STORY COURTESY USROWING | PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY
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Four U.S. crews advanced to either the semifinals or quarterfinals Thursday 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 men’s four and women’s quadruple sculls advanced to the semifinals, while the men’s and women’s single sculls advanced to the quarterfinals. In addition, the U.S. won the race for lanes in the women’s four with coxswain.
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 will enter the final as the top seed. The U.S. grabbed nearly a two-second lead on Australia in the first 500 meters and held almost three seconds on Italy as the crews reached the halfway point. Italy cut a second off the lead in the third 500 meters and continued to put pressure on the U.S. over the final sprint, but the American boat was able to hold on by about a half-length to win in a 7:03.02. Italy finished second in a 7:04.18, with Australia finishing third.
With three to advance to the semifinals, the U.S. 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) edged out Switzerland to finish second in the third of three heats. The U.S. sat in third position, just ahead of Croatia, until the final couple of strokes. Italy won the race in a 6:11.40. The U.S. was able to pass Switzerland at the line, finishing in a 6:12.60. The Swiss crew took third in a 6:12.69, claiming the other spot in the semifinals. Croatia finished fourth.
“We were just trying to stay as loose as possible, stay as relaxed as possible,” Hume said. “It’s a lot of pressure representing your whole country. We just knew we had to block all that pressure out and stay focused on the first five strokes of the race. The start went pretty well. We managed to stay with Croatia and Switzerland off the start. Italy jumped us a bit, but from there, it was just a battle with Croatia and Switzerland the whole race, and we finally edged out Switzerland in the sprint. It was very exciting. It just came down to how we kept our composure through the whole 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) finished second in the third of three heats to advance to the semifinals. With three to advance, the U.S. boat grabbed third place early in the race, moved away from The Netherlands to establish its qualifying spot, and then chased down Italy in the final 500 meters. Germany pulled away from the Italians in the second half of the race to win in a 6:37.75. The U.S. finished second in a 6:43.27, with Italy taking third in a 6:43.82.
“We all feel really proud,” Williams said. “We came in this morning knowing what we could do and the potential that we had. It was out first race together as a boat, so we wanted to go out and race our race, no one else’s, and just see what we could do. Thankfully, that got us to where we needed. We’re on to A/B semis, so we’re really proud of ourselves. We definitely have things to work on as a boat. With the wind, it was a bit unpredictable, so (now) we know what the race will feel like next time. This one was really important just to get our nerves out and just go for it.”
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 second in the first of two heats and now will race in tomorrow’s repechage. With only one to advance, Italy grabbed the lead off the start and was able to maintain the top position the entire way down the course. The U.S. pulled away from the rest of the field in the second 500 meters. Italy won the race in a 6:19.99, with the U.S. finishing in a 6:23.65.
In the men’s single sculls, Henry Davison (New York, N.Y./Oak Neck Rowing Academy) advanced to tomorrow’s quarterfinals thanks to a third-place finish in the second of five heats. Davison got off the line in second position before sliding into third place in the second quarter of the race. Poland’s Dominik Syposz took the lead over Slovenia’s Aljaz Kunstelj just after the midway point and led the rest of the way down the course. Syposz won the race in a 7:14.98, with Kunstelj finishing in a 7:16.50. Davison crossed third in a 7:26.89.
Women’s single sculler Annelise Hahl (Cary, N.C./Triangle Rowing Club) also finished third in her heat to move on to the quarterfinals. Hahl took the early lead before Belgium’s Marit Janssens moved into first during the second quarter of the race. Janssens extended her lead in the third 500 meters, with Spain’s Candela Martinez Pernas moving into second. Martinez Pernas and Hahl battled each other for second place over the final stretch, with the Spanish sculler finishing about a half-length ahead. Janssens won the race in a 7:54.43, with Martinez Pernas finishing in an 8:00.10. Hahl crossed in an 8:01.01.
With two to advance to the semifinals, 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 up on the short end of a three-way race for the two qualifying spots, missing the semis by a bowball. The U.S. will race in the repechages for a second chance to advance to the semifinals. The American crew got off the line in second position behind New Zealand and continued to sit just a few feet behind at the midway point. The U.S. then inched ahead as the crews hit 500 meters to go. However, a hard-charging Czech Republic crew was able to overtake the two leaders in the final sprint, with New Zealand rebounding to edge the Americans for second by 0.02 seconds. The Czech crew won the race in a 5:59.08, with New Zealand crossing in a 5:59.88. The U.S. finished with a time of 5:59.90.
Caroline Krantz (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) and Annika Nelson (Darien, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) finished third in the last of three heats of the women’s pair and now will race in tomorrow’s repechages. Romania’s Gabriela Tivodariu and Ionela Elena Scutaru dominated the race, taking the lead early and rowing away from the rest of the field. Romania crossed the line in a 7:24.17. With two to advance to the semifinals, Greece’s Dimitra and Christina Papaioannou finished second in a 7:31.61. Krantz and Nelson crossed the line in a 7:40.63.
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.) finished third in its heat and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With only one to advance, the U.S. sat in second position for much of the race but couldn’t get back on terms with Romania. The Romanian crew took the early lead and was never really challenged, winning the race by open water in a 6:21.90. Great Britain caught the U.S. at the line to finish second in a 6:24.63, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:25.14.
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 fourth in its heat and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With stroke seat Lucas Liow (New York, N.Y./RowAmerica Rye) unable to race today, the re-vamped lineup crossed the line in a 5:48.38. With only one to advance, New Zealand grabbed the lead off the start, and while Romania tried to chase them down over the second 1,000 meters, the Kiwis were able to come home with a 0.92-second victory. New Zealand won the race in a 5:40.77, with Romania taking second in a 5:41.69.
The men’s pair of Max Burget (Buffalo, N.Y./RowBuffalo) and James Dodman (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association) finished fifth in the third of four heats and now will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With two to advance to the semifinals, Burget and Dodman dropped to fifth off the line and were unable to stay in contact to advance. Turkey’s Enes Biber and Aytimur Selcuk led from start to finish, winning the race in a 6:46.69. South Africa’s Braden Howard and Myles Laburn took second in a 6:52.02. The U.S. finished in a 7:06.18.
With only one crew to advance to the semifinals, the U.S. women’s double sculls crew of Avery Packard (Brookline, Mass./Cambridge Boat Club) and PJ Balazy (Carlisle, Mass./Cambridge Boat Club) finished fifth in the final heat and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. The U.S. boat sat in fifth the entire way down the course. Norway used a strong second 1,000 meters to win the race in a 7:07.81. After leading for the middle 1,000 meters, Ireland finished second in a 7:11.15. Australia finished third. The U.S. clocked a 7:28.83.
Racing continues on Friday at 8:30 a.m. local time with the remaining repechages, quarterfinals, and some placement finals. Saturday’s racing will feature semifinals and finals. There will be no racing on Sunday, as it was moved up due to the forecast of adverse weather conditions. A complete schedule is available on www.worldrowing.com,
Live streaming will be available 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.