PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY | STORY COURTESY USROWING
The U.S. women’s eight won its heat to move on to the final, while two other crews advanced on the second day of racing at the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. In addition to the women’s eight, the men’s four with coxswain advanced to the final via its repechage, while the men’s pair advanced to the semifinals through its repechage.
The women’s eight of coxswain Victoria Grieder (Windermere, Fla./Rutgers University), Megan Lee (Natick, Mass./Duke University), Hannah Heideveld (New Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers University), Mia Levy (Des Moines, Iowa/Yale University), Evan Park (Bend, Ore./Oregon State University), Lale Edil (Arcadia, Okla./University of Oklahoma), Dahlia Levine (Ardmore, Pa./Brown University), Lauren Day (Seattle, Wash./United States Naval Academy), and Olivia Vavasour (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Brown University) chased down Germany in the final 500 meters to win its heat and advance directly to the final.
“This was our first 2k together as a crew, so we were just pretty focused on our execution,” Grieder said. “I think we are confident with how we did executing today, but now all eyes are on Sunday as we try to look forward. We’re going to look towards enhancing a couple of parts (that) we can improve on in the race during our training sessions, keep muscles moving, stay fluid, stay loose, and make sure we are all in a good mental space as a crew.”
With only one to advance, Germany took an early lead, but the U.S. used its strong base pace to begin reeling in the Germans in the middle 1,000 meters. The U.S. trailed by less than a half-second with 500 meters to go before passing Germany and then pulling away during the sprint. The U.S. won the race in a 6:17.90, with Germany crossing in a 6:20.52. Great Britain won the first heat in a 6:23.92.
“As a coxswain, I’ve been trying to bring together the chemistry every session we get,” Grieder said. “After being selected, we had one week in Oklahoma City and one week here. It’s just cool. Each day we are coming together more as a crew. We are learning so much since we come from programs all over the country, and I’m just so proud of all the women in this boat.”
After finishing third in its heat, the men’s four with coxswain of Sammy Houdaigui (McLean, Va./Dartmouth College), Blake Vogel (Pittsburgh, Pa./University of Washington), Braden Porterfield (Alexandria, Va./Northeastern University), Bret Holt (Folsom, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), and Keith Ryan (Sausalito, Calif./University of California, Berkeley) advanced to the final thanks to a second-place finish in the repechage. The crew moved into second in the first 500 meters and had taken control of the last qualifying spot as the crews reached the midway point. New Zealand led throughout, winning with a time of 6:22.17. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:24.07.
The men’s pair of August Altucher (Sellwood, Ore./University of Washington) and Caleb Cowles (Newport Beach, Calif./University of Washington) advanced to the semifinals thanks to a second-place finish in the first of two repechages. With three to advance, Altucher and Cowles got off the line in third position before using the fastest middle 1,000 meters to move into second place behind New Zealand. The Kiwis led the race from start to finish, crossing the line in a 6:49.52. The U.S. finished in a 6:51.53, with Canada overtaking Austria for the third qualifying spot. The Canadians finished with a time of 6:53.24.
In the first heat of the men’s eight, the crew of coxswain Jack DiGiovanni (Pittsford, N.Y./Brown University), Josh Golbus (Plymouth, Minn./Brown University), Ian Burnett (Arlington, Mass./Brown University), Wilson Morton (Summit, N.J./University of California, Berkeley), Erik Spinka (Southport, Conn./Princeton University), Joseph Kiely (Hebron, Ky./University of Notre Dame), Julian Thomas (New Hope, Pa./Dartmouth College), Nick Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Princeton University), and Jacob Hudgins (Andover, Mass./Dartmouth College) finished third and will race in the repechages. The U.S. crew sat in third position the entire way down the course. With two to advance to the final, Australia took the early lead before Great Britain moved to the head of the field just after the midway point. The British boat rowed away from Australia over the second half of the race, winning by nearly three seconds. Great Britain clocked a 5:32.66, with the Aussies finishing in a 5:35.53. The U.S. clocked a 5:37.95.
The women’s four of Angela Szabo (Sarasota, Fla./University of California), Maddie Moore (Naples, Fla./Yale University), Elsa Hartman (Roseville, Calif./University of Virginia), and Katherine Kelly (Vashon Island, Wash./University of Virginia) finished third in the second of two heats and now will race in tomorrow’s repechages. The U.S. got off the line in first, just ahead of Poland, but the Polish crew was able to move into the top spot during the second quarter of the race. Poland built nearly a three-second lead on the U.S. boat as the crews hit the midway point. Great Britain overtook the Americans in the third 500 and tried to chase down the leader, but the Polish boat was able to hold on for a 1.52-second victory. With only one to advance, Poland won the race in a 6:44.98 to earn a spot in the final. Great Britain finished second in a 6:46.50, with the U.S. taking third in a 6:54.97.
