STORY COURTESY USROWING | PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY
Five U.S. crews advanced to either the semifinals or finals on Friday at the 2023 World Rowing Under 19 Championships at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium, site of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic rowing events.
The women’s pair, men’s quadruple sculls, and women’s single sculls advanced to tomorrow’s semifinals, while the women’s eight and men’s four with coxswain moved on to tomorrow’s finals.
In the women’s pair, Caroline Krantz (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) and Annika Nelson (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) won the second repechage by two lengths to advance to the semifinals.
“We went in very excited,” Krantz said. “We knew what we needed to work on from yesterday, so we came in less nervous today and just ready to qualify for semis. Obviously, it was nice to be able to finish first on top of that. It felt like a much stronger race for us than yesterday.”
Krantz and Nelson took the lead over Italy’s Elena DeMaria and Beatrice Dileo in the first 500 meters and held a three-quarters-length advantage over the Italians at the midway point. The U.S. pair was able to keep Italy at a comfortable distance in the third 500 and pulled away over the final stretch of the race. The crew finished with a time of 7:35.75, with Italy crossing in second in a 7:40.58. Spain finished third to also qualify for tomorrow morning’s semifinals.
“Having raced yesterday was really nice,” Nelson said. “Like (Caroline) said, having gone down the racecourse once really gave us an idea of what we had to work on today and what could put us in a good position for the whole race, especially against Spain and Italy. We started off with a strong start, which was one of our goals – to be up and out.”
After finishing third in its heat and missing an automatic qualifying spot for the semifinals by just 0.02 seconds, the men’s quadruple sculls crew of Edward Achtner (Marin County, Calif./Molesey Boat Club), Cole Bruen (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle Rowing), Henry Cooper (Seattle, Wash./Pocock Rowing Center), and Charles Boldt (Zionsville, Ind./Indianapolis Rowing Center) came back to win a tight race in the second of two repechages. With three to advance to the semis, the U.S. got off the line in second position before inching ahead of France into the top spot as the crews reached the halfway point of the race, with the Italians just a half-second back. The U.S. continued to row at the head of the field with 500 meters to go, and while Italy tried to chase down the U.S., the Americans were able to hold off the challenge and win by a little less than one second.
“Something we really worked on after the heats was having a defined shift in the last 500, and we really executed that today,” Boldt said. “It was really important for us to keep up with France and Italy in that last 500. We even got a little more space on them. Yesterday, we got walked through there, so it was a really strong piece for us today.”
The U.S. finished with a time of 5:58.44, with Italy crossing in a 5:59.33. France claimed the other qualifying spot in a 5:59.42.
“It’s really like a race for recovery,” said Bruen about turning around for two races tomorrow. “We have maybe 24 hours until we race the semis, so now its maximizing getting fluids in our body, getting food, having a quick, short, easy workout on the erg later to get some of that pain out of our legs, and just making sure we can recharge as much as we can in order to bring a full battery to the race tomorrow.”
The U.S. women’s eight of coxswain Ella Casano (Fairfield, Conn./Saugatuck Rowing Club), Joely Cherniss (San Francisco, Calif./Marin Rowing Association), Sofia Simone (Miami, Fla./Sarasota Crew), Kennedy Housley (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Crew), Ava Schetlick (Charlottesville, Va./Virginia Rowing Association), Charlotte Jett (San Carlos, Calif./Norcal Crew), Audrey Leurck (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club), Ellie Smith (Rye, N.Y./RowAmerica Rye), and Lizzie Hedeman (Concord, Mass./Community Rowing, Inc.) came back from a third-place finish in the heat to win the repechage by 1.66 seconds. With four to advance to tomorrow’s final, the U.S. got off the line in fourth, with the Czech Republic at the head of the field. Great Britain took the lead in the second 500 meters, with the U.S. moving into second and the Czech crew dropping to fourth. The American boat then pulled its bowball ahead in the third 500 meters, taking a half-second lead into the final quarter of the race before pulling away from the British boat. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:18.10, with Great Britain crossing in a 6:19.76. New Zealand finished third in a 6:23.96, with Italy overtaking the Czech Republic for fourth.
“We had a good race today,” Casano said. “We thought we executed well, learned some stuff from our heat. We’re excited to keep working on it in the final.
“It’s definitely a change, but the goal is just to not let it phase us,” Casano said about the shorter window between races. “We’re just going to come together as a boat, re-focus for the final, and talk about some things we can continue to do (to improve) for the final.”
Women’s single sculler Annelise Hahl (Cary, N.C./Triangle Rowing Club) finished second in her quarterfinal to move on to tomorrow morning’s semifinals. With the top three to advance, Hahl used a strong start to jump to the front of the field by three seconds ahead of Latvia’s Evija Freimane in the first quarter of the race. Hahl continued to lead at the midway point, with the neutral individual athlete, Tatsiana Pratasevich, sitting in second position, still more than two seconds behind. Pratasevich put some pressure on Hahl during the third 500 meters, closing the gap to 0.68 seconds going into the final stretch. Hahl was able hold off Pratasevich’s charge, but the Netherlands’ Anna Menke was able to make a late run and edge past Hahl at the line. Menke clocked a 7:48.53 to win the race by 0.16 seconds, with Hahl finishing in a 7:48.69. Pratasevich also qualified for the semis, finishing third in a 7:52.29.
“It started off very strong,” Hahl said. “I’ve been worried about my start, but it went great. The first 1,000 (meters) felt amazing. I definitely need some tech work in the choppier waters, although today was pretty great water for what it has been. I felt really strong throughout the whole piece. I could tell the (other scullers) were catching up on me in the end, but I felt strong and was trying my best to hold them off.
