PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
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Lightweight men’s single sculler Christoph Karleskind (Alamo, Calif./Golden State Rowing Club) won his heat to advance to Saturday’s semifinals, highlighting the first day of racing at the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
With two to advance, Karleskind got off the line in fourth position before moving into third place at the halfway point. Spain’s Gerrard Sune Tanco took the early lead before Denmark’s Rasmus Lind moved into the top spot at the 1,000-meter mark, with Argentina’s Santino Menin moving into second position. Lind moved away from Menin in the third 500 meters with Karleskind overtaking the Argentine. Lind was still in command as the scullers entered the final sprint but began to slow down to conserve energy. Karleskind took advantage and moved to the head of the field with Lind taking the other qualifying spot. Karleskind finished with a time of 7:07.35, with Lind crossing in a 7:08.16. Menin finished third in a 7:17.70.
“My start was a little bit shaky, a little bit slower than I wanted it, but that was fine,” Karleskind said. “Going into the 500- and 1,000-meter (marks), I knew that I had a good base and through the third 500 I could really just start pushing it. I just cruised that pace all the way to the finish. The next few days will just be resting up, trying to stay off my feet, and staying cool because it’s so hot out. (I’m) trying to build up my energy for the next few races.”
Racing in the second of two heats in the men’s four with coxswain, the crew of coxswain Sammy Houdaigui (McLean, Va./Dartmouth College), Blake Vogel (Pittsburgh, Pa./University of Washington), Braden Porterfield (Alexandria, Va./Northeastern University), Bret Holt (Folsom, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), and Keith Ryan (Sausalito, Calif./University of California, Berkeley) finished third and will race in tomorrow’s repechages for a second chance to reach the final. With two to advance directly to the final, the U.S. crew sat in fourth through the 500-meter mark before moving into third place. However, the Americans were never able to get on terms with the lead crews. Australia led through the midway point of the race before Germany inched ahead as the boats reached 500 meters to go. The Australians were able to retake the lead in the sprint, winning the race in a 6:17.13. Germany took second in a 6:18.76, with the U.S. finishing in a 6:20.87.
The U.S. men’s pair of August Altucher (Sellwood, Ore./University of Washington) and Caleb Cowles (Newport Beach, Calif./University of Washington) finished fifth in its heat and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With two to advance to the semifinals, Altucher and Cowles got off the line in fourth position before dropping to fifth at the midway point of the race. Australia led from the start, with New Zealand sitting in second through the 1,500-meter mark. While Australia continued to lead, Germany chased down New Zealand for the second qualifying spot during the sprint. Australia won the race in a 6:40.04, with Germany taking second in a 6:42.21. The U.S. took fifth in a 6:55.81.
The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Meena Baher (Mountain View, Calif./Harvard University), Lauren Benedict (Reston, Va./University of Virginia), Catie Castle (Vero Beach, Fla./University of Rhode Island), and Rosemary Varney (Ojai, Calif./University of California, Los Angeles) finished sixth in the first of two heats and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. The U.S. boat sat in sixth position the entire way down the course. Romania used a strong back half of the race to claim the lone qualification spot for the final. Romania crossed the line in a 6:23.50. Czech Republic, which led through the 1,000-meter mark, finished second in a 6:26.69, followed by Netherlands. The U.S. clocked a 6:57.87.
Men’s single sculler Isaiah Harrison (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Coeur d’Alene Rowing Association), the defending World Rowing Under 23 Championships’ silver medalist in the event, finished sixth in his heat and will race in tomorrow’s repechages. With only one to advance, Poland’s Piotr Plominski took the early lead ahead of Turkey’s Cevdet Ege Mutlu. Plominski continued to lead Mutlu at the midway point as Germany’s Paul Berghoff began to reel in the leaders. Berghoff broke through Plominski with about 250 meters to go and pulled away for an easy win. Berghoff finished with a time of 7:05.61, with Plominski finishing second in a 7:11.96. Harrison got off the line in fifth position and rowed in fifth for most of the race, crossing the line in a 7:30.81.
The U.S. had three crews rowing in races for lanes on Wednesday.
In the lightweight men’s pair race for lanes, the U.S. duo of Jackson Fuller (Winter Park, Fla./United States Naval Academy) and Mason Banks (Westport, Conn./United States Naval Academy) chased down Serbia in the final 500 meters to secure second place just behind Italy. The Italians and Serbia battled each other at the top of the field through the 1,500-meter mark, with the U.S. sitting about two seconds off the pace. The Americans put on a strong charge in the final 500 meters, passing Serbia and coming up a half-second short of Italy. The Italians won the race in a 6:44.44, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:44.97. Serbia finished third in a 6:46.48. The crews will have another shot at each other in Saturday’s final, this time with medals on the line.
With only five entries, the women’s four with coxswain of Camille Arnold-Mages (Waltham, Mass./Northeastern University), Eva Frohnhofer (New York, N.Y./University of Virginia), Quincy Stone (San Francisco, Calif./Stanford University), Natalie Hoefer (Midland, Mich./University of Notre Dame), and Julietta Camahort (San Francisco, Calif./Stanford University) also rowed in a race for lanes to determine seeding for Saturday’s final. The U.S. crew finished third behind Australia and New Zealand. The Australian crew took an early lead in first 500 meters, held off a slight challenge from the Kiwis just after the midway point, and pulled away over the final 500 meters to win by more than two seconds. Australia clocked a 6:58.46, with New Zealand crossing in a 7:00.66. The U.S. raced in third position the entire way down the course, crossing the line in a 7:05.97.
