PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
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Next Level Rowing’s Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla./Stanford University) took the top spot in both the women’s solo event and mixed double sculls event, with partner Kory Rogers (The Woodlands, Texas/Temple University), Thursday afternoon at USRowing’s 2023 World Beach Games Qualifier Trials on South Lido Key Beach in Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
Cavallo and Rogers earned the opportunity to race at the World Beach Games’ Americas Continental Qualification Regatta next month in Lima, Peru, where they will have a chance to qualify for the ANOC World Beach Games scheduled for August in Bali, Indonesia. Click here for more information on the World Beach Games qualification system for rowing. The U.S. has already qualified the men’s solo boat class for Bali. Athlete selection for the men’s solo will take place at the Beach Sprint National Team Trials June 21-23 in California.
In Thursday’s women’s solo event, Cavallo, who won a bronze medal in the mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain at the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals and is a seven-time national team member across all levels, defeated Next Level Rowing’s Cassidy Norton (Hamilton, Ohio/Robert Morris University) by five seconds to qualify for Peru.
Norton, who raced the women’s solo event at the last two World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, clocked the fastest time in the time trial ahead of Next Level Rowing’s Morgan Hummel (Chesterfield, Mo./The Ohio State University) and Cavallo. The Stanford grad bested Next Level Rowing’s Jeni Sorli (Red Lodge, Mont./University of Colorado) in the quarterfinal by nearly eight seconds before easily defeating Hummel in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Norton won her semifinal over Next Level’s Elizabeth Hinley (McHenry County, Ill./University of North Texas) by just under three seconds to set up the race with Cavallo.
In the final, Cavallo built a solid lead off the start before going wide at the turn. However, she was able to regain her momentum during the return trip to the shore and pulled away from Norton. Cavallo finished with a time of 3:11.43 to win the race.
In the mixed double sculls, Cavallo and Rogers, a two-time Beach Sprint National Team member who was part of the bronze-medal winning mixed quad in 2022, defeated Christopher Bak (Cincinnati, Ohio/University of Cincinnati) and Sorli in the finals by a little less than three seconds.
Bak, who won a gold medal in the men’s solo event and was part of the bronze-medal winning mixed quad at the 2022 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, and Sorli, who was Rogers and Bak’s teammate in the bronze-medal quad last year, posted the fastest time in the time trial, with the Cavallo and Rogers combination taking second. The two finalists were dominant in their semifinal victories, with each crew winning by about 30 seconds. The final was a tight race coming into the last 30 meters, but Cavallo and Rogers were able to manage the waves as the crews approached the beach and were able to pull away for the victory.
The World Beach Games’ Americas Continental Qualification Regatta will be held May 1-5 in Lima, Peru.