PROVIDED BY USROWING
PHOTO BY LISA WORTHY
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The road towards making the 2023 World Rowing Championships’ squad begins this Friday for 132 of the United States’ top rowers as the 2023 Winter Speed Order gets underway at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.
With racing taking place in the men’s and women’s single sculls, lightweight single sculls, and pairs, the 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.
At this weekend’s speed order, 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.
In the men’s single sculls, California Rowing Club’s Ben Davison (Inverness, Fla./University of Washington), who finished eighth in the event at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, while recording the best finish for a U.S. men’s single sculler since the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, headlines a field of 31 scullers. Seven of Davison’s 2022 teammates also are scheduled to race including CRC’s Sorin Koszyk (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./Cornell University) and Penn AC’s Thomas Phifer (New York, N.Y./Middlebury College), who finished seventh in the double sculls at last year’s world championships, as well as Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University), and the Texas Rowing Center trio of Jonathan Kirkegaard (Philadelphia, Pa./Purdue University), Kevin Cardno (Huntsville, Ala./University of Alabama, Huntsville), and Dominique Williams (Madison, Conn./University of Pennsylvania), who competed in the men’s quadruple sculls in Racice.
Twenty-seven scullers are entered in the women’s single sculls event including TRC’s Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), a nine-time national team member and two-time Olympian, who finished 13th in the event at last year’s worlds. Kohler will be joined by seven of her teammates from 2022 including ARION’s Kristi Wagner (Weston, Mass./Yale University) and TRC’s Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis./University of Wisconsin), who finished fifth in the double sculls at worlds, and the quintet of Boston Training Center’s Maggie Fellows (Warwick, Mass./St. Lawrence University), Craftsbury’s Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin), Craftsbury’s Emily Delleman (Davenport, Iowa/Stanford University), Cambridge Boat Club’s Emily Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I./Princeton University), and ARION’s Savannah Brija (Lemont, Ill./Ithaca College), who raced in the women’s quadruple sculls in Racice. Joyce, who was an alternate, served as a medical substitution midway through the event.
In the lightweight men’s single sculls, 21 scullers are entered including TRC’s Jimmy McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa./University of Delaware), Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y./University of Virginia), and Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz./University of Pennsylvania). Heese and Liu raced in the lightweight men’s double sculls at the 2022 World Championships, while McCullough raced in the lightweight single. Riverside Boat Club’s Ashton Knight (Weston, Mass./Tufts University), Ian Richardson (Amesbury, Mass./University of Connecticut, and Sean Richardson (Beverly, Mass./University of Massachusetts) were all part of the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls in Racice. Penn AC’s Jamie Copus (Oxford, England/Oxford Brookes University), a multiple time British National Team member, also is scheduled to race.
Sarasota Crew’s Molly Reckford (Short Hills, N.J./Dartmouth College) and Cambridge’s Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif./University of Tulsa), who teamed up to win the silver medal in the lightweight women’s double sculls event at the 2022 World Championships, headline the 13-person lightweight women’s single sculls field in Sarasota. Cambridge’s Mary Jones Nabel (Huntsville, Ala./University of Tennessee), who raced the lightweight single at last year’s world championships, also is scheduled to compete. Injuries wreaked havoc on the U.S. lightweight women’s quadruple sculls crew at last year’s world championships, forcing two alternates into the lineup. Whitemarsh Boat Club’s Audrey Boersen (West Olive, Mich./Grand Valley State University) and Sophia Luwis (McLean, Va./The College of William & Mary) are back racing at the speed order after missing the world championships, while Riverside’s Elizabeth Martin (Lexington, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Sarasota’s Sarah Maietta (Wayland, Mass./Boston University), who raced in the lightweight quad in Racice, also are scheduled to compete.
The women’s pair event will feature 12 crews, with five rowing out of USRowing Training Center – Princeton. Claire Collins (McLean, Va./Princeton University), who won a bronze medal in the pair and finished fourth in the eight at the 2022 World Rowing Championships, will be racing with Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/University of Washington). Cohen rowed in the women’s four in Racice. Collins’ bronze medal partner from last season, Madeleine Wanamaker (Neenah, Wis./University of Wisconsin), is injured and unable to compete this weekend. Six other members of the U.S. women’s eight from the 2022 worlds will race together in pairs. Charlotte Buck (Nyack, N.Y./Columbia University) will race with Jessica Thoennes (Highlands Ranch, Colo./University of Washington), while Kelsey Reelick (Brookfield, Conn./Princeton University) will row with Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio/University of Notre Dame). Alina Hagstrom (Seattle, Wash./Oregon State University) and Regina Salmons (Methuen, Mass./University of Pennsylvania) will make up the third pair. Representing California Rowing Club, three-time Olympian Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y./Ithaca College) makes her return to competition after taking a year off following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Musnicki is racing with fellow Tokyo Olympian Alie Rusher (West Bend, Wis./Stanford University).
The men’s pair has eight crews scheduled to compete including six from California Rowing Club. CRC’s Justin Best (Kennett Square, Pa./Drexel University) and Michael Grady (Pittsburgh, Pa./Cornell University) raced the event at last year’s world championships. Best will race with Nick Mead (Strafford, Pa./Princeton University) at the speed order, while Grady will race with Liam Corrigan (Old Lyme, Conn./Harvard University). Mead raced in the men’s four in 2022, while Corrigan was part of the men’s eight. Andrew Gaard (Madison, Wis./University of Washington), Michael Knippen (Germantown, Wis./University of Wisconsin), Penn AC’s Michael Clougher (Canton, Mass./Connecticut College), Chris Carlson (Bedford, N.H./University of Washington), and Pieter Quinton (Portland, Ore./Harvard University), who raced with Corrigan in the men’s eight last year, also will be competing. Carlson and Quinton will race together, as will Knippen and Clougher. Gaard will row with Henry Hollingsworth (Dover, Mass./Brown University), who competed in the men’s four last year.
Speed order racing runs Friday through Sunday. Time trials and quarterfinals will be held on Friday, with semifinals taking place on Saturday. Finals will take place on Sunday. Racing is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. each day.
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.