PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
The U.S. won two medals Tuesday at the 2023 Pan American Games Qualification Regatta in San Pedro de la Paz, Chile. The women’s four took home the silver medal, while the lightweight women’s double sculls took home the bronze medal. Both crews secured their spots at the Pan American Games, pending United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee approval, as did the men’s four and lightweight men’s double sculls.
The women’s four of 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) won the silver medal behind Chile to secure a spot in the Pan American Games this October. Chile won the race by just over three seconds, clocking a 6:31.81 to take home the gold medal. The U.S. finished second with a time of 6:35.04, more than three seconds ahead of Mexico, which crossed the line in a 6:38.44. Darvin and Pretto also won the silver medal in the women’s pair earlier this week.
“We had a really great piece in yesterday’s repechage, so today was all about repeating the execution and taking bigger risks,” Paynter said. “We capitalized on the fast conditions in the first 750 meters, found a powerful rhythm across the next 500 meters, and in the last 750 as the water got rough, we brought our focus down to the leges and out-to-blade timing. I feel extremely proud of this boat for coming together in such a short time and finding exciting speed. I’m confident we will be able to build on our performances here come October.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to race for Team USA and to collaborate with athletes from so many high-performance groups. The energy has been infectiously positive and fierce, so I can only imagine the kind of atmosphere we’ll get in October.”
Elizabeth Martin (Lexington, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Riverside Boat Club) and Mary Wilson (Laurens, S.C./Duke University/Vesper Boat Club) won the bronze medal in the lightweight women’s double sculls. In what was a tight, three-way race at the head of the field, Chile’s Antonia Liewald and Isidora Niemeyer held a 0.40-second lead on Argentina’s Sonia Baluzzo and Evelyn Silvestro at the midway point before slowly inching away over the back half of the race. Chile crossed the finish line in a 7:11.77 to win the gold medal, with Argentina crossing in a 7:13.24 to take the silver medal. Martin and Wilson pulled away from Brazil over the final 1,000 meters to win the bronze medal in a 7:13.48, securing a spot at the Pan American Games.
“We had a great race today and executed our race plan exactly as we wanted to,” Martin said. “(We) had the fastest second half of the race out of the field, which was a focus for us. It was really fun to be in such a competitive field and have close races. We’re really excited to come back here in October. We’re a new combination and are excited to get some more good training and time in the boat together in the next six months.”
In the men’s four, 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 fourth, just missing a medal but securing a spot in the Pan American Games. Cuba won gold in a 5:58.06, with Uruguay finishing two second back in a 6:00.05. Chile won the bronze medal, posting a time of 6:01.21, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:02.82. Carlson and Hedge have qualified for the Pan American Games in two events, winning gold in yesterday’s men’s pair final.
Sean Richardson (Beverly, Mass./University of Massachusetts/Riverside Boat Club) and Alex Twist (Boston, Mass./University of Puget Sound/Riverside Boat Club) won the B final of the lightweight men’s double sculls to qualify for the Pan American Games. Richardson and Twist jumped out to the lead early in the race, building nearly a five-second advantage in the first 1,000 meters, and were never challenged. Richardson and Twist clocked a 6:34.29 to win the race ahead of Cuba’s Osvaldo Perez Cruz and Jose Perez Benitez. Peru finished third.
The two U.S. single scullers raced in the semifinals Tuesday, with both advancing to the finals.
Racing in the second semifinal of the women’s single sculls, Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) won by a length of open water to move on to tomorrow’s A final. Joyce got off the line in second position behind Canada’s Alizee Brien before moving into the lead in the second 500 meters. Joyce held about a half-length lead at the midway point of the race. Brien made her push just after the 1,000-meter mark, but Joyce was able to respond and moved away from the Canadian as the scullers approached 500 meters to go. Joyce crossed the line in a 7:53.53, finishing 4.65 seconds ahead of Brien’s 7:58.18. Cuba’s Ana Laura Jimenez finished third in an 8:16.90. Brazil’s Cardoso Beatriz won the first semifinal in a 7:53.75, with Chile’s Antonia Abraham finishing second in a 7:59.61. Paraguay’s Alejandra Alonso finished third to also advance to the final. The six scullers will race for the medals on Wednesday. Joyce won a silver medal in the women’s quadruple sculls on Monday.
In the men’s single sculls, Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) finished second in the first of two semifinals to move on to tomorrow’s race for the medals. Brazil’s Lucas Ferreira and Canada’s Andrew Hubbard took the early lead, with Plihal, who raced in the final of the men’s quadruple sculls on Monday, battling Cuba’s Yoelvis Hernandez for third position. Ferreira pulled out to a length lead on Hubbard 750 meters into the race, with Plihal pulling away from Hernandez as the crews approached the halfway point. Plihal continued his move during the third 500 meters, coming up even with Hubbard at the 1,250-meter mark before taking a length on the Canadian in the next 250 meters. At the line, Ferreira took first by about a length in a 7:06.20, with Plihal taking second by a length in a 7:09.61. Hubbard finished third to also advance to the A final. In the second semifinal, Mexico’s Juan Jose Flores clocked a 7:05.88 to win the race by 1.64 seconds over Chile’s Felipe Cardenas. Cardenas finished with a time of 7:07.52. Uruguay’s Bruno Cetraro finished third in a 7:08.24 to claim the last spot in the A final.
In addition to the single sculls, the two U.S. double sculls will be racing in tomorrow’s finals.
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 on Sunday to move on to the A final. Focht and Nicacio will take on crews from Chile, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, and Argentina in the race for the medals. Chile’s Melita Abraham and Victoria Hostetter and Canada’s Caroline DePaiva and Kristen Siermachesky were the two heat winners. Focht and Nicacio already qualified for the Pan American Games earlier this week, winning a silver medal in the women’s quadruple sculls on Monday.
The men’s double sculls tandem of Luke Rein (Barrington, R.I./College of Charleston/Penn AC) and Casey Fuller (Newtown, Conn./Fairfield University/Saugatuck Rowing Club) finished third in the repechage and now will race in the B final with Pan American Games’ qualification on the line. Rein and Fuller, who finished sixth in the men’s quadruple sculls’ final on Monday, will race against Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela in the B final, where a top two finish would qualify them for the Pan American Games.
Wednesday’s racing will be streamed live on the Panam Sports Channel.
In total, the U.S. has 12 boats competing in the five-day regatta. Click here for complete coverage of the event.
Click here for a 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 San Pedro de la Paz, 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.