Under 23, and Para Rowing National Teams. Under the agreement, Filippi is providing USRowing a fleet of boats for international competitions including the World Rowing Cup regattas, World Rowing Under 23 Championships, World Rowing Championships, Olympic Games, and Paralympic Games, as well as a domestic training fleet for the USRowing Training Center.

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