STORY COURTESY USROWING | PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY
The U.S. women’s four with coxswain repeated as world champions, giving the U.S. its only medal 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.
Racing in the first final of the day, 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), Rebecca Stelmach (Alameda, Calif./Oakland Strokes), and Ella Wheeler (South Orange, N.J./Northfield-Mount Hermon) gave the U.S. back-to-back gold medals in the event, defeating Italy by just over two seconds. The U.S. boat had taken the lead over Australia by the 500-meter mark and continued to extend its advantage over the field during the middle 1,000 meters. Italy passed Australia in the second 500 but was never able to make a real push on the American crew. The U.S. won the race in a 7:07.97, with Italy finishing in a 7:10.00 to take the silver medal. Australia finished third in a 7:17.53.
“I don’t think our first (1,000 meters) was what we expected it to be,” Herrick said. “It was a little choppy, and around the 1k, the wind really picked up. We had been talking about that, and we were ready for it. Our middle move, we decided we were going to go for each other. In our prelim, we had a bit of a slower second half, so we really wanted to set the tone there, and I think that’s where we walked. I’m just really proud of us. We just decided that we weren’t going to give them any inches, and I don’t think we did.”
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 up just short of the medal stand in what was an incredibly tight finish, with the top four boats separated by only a couple of feet. Germany led through the 1,000-meter mark before Romania inched its bowball ahead in the third 500 meters. As the crews entered the final quarter of the race, Romania led, with Germany in second and the U.S. and Great Britain battling for third. However, the U.S. and British crews kept chipping away at the lead, inching closer and closer. In the final sprint, the field continued to tighten up, with the British crew peaking its bowball ahead at the line, finishing 0.09 seconds in front of Germany. Romania finished another 0.05 seconds back, with the U.S. crossing just 0.10 seconds later. Great Britain won gold in a 6:26.00, with Germany taking silver in a 6:26.09. Romania claimed the bronze in a 6:26.14, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:26.24.
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) finished fifth in the final. Italy took the lead off the start and maintained its position throughout the race. Germany finished second, with Turkey rowing through Australia to take third. The U.S. sat in fifth the entire way down the course. Italy won gold in a 6:21.72, with Germany taking the silver medal in a 6:24.02. Turkey won bronze in a 6:26.54. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:28.44.
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) advanced to the final thanks to a third-place finish in the morning semifinals. In the final, the U.S. dropped to sixth off the line before working its way back into fifth position. The American boat continued to row in fifth over the back half of the race but couldn’t get on to terms with the top three crews and a spot on the medal stand. Germany overtook Italy in the second half of the race to win the gold medal in a 6:45.32. Italy took silver in a 6:45.67, with Great Britain posting a time of 6:48.04, holding off the Czech Republic for the bronze medal. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:50.81.
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 the B final for an eighth-place finish overall. After finishing fourth in the morning semifinal, the crew got off the line in the B final in sixth position. The U.S. still sat in sixth at the midway point but was less than two seconds behind the leaders from Spain in what was a tight field. The U.S. pulled into fifth with just 500 meters to go before moving past Uzbekistan, Spain, and Switzerland in the sprint, missing the top spot by 0.02 seconds. Croatia won the race in a 6:28.21, with the U.S. taking second in a 6:28.23. Spain finished third.
After finishing fourth in their morning semifinal of the women’s pair, Caroline Krantz (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) and Annika Nelson (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) came back to finish third in the B final for a ninth-place finish overall. Krantz and Nelson got off the line in second place behind Austria. Canada moved into second before the midway point and continued its move as the boats entered the second half of the race, passing Austria to move into the top spot. The Canadians won the race in a 7:52.08, with Austria taking second in a 7:54.26. The U.S. finished in a 7:54.94.
In the B final of the women’s single sculls, Annelise Hahl (Cary, N.C./Triangle Rowing Club) finished fifth for an 11th-place finish overall. Hahl powered off the start to take the early lead before dropping into second position behind Austria’s Greta Haider. Haider began to pull away from the rest of the field during the middle 1,000 meters with Hahl still hanging on to second as the scullers entered the final 500 meters. However, Hahl was unable to hold off the field as she dropped to fifth at the line. Haider won the race in an 8:08.61. Hahl finished fifth in an 8:16.39.
After just missing the medal race, 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) finished sixth in the B final for a 12th-place finish overall. In the B final, the crew got off the line quickly and was leading a tightly packed field at the 1,000-meter mark. However, the American boat could not maintain the pace over the third quarter of the race, dropping to sixth. Belgium won the race in a 6:15.71, with Italy taking second in a 6:16.85. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:20.91.
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.