PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
Roster spots on this year’s world championships’ squad will be on the line in 10 boat classes starting Thursday at the 2023 USRowing Senior National Team Trials on Mercer Lake at the Caspersen Rowing Center in West Windsor, N.J.
Athletes will be trying to make the team that will represent the U.S. at the 2023 World Rowing Championships scheduled for September 3-10 in Belgrade, Serbia. National team berths will be contested in the men’s single sculls, women’s double sculls, men’s pair, lightweight men’s and women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s and women’s pair, lightweight men’s and women’s quadruple sculls, and PR3 women’s pair.
The men’s single sculls event leads the way in number of entries with 19. Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Jacob Plihal raced in the quadruple sculls at last year’s world championships and will represent the U.S. in the single and quad at the 2023 Pan American Games in October. California Rowing Club’s Andrew Gaard, Michael Knippen, and Andrew LeRoux, as well as Penn AC’s Michael Clougher, were also part of last year’s world championships’ squad. Penn AC’s Mark Couwenhoven and Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Casey Fuller will join Plihal on the Pan Am squad.
Fourteen scullers are entered in the lightweight men’s single sculls including Texas Rowing Center’s Jasper Liu, who raced in the lightweight double sculls at last year’s world championships. Riverside Boat Club’s Ashton Knight and Sean Richardson were part of the lightweight quadruple sculls at last year’s worlds, while New York Athletic Club’s Sam Melvin was the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships’ gold medalist in the event. Penn AC’s Tyler Nase was a 2016 Olympian in the lightweight four and finished ninth in the lightweight single at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.
The women’s double sculls field has eight entries including the Texas Rowing Center/ARION composite crew of Sophia Vitas and Kristi Wagner. The duo finished fifth in the event at last year’s world championships and won a silver medal at this season’s second World Rowing Cup regatta. The Cambridge Boat Club/Craftsbury Green Racing Project composite crew includes Emily Delleman and Cicely Madden. Delleman raced in the quadruple sculls at last year’s world championships, while Madden raced in the quad at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Cambridge Boat Club duo of Michelle Sechser and Mary Jones Nabel was recently selected to represent the U.S. in the lightweight women’s double sculls for Belgrade. Sechser won a silver medal in the lightweight double at last year’s world championships, while Jones Nabel raced the lightweight single sculls. The New York Athletic Club/ZLAC duo of Tracy Eisser and Megan Kalmoe has a wealth of national team experience. Eisser is a two-time Olympian, while Kalmoe is a four-time Olympian. The Long Beach Rowing Association/ARION composite crew of Maddy Focht and Veronica Nicacio will represent the U.S. in the double sculls at the 2023 Pan American Games. Focht and Nicacio also will race the quad at the Pan Am Games.
The lightweight women’s single sculls field has six entries including Whitemarsh Boat Club’s Sophia Luwis, who won a silver medal in the event earlier this year at World Rowing Cup II and followed that up with a gold medal at World Rowing Cup III. Luwis made her first national team last year in the lightweight quadruple sculls but was unable to compete due to injury. Likewise, Whitemarsh teammate Audrey Boersen, who also is racing this week, made her first national team last year but was unable to compete due to injury. Riverside Boat Club’s Elizabeth Martin did race in the lightweight quad at last year’s worlds. She will be part of the trials’ field, as will Vesper Boat Club’s Mary Wilson. Martin and Wilson will race in the lightweight double at this year’s Pan American Games.
Three crews are entered in the men’s pair including California Rowing Club’s Nick Rusher and Gus Rodriguez. Rusher raced in the men’s eight at last year’s world championships, while Rodriguez raced in the men’s four.
The lightweight men’s pair will have two entries, John Mannion and Christopher Crawley from Riverside Boat Club and the unaffiliated duo of Patrick Rogers and Mark Canniff.
The lightweight men’s quadruple sculls also will have two entries. The Penn AC/Riverside Boat Club/San Diego Rowing Club composite crew will include Casey Howshall, Ian Richardson, Bernard Aparicio, and Jamie Copus. Richardson was part of the lightweight quad last year, while Copus is a multiple time British National Team member. Undine Barge Club’s entry includes Dylan Hartwick, Matthew Grieshaber, Pascal Evans, and Rodrigo Silva Urbaneja.
Three events have just one boat scheduled to race in New Jersey.
The Penn AC lightweight women’s pair of Solveig Imsdahl and Elaine Tierney brought home the silver medal in the event from the 2022 World Rowing Championships and will be racing uncontested this year at trials.
Community Rowing’s Sarah Menafee and Lauren Fish will be racing uncontested in the PR3 women’s pair. Both are looking to make their first national team.
Conshohocken Rowing Center’s crew of Aislinn O’Brien, CarolineBurchette, Greta Gilbert, and Katrina Miehlbradt will be racing uncontested in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls. O’Brien and Miehlbradt just raced in the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships this past week, while Burchette was on the 2022 Under 23 National Team.
Racing will start Thursday morning with time trials, followed by quarterfinals in the men’s single sculls Thursday afternoon. Semifinals will take place Friday, with finals taking place Saturday. Morning racing gets underway at 7 a.m. each day.
USRowing already has named 15 boats for the world championships so far this summer. Click here to see the complete 2023 Senior National Team Selection Procedures.
The 2023 World Rowing Championships are the first opportunity for countries to qualify boats for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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.