The U.S. won gold medals in the men’s pair, women’s pair, and women’s quadruple sculls on Monday at the 2023 Pan American Games in San Pedro de la Paz.
In the women’s pair, Isa Darvin (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin/Penn AC) and Hannah Paynter (Lyme, Conn./Princeton University/ARION) won their final by open water to bring home the gold medal. The U.S. sat in third at the midway point before pulling into the top spot in the third quarter of the race. The tandem reached the finish line in a 7:15.85, a full five seconds ahead of Canada. Paraguay won bronze with a 7:21.19.
In the men’s pair, Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif./University of Washington/ Craftsbury Green Racing Project) and Alexander Hedge (Morristown, N.J./Columbia University/ Craftsbury Green Racing Project) also won their final by open water, bringing home gold. Carlson and Hedge, who took the lead in the second 500 meters, crossed the finish line in a 6:35.16, followed by Uruguay with a 6:38.82 and Mexico with a 6:38.98.
“We felt confident in our race plan and really focused on executing that well in the first (1,000 meters) of the race; that allowed the second half to just be about trusting each other and enjoying it,” said Carlson. “We’ve been racing the pair together for a while, and this has been a great regatta for us to continue to progress forward. I’m proud of our result here and am looking forward to what’s next for us.”
With less than one second separating the top two finishers, the women’s quad of Katherine Horvat (Philadelphia, Pa./Yale University/ARION), Madeleine Focht (Long Beach, Calif./California State University, Long Beach/ARION), Veronica Nicacio (Vancouver, Wash./University of Portland/ARION), and Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) narrowly beat out Chile to secure the gold medal. The U.S. put its bowball in front just as the field hit the 500-meter mark and continued to battle Chile for gold the rest of the way down the course. The U.S. crew finished in a 6:26.04, followed by Chile with a 6:26.81. Canada took bronze with a 6:35.62.
In the men’s quadruple sculls, Casey Fuller (Newtown, Conn./Fairfield University/Saugatuck Rowing Club), Mark Couwenhoven (Parkton, Md./University of Maryland-Baltimore County/Penn AC), Luke Rein (Barrington, R.I./College of Charleston/Penn AC), and Cooper Hurley (Andover, Mass./University of Delaware/Penn AC) barely missed the medal stand, clocking a 6:01.36 to finish fourth. The U.S. sat in third going into the final 500 meters but was unable to hold off Mexico in the sprint. Uruguay won gold in a 5:53.34, Chile silver in a 5:56.65, and Mexico bronze in a 6:00.99.
In the final race of the day, the men’s eight of Colette Lucas-Conwell (Paris, France/University of Virginia/California Rowing Club/New York Athletic Club), Hedge, Carlson, Couwenhoven, Hurley, Nick Ruggiero (Haddonfield, N.J./University of Delaware/Penn AC), Fuller, Alex Twist (Boston, Mass./ University of Puget Sound/Riverside Boat Club), and Sean Richardson (Beverly, Mass./University of Massachusetts/Riverside Boat Club) crossed the finish line in a 5:47.48 for a fourth-place finish. Cuba and Uruguay took gold and silver in a 5:37.88 and 5:38.31, respectively. Chile won bronze in a 5:38.42.
Five U.S. crews will race for medals on Tuesday with finals scheduled in the men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls, men’s and women’s four, and women’s eight. Racing will open with semifinals in the men’s double sculls, as well as the men’s and women’s single sculls, with spots in Wednesday’s finals up for grabs.
The Pan American and Parapan American Games is the largest multi-sport event in the Americas, where the best athletes from all over the continent compete. It is held every four years, with Chile hosting for the first time in its history in 2023.
Click here for schedules, start lists, results, and event updates and here for the official USRowing coverage page. Live streaming for the five-day regatta will be available via the PanAm Sports Channel.
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