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PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY
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Finals are now set at USRowing’s 2023 Winter Speed Order at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.
After posting the fastest time in Saturday morning’s quarterfinals of the women’s single sculls, Texas Rowing Center’s Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis./University of Wisconsin) came back to comfortably win her afternoon semifinal in a 7:36.51. Racing in the first of two semifinals, Vitas finished 4.10 seconds ahead of ARION’s Kristi Wagner (Weston, Mass./Yale University), who also won her quarterfinal earlier in the day. Vitas and Wagner rowed together in the women’s double sculls at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic. Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin) finished third in a 7:43.69 to claim the other spot in tomorrow’s final. In the second semifinal, ARION’s Lauren O’Connor (Belleville, Wis./University of Wisconsin) defeated TRC’s Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif./University of California, Berkeley) by 2.8 seconds. O’Connor clocked a 7:33.55 to earn the victory. Cambridge Boat Club’s Emily Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I./Princeton University) finished third in a 7:38.86. Kohler raced the event at last year’s world championships, while Kallfelz and Joyce raced in the women’s quadruple sculls in Racice. O’Connor finished second to Kohler at the 2022 Senior National Team Trials in the single.
In the first semifinal of the men’s single sculls, California Rowing Club’s Sorin Koszyk (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./Cornell University) clocked a 6:51.41 to finish more than seven seconds ahead of Craftsbury’s Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University), who clocked a 6:58.86. CRC teammate Ben Davison (Inverness, Fla./University of Washington) finished third in a 7:01.22. Davison, who raced the event at last year’s world championships, clocked the fastest time in the morning quarterfinals, while Koszyk, who raced in the double sculls last year, also won his first race of the day. In the second semifinal, Andrew LeRoux (Venice, Fla./Princeton University) claimed the victory in a 7:02.29. LeRoux, who was an alternate at last year’s world championships, finished 1.35 seconds ahead of New York Athletic Club’s Eliot Putnam (Littleton, Mass./Cornell University). TRC’s Kevin Cardno (Huntsville, Ala./University of Alabama, Huntsville), who raced in the quad in 2022, finished third in a 7:06.12.
In the lightweight men’s single sculls, Penn AC’s Jamie Copus (Oxford, England/Oxford Brookes University), a multiple time British National Team member who is hoping to make the U.S. team in 2023, won the first semifinal by just under two seconds over NYAC’s Sam Melvin (Huntington Beach, Calif./Columbia University). Both Copus and Melvin won their quarterfinals this morning, with Melvin clocking the fastest time in the day’s earlier round. Copus won the afternoon semi in a 7:09.48, with Melvin crossing in a 7:11.33. NYAC’s James Francis (St. Louis, Mo./Oklahoma City University) finished third in a 7:12.92. In the second semifinal, Texas Rowing Center swept the top three spots with Jimmy McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa./University of Delaware) finishing ahead of Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz./University of Pennsylvania) and Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y./University of Virginia). McCullough, who raced the event at last year’s world championships, finished with a time of 7:12.24, one second ahead of Liu. Heese finished another 0.27 seconds back in third. Liu and Heese raced the lightweight men’s double sculls in Racice.
In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Sarasota Crew’s Molly Reckford (Short Hills, N.J./Dartmouth College) posted the fastest time of the morning in the second of three semifinals. With the top two finishers advancing to Sunday’s final, Reckford bested Whitemarsh Boat Club’s Sophia Luwis (McLean, Va./The College of William & Mary) by nearly eight seconds to earn the victory in a 7:37.54. Reckford won a silver medal in the lightweight women’s double sculls at last year’s world championships with partner Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif./University of Tulsa). Rowing for Cambridge Boat Club, Sechser won today’s first semifinal by 1.59 seconds over Miami International RowHouse’s Liza Ray (Miami, Fla./Columbia University). Sechser, who posted the fastest time in yesterday’s time trial, finished with a time of 6:42.59. Whitemarsh’s Audrey Boersen (West Olive, Mich./Grand Valley State University) won the third semifinal by just over five seconds. Boersen clocked a 7:38.77 to defeat Cambridge Boat Club’s Mary Jones Nabel (Huntsville, Ala./University of Tennessee). The Tennessee grad represented the U.S. in the lightweight single last year in Racice.