In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emma Mirrer (Providence, R.I./Princeton University) finished third in the first of three heats and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With two to advance to the semifinals, Mirrer got off the line In fourth position, and while she was able to move into third place during the last 500 meters, she could never get on terms with Switzerland’s Marion Heiniger for the second qualification spot. Italy’s Ilaria Corazza took command of the race in the first 500 meters and was never challenged, winning with a time of 7:53.65. Heiniger raced in second position the entire way down the course, finishing in a 7:59.12. Mirrer clocked an 8:06.07.
Women’s single sculler Katelin Gildersleeve (Dallas, Texas/Stanford University/Oklahoma City High Performance Center) is headed to the repechages after a third-place finish in the third of four heats. Gildersleeve held the lead through the 1,000-meter mark before Belgium’s Mazarine Guilbert moved into the top position just after the midway point. With just one to advance to the semifinals, Guilbert pulled away from the field during the third quarter of the race before cruising to the line, crossing in a 7:57.19. Paraguay’s Nicole Martinez finished second in an 8:00.45, with Gildersleeve clocking an 8:13.13.
The lightweight men’s double sculls crew of Timothy Parsons (Eugene, Ore./Yale University) and Ryan Tripp (Piedmont, Calif./Dartmouth College) finished fourth in the first of three heats and now will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With two to advance to the semifinals, Parsons and Tripp raced in fifth position for the first half of the race before moving into fourth position. Ireland’s Ciaran Purdy and Rory O’Neill overtook Italy’s Luca Borgonovo and Nicolo DeMiliani in the back half of the race to earn the victory in a 6:35.55. Italy finished second in a 6:36.82. The U.S. clocked a 6:50.86.
In the men’s quadruple sculls, James Patton (Houston, Texas/Harvard University), Matthew Davis (Malvern, Pa./University of Pennsylvania), Jason Kennedy (Berwyn, Pa./University of Pennsylvania), and Charles Jones (Bloomington, Ind./University of Pennsylvania) also finished fourth and now will race in the repechages. The U.S. got off the line in third position before dropping to fourth just before the midway point of the race. Germany won the race in a 5:55.41, winning by nearly four seconds. With two crews advancing to the semifinals, Poland took the other qualifying spot in a 5:59.11. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:08.69.
In the women’s double sculls, Megan Walsh (Grand Rapids, Minn./University of Oklahoma) and Annie Herring (Dallas, Texas/Brown University) finished fifth in the first of two heats and will race in the repechages tomorrow. Walsh and Herring got off the line in sixth position before moving into fifth during the second quarter of the race. With only one to advance directly to the final, Switzerland took the lead from Germany in the second 500 meters and never looked back, winning by nearly six seconds. The Swiss crew clocked a 7:07.62, with Germany finishing second in a 7:13.45. The U.S. crossed the line with a time of 7:31.10.
The lightweight women’s double sculls tandem of Aislinn O’Brien (Phoenixville, Pa./St. Joseph’s University) and Katrina Miehlbradt (Auckland, New Zealand/University of Toronto) finished fifth in the first of three heats. O’Brien and Miehlbradt raced in fifth position the entire way down the course. With the top three advancing to the semifinals, Greece’s Evangelia Anastasiadou and Dimitra Eleni Kontou established their lead early and cruised to an easy victory in a 7:08.27. Poland’s Jessika Sobocinska and Wiktoria Kalinowska took second in a 7:12.72, with Italy’s Sara Borghi and Elena Sali finishing third in a 7:17.99. The U.S. finished with a time of 7:27.01.
The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Meena Baher (Mountain View, Calif./Harvard University), Lauren Benedict (Reston, Va./University of Virginia), Catie Castle (Vero Beach, Fla./University of Rhode Island), and Rosemary Varney (Ojai, Calif./University of California, Los Angeles) finished fourth in its repechage and now will race in the B final for overall places 7-12. The U.S. boat got off the line in fifth and could never get into contention for a top-two spot and a place in the A final. Czech Republic won the race in a 6:37.89, with Germany taking the other qualifying spot in a 6:41.99. The American boat clocked a 6:52.96.
Men’s single sculler Isaiah Harrison (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Coeur d’Alene Rowing Association), the defending World Rowing Under 23 Championships’ silver medalist in the event, is headed to the C/D semifinals after finishing third in his repechage. With two to advance to the A/B semifinals, Harrison got off the line in fifth position, moved into fourth at the midway point, and made his way into second as the scullers hit 500 meters to go. However, Japan’s Koji Abe was able to chase down Harrison in the final 250 meters to earn the second qualifying spot. Poland’s Piotr Plominski led the race the entire way down the course, crossing the line in a 7:06.43. Abe took second in a 7:15.89, with Harrison finishing in a 7:23.15.
This year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships features more than 750 athletes from 51 nations. The U.S. has 16 athletes returning from last year’s team.
Racing continues on Friday with the remaining repechages and the start of semifinals. Medal races highlight Saturday and Sunday’s racing.
The live race tracker and live audio will be available for all races on www.worldrowing.com. Live video streaming will be available on the World Rowing website on Saturday for the A/B semifinals and A finals and Sunday for the A finals. The video streaming will start five minutes before the first race.