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On To The Finals

April 11, 2012

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The weather threatened to cause havoc and force rescheduling of the races that were set for the second day of the 2012 USRowing selection events on Lower Otay Reservoir.

But what was expected to be rough water and high wind conditions turned calm and cool, with only a slight drizzle and light rain to contend with and the racing went off on time.

In five events between the National Selection Regatta ll and Non-Qualified Small Boat Olympic Trials, crews fought for a chance to race in tomorrow’s finals and take one step closer to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In the Non-Qualified Olympic Small Boats Trials events (women’s single sculls, men’s and women’s double sculls, and lightweight men’s double sculls), the winning crews will earn the right to compete at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May and attempt to qualify the boats for London. Two boats advanced to tomorrow’s finals in those events.

The NSR event, the lightweight women’s double, is a qualified Olympic boat for the United States and the winner of that event will earn the opportunity to go to Europe for the first two world cup stops. If that crew finishes in the top four, it will be named to the team. If it does not, the boat class will be included in the 2012 Olympic Trials – Rowing scheduled for June 11-14 in West Windsor, N.J. The top three finishers from the two semifinals in this event advanced to the final tomorrow morning.

The morning began with the women’s single event, with two crews advancing to a four boat final tomorrow. In the first heat, California Rowing Club’s Isolda Penney (Kingston, Ontario) and Seattle Rowing Center’s Helen Tompkins (Friendswood, Texas) were the first to advance to the final. Penney won her heat in a time of 8:10.613, followed by Tompkins in 8:13.457.

The second heat was a look at what could be another showdown between Cambridge Boat Club’s Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.) and Seattle Rowing Center’s Lindsay Meyer (Seattle, Wash.), two of the fastest women single scullers in the country who have faced each other in the finals of this event the last three years.

Meyer, a Beijing Olympian in the quadruple sculls, defeated Stone in 2010. Stone returned the favor last year. This morning, Stone led Meyer into the last 250 meters, but Meyer upped her rating and rowed through Stone to the finish, winning in 7:57.784. Stone crossed the line in 8:01.436.

“It’s always good to have somebody to consistently push off of. It’s good to see we’re both getting faster and that we’ve got two good single scullers in the country, at least two, more than two,” Meyer said. “Tomorrow is going to be fun.”

In the next event, the men’s double sculls, the Penn Athletic Club and Potomac Boat Club composite entry of Willie Cowles (Farmington, Conn.) and Stephen Whelpley (Moquon, Wis.) advanced with a winning time of 6:31.584, followed by the Oklahoma City High Performance Center entry of Ryan Shelton (Wrightwood, Calif.) and Martin Etem (Long Beach, Calif.) with a time of 6:33.470.

The second heat of the men’s double saw the USRowing Training Center-Chula Vista entry of Warren Anderson (Paso Robles, Calif.) and Sam Stitt (McLean, Va.) advance with a winning time of 6:26.153, followed in second by Craftsbury Sculling Center’s brothers Peter Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Thomas Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 6:28.682.

In the women’s double sculls repechage, Potomac Boat Club’s Margot Shumway (Westlake, Ohio) and Sarah Trowbridge (Guilford, Conn.) advanced in first place with a time of 7:15.019, followed by the Potomac Boat Club and Union Boat Club composite entry of Katherine Stainken (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Mae Joyce Gay (Greensville, S.C.) with a time of 7:18.373. Both boats advanced to tomorrow’s final.

The first semifinal of the lightweight men’s double sculls provided the tightest finish of the morning with a photo finish between second and third place. The GMS and USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City composite crew of Jon Winter (New Haven, Conn,) and Austin Meyer (Cohoes, N.Y.) crossed first to advance in a time of 6:42.962. The composite crew of New York Athletic Club and USTC-OKC’s Tom Paradiso (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Robert Duff (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) edged the Crafsbury Sculling Center’s entry of Brian de Regt (Rowayton, Conn.) and John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio), 6:44.097 to 6:44.163.

The second semifinal in the event was less dramatic with the Cambridge Boat Club and USTC—Oklahoma City composite entry of Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Will Daly (Vail, Colo.) crossing first in a time of 6:40.836, followed by the Vesper Boat Club and Undine Boat Club composite entry of Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg (Philadelphia, Pa.) in a time of 6:43.585.

In the lightweight women’s double sculls, Lake Union Boat Club’s entry of Ursula Grobler (Pretoria, South Africa) and Hillary Saeger (Dedham, Mass.) won its semifinal in a time of 7:18.852. Finishing second was Pocock Rowing Center’s Katherine Robinson (Everett, Wash.) and Lindsey Hochman (Seattle, Wash.) in a time of 7:21.153, followed in third by the composite entry from Vesper Boat Club and Penn Athletic Club of Jennifer Goldsack (Banstead, U.K.) and Jennette Daley (Cohasset, Mass.) in 7:25.205.

In the second semifinal of the event, California Rowing Club’s entry of Julie Nichols (Livermore, Calif.) and Kristin Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.) won in a time of 7:23.532. In second was USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City entry of Chelsea Smith (Edina, Minn.) and Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.) in 7:33.693. The final boat to qualify was the Long Beach Rowing Association crew of Sherri Kline (Long Beach, Calif.) and Rachel Stortvedt (Long Beach, Calif.).

Finals racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. PDT in the women’s single sculls, the women’s and men’s double sculls and the lightweight women’s and men’s double sculls.

Also scheduled is the 2012 Paralympic Trials – Rowing, with Ron Harvey (Downingtown, Pa.) rowing uncontested.

Second level finals in the women’s single, the women’s and men’s double and the lightweight women’s and men’s double are also scheduled. Race schedule and results will be available at www.usrowing.org.

 USRowing will live stream racing online at http://www.ustream.tv/usrowing beginning 8:00 a.m. PDT. Following the event, race clips will be available to download at http://www.usrowing.org/Multimedia/VideoDownloads.aspx. Click the “Buy Now” link next to the race of your choice to be directed to payment and download information, powered by Amazon.

About USRowing
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Boathouse Sports, Vespoli, WinTech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, PowerHTV and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Voxer, EZ Dock, EMCVenues, The Perfect SNAQUE and INDi. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created The Row to London to engage sponsors leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, with proceeds going to help ensure the U.S. team’s success. Opportunities also exist to partner with America Rows – supporting diversity initiatives and adaptive