With six crews entered in the regatta, the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls crew of Simon Dubiel (Seattle, Wash./University of Pennsylvania), Eli Rabinowitz (Rye, N.Y./Georgetown University), Ruben Luthra (Seattle, Wash./Georgetown University), and Troy Riesenberger (Sarasota, Fla./University of Pennsylvania) finished fifth in its race for lanes. Italy led the entire way down the course, holding off a late charge from Germany. The Italians won the race in a 5:54.91, with Germany finishing just 0.09 seconds later in a 5:55.00. Canada finished third. The U.S. posted a time of 6:07.28. The six crews will race for the medals on Saturday.
Nine U.S. boats will race for the first time this week in Thursday’s heats.
The women’s eight of coxswain Victoria Grieder (Windermere, Fla./Rutgers University), Megan Lee (Natick, Mass./Duke University), Hannah Heideveld (New Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers University), Mia Levy (Des Moines, Iowa/Yale University), Evan Park (Bend, Ore./Oregon State University), Lale Edil (Arcadia, Okla./University of Oklahoma), Dahlia Levine (Ardmore, Pa./Brown University), Lauren Day (Seattle, Wash./United States Naval Academy), and Olivia Vavasour (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Brown University) will race against Germany and Italy in the second of two heats, with the winner advancing directly to the final. The U.S. won gold in the event in 2022.
In the men’s eight, the crew of coxswain Jack DiGiovanni (Pittsford, N.Y./Brown University), Josh Golbus (Plymouth, Minn./Brown University), Ian Burnett (Arlington, Mass./Brown University), Wilson Morton (Summit, N.J./University of California, Berkeley), Erik Spinka (Southport, Conn./Princeton University), Joseph Kiely (Hebron, Ky./University of Notre Dame), Julian Thomas (New Hope, Pa./Dartmouth College), Nick Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Princeton University), and Jacob Hudgins (Andover, Mass./Dartmouth College) will take on Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, and Australia in the first of two heats. The top two finishers will advance directly to the final. Last year, the U.S. won the silver medal in the event.
In the women’s double sculls, Megan Walsh (Grand Rapids, Minn./University of Oklahoma) and Annie Herring (Dallas, Texas/Brown University) will take on crews from Latvia, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany in the first of two heats. The winner will move on to the final, with the remaining boats heading to the repechages. The U.S. finished 10th in the event last year.
The women’s four of Angela Szabo (Sarasota, Fla./University of California), Maddie Moore (Naples, Fla./Yale University), Elsa Hartman (Roseville, Calif./University of Virginia), and Katherine Kelly (Vashon Island, Wash./University of Virginia) will race against Poland, Great Britain, Italy, China, and France in the second of two heats, with the winner moving on to the final. The U.S. won gold in the event last year.
In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emma Mirrer (Providence, R.I./Princeton University) will race against scullers from Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, and the individual neutral athlete designation in the first of four heats. The top two finishers will move onto the semifinals. The U.S. finished 20th in the event last year.
The lightweight women’s double sculls tandem of Aislinn O’Brien (Phoenixville, Pa./St. Joseph’s University) and Katrina Miehlbradt (Auckland, New Zealand/University of Toronto) will race against Poland, Greece, Great Britain, and Italy in the first of three heats. The top three finishers will move onto the semifinals. The U.S. finished 10th in the event last year.
The lightweight men’s double sculls crew of Timothy Parsons (Eugene, Ore./Yale University) and Ryan Tripp (Piedmont, Calif./Dartmouth College) will race against China, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, and Pakistan in the first of three heats, with the top two finishers moving on to the semifinals. The U.S. finished 11th last year.
In the men’s quadruple sculls, James Patton (Houston, Texas/Harvard University), Matthew Davis (Malvern, Pa./University of Pennsylvania), Jason Kennedy (Berwyn, Pa./University of Pennsylvania), and Charles Jones (Bloomington, Ind./University of Pennsylvania) will race in the second of three heats against Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Chile, and Lithuania. The top two finishers will advance directly to the semifinals. The U.S. finished 11th last year.
Women’s single sculler Katelin Gildersleeve (Dallas, Texas/Stanford University/Oklahoma City High Performance Center), who raced in the quad at last year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships, will take on scullers from Lithuania, Belgium, Paraguay, and Chinese Taipei in the third of four heats. The winner will advance directly to the semifinals. Gildersleeve won a bronze medal in the single at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships. The U.S. finished 16th in the event last year.
This year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships features more than 750 athletes from 51 nations. The U.S. has 16 athletes returning from last year’s team.
Racing continues on Thursday at 9 a.m. local time with the rest of the heats and repechages from today’s races. The remaining repechages and the start of semifinals will take place Friday. Medal races highlight Saturday and Sunday’s racing.
The live race tracker and live audio will be available for all races on www.worldrowing.com. Live video streaming will be available on the World Rowing website on Saturday for the A/B semifinals and A finals and Sunday for the A finals. The video streaming will start five minutes before the first race.
Complete press coverage, athlete bios, and links to event information will be available at www.usrowing.org and www.worldrowing.com. Follow along by using the hashtags #WRU23Champs and #WRU23CHPlovdiv.
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.