After winning yesterday’s time trial, USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Kelsey Reelick (Brookfield, Conn./Princeton University) and Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio/University of Notre Dame) came back to clock the fastest time of Saturday morning’s semifinals. Racing in the first of two semis, Reelick and Bruggeman, who were members of the U.S. women’s eight at the 2022 World Championships, crossed the finish line with a time of 7:04.07, finishing 5.50 seconds ahead of USCT-Princeton teammates Charlotte Buck (Nyack, N.Y./Columbia University) and Jessica Thoennes (Highlands Ranch, Colo./University of Washington), who also were members of last year’s eight. Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Daisy Mazzio-Manson (Wellesley, Mass./Yale University/University of Texas) and Emily Froehlich (Fishers, Ind./University of Texas) finished third to also advance to the final.
In the second semifinal, Claire Collins (McLean, Va./Princeton University) and Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/University of Washington) defeated the CRC/CBC composite crew of Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y./Ithaca College) Alie Rusher (West Bend, Wis./Stanford University) by 2.54 seconds to earn the victory in a 7:06.66. Collins won a bronze medal in the pair and also raced in the eight at last year’s world championships, while Cohen was part of the women’s four. Musnicki, a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist, is returning to competition after taking last year off, while Rusher was a Tokyo 2020 Olympian. USTC-Princeton’s Alina Hagstrom (Seattle, Wash./Oregon State University) and Regina Salmons (Methuen, Mass./University of Pennsylvania) finished third. Both were part of the women’s eight in 2022.
In the men’s pair, CRC’s Michael Grady (Pittsburgh, Pa./Cornell University) and Liam Corrigan (Old Lyme, Conn./Harvard University) recorded the fastest time of the morning in winning the second of two semifinals. Corrigan and Grady clocked a 7:25.24 to finish just over two seconds ahead of CRC teammates Chris Carlson (Bedford, N.H./University of Washington) and Pieter Quinton (Portland, Ore./Harvard University). CRC’s Andrew Gaard (Madison, Wis./University of Washington) and Henry Hollingsworth (Dover, Mass./Brown University) finished third to also advance to the final. Grady raced the pair with Justin Best (Kennett Square, Pa./Drexel University) in 2022, while Corrigan was part of the men’s eight with Carlson and Gaard. Quinton and Hollingsworth raced in the men’s four in Racice.
In the first semifinal, CRC’s Oliver Bub (Westport, Conn./Dartmouth College) and William Bender (Norwich, Vt./Dartmouth College) finished just over three seconds ahead of CRC teammates Nick Mead (Strafford, Pa./Princeton University) and Best. Bub and Bender finished with a time of 6:29.00, with Mead and Best finishing in a 6:32.23. Craftsbury’s Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif./University of Washington) and Alexander Hedge (Morristown, N.J./Columbia University) finished third. Mead was part of the men’s four at last year’s world championships, while Bub and Carlson were alternates.
This week’s speed order not only serves as an opportunity for rowers to test their speed ahead of next month’s National Selection Regatta but also gives them a chance to earn automatic invitations to the first Olympic Events Selection Camp scheduled for April 30-May 21 in Chula Vista, Calif. The top three finishers in the men’s and women’s single sculls and pairs will receive invitations to the first selection camp, while the top two finishers in the men’s and women’s lightweight single sculls will earn automatic invites.
The first selection camp, in addition to the National Selection Regatta, will determine the athletes who will make up the boats that will race at the 2023 World Cup II this June in Varese, Italy. Select athletes also will be provisionally named to the 2023 Senior National Team, although boats will not be finalized until the conclusion of the second selection camp.
The 2023 World Rowing Championships will take place September 3-10 in Belgrade, Serbia.
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.