“I’ll take this afternoon to rest, refuel, make sure to stretch out, basically the same that I did yesterday. I’m pretty used to a lot of racing – not this type of racing – but I’ve done quite a few races being in the eight and the single throughout the season.”
The men’s four with coxswain of George Bentley (Fairfield, Conn./Saugatuck Rowing Club), Leo Shetler (Saratoga, Calif./Los Gatos Rowing Club), Keenan Heinz (Orinda, Calif./Oakland Strokes), John Salvi (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier Rowing Club), and Kyle Fox (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier High School) held off South Africa to finish fourth in the repechage and advance to tomorrow’s final. Australia took the early lead before Turkey moved into the top spot as the crews reached the midway point. With four to advance, the American boat sat in fourth through the 1,000-meter mark before making a move into second ahead of South Africa and a faltering Australian crew. However, the Aussies were able to regain their composure over the final 500 meters and moved back into second, with France using a strong sprint to move from fifth to third in the final strokes. The U.S. held off a late run by South Africa to take the final qualification spot. Turkey won the race in a 6:20.20, with Australia crossing in a 6:22.95. France clocked a 6:24.21, with the U.S. finishing in a 6:24.51 and South Africa in a 6:24.72.
The U.S. men’s eight of coxswain Gabrielle Zammit (Princeton, N.J./Princeton National Rowing Association/Mercer), Tyler Murphy (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Area Rowing Society), Cole Thomas (Rye, N.Y./RowAmerica Rye), Jack Skinner (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier Rowing Club), Nathan Fineman (Orinda, Calif./Oakland Strokes), Sandro Scalfi (Chester, N.J./Atlanta Junior Rowing Association), Luke Taylor (Andover, Mass./Middlesex School/Cambridge Boat Club), Luke Meisenbach (La Jolla, Calif./San Diego Rowing Club), and Christian Lawrence (St. Louis, Mo./St. Louis Rowing Club) finished fifth in the repechage, missing the final. With four to advance, the crew got off the line in fourth position before dropping back to fifth before the halfway point. Germany took control of the race in the first 500 meters and held Romania at a comfortable distance for the back half of the race. Germany won the race in a 5:38.00, with Romania taking second in a 5:39.64. The Czech Republic finished third, finishing with a time of 5:43.14. Italy finished fourth. The U.S. clocked a 5:45.32.
After finishing fourth in his morning quarterfinal, Henry Davison (New York, N.Y./Oak Neck Rowing Academy) came back to win the C final to finish 13th overall. Davison clocked a 7:31.28 to finish 0.63 seconds ahead of Brazil’s Daniel Filho Passold. Latvia’s Patricks Strazds, who led for most of the race, finished third.
The men’s pair of Max Burget (Buffalo, N.Y./RowBuffalo) and James Dodman (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association) finished fifth in its morning repechage, which sent them into the afternoon C final. In the afternoon race, Burget and Dodman finished fourth for a 16th-place finish overall. Burget and Dodman finished in a 6:58.88. Poland won the C final in a 6:51.61.
The U.S. women’s double sculls crew of Avery Packard (Brookline, Mass./Cambridge Boat Club) and PJ Balazy (Carlisle, Mass./Cambridge Boat Club) advanced to the C final thanks to a fourth-place finish in the morning repechage. In the C final, the duo finished fourth in a 7:26.86 for a 16th-place finish overall. Poland won the race in a 7:22.89.
In addition to the five crews that advanced today, three additional crews will be racing tomorrow.
With only three entries, the women’s four with coxswain of Lucy Herrick (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation), Carly Brown (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Detroit Boat Club), Rosie Lundberg (Westport, Conn./Saugatuck Rowing Club), Ella Wheeler (South Orange, N.J./Northfield-Mount Hermon), and Rebecca Stelmach (Alameda, Calif./Oakland Strokes) won its race for lanes and enters Saturday’s final as the top seed. The U.S. will race against Australia and Italy in the medal race.
The men’s four of McKeane McBrearty (Oakland, Calif./Oakland Strokes), Jack Hume (Alameda, Calif./Oakland Strokes), Mattis Hevin (Alameda, Calif./Oakland Strokes), and Cosmo Hondrogen (Alameda, Calif./Oakland Strokes) finished second in its heat and will race in the semifinals tomorrow morning for a chance to make the afternoon medal race.
The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Lila Henn (Palo Alto, Calif./Redwood Scullers), Lindsey Williams (Riverside, R.I./Narragansett Boat Club), Sumner Kerr (Richmond, Va./River City Crew), and Vivi Sun (Atherton, Calif./Redwood Scullers) also finished second its heat and will be racing in the A/B semifinals for a chance to move on to the final.
Due to the forecast of adverse weather, this weekend’s racing schedule has been compressed. Saturday’s racing will feature both semifinals and finals starting at 8:30 a.m. local time. There will be no racing on Sunday. Click here for a complete schedule.
Live streaming will be available on Saturday on www.worldrowing.com.
Complete press coverage, athlete bios, and links to event information are available at www.usrowing.org and www.worldrowing.com. Follow along with the U.S. U19 National Team by using the hashtags #WRU19Champs.
USRowing would like to thank HUDSON, the Official Boat Supplier for the U.S. Under 19 National Team. Through the partnership, HUDSON supplies racing shells for selection and training domestically, with matched shells provided internationally for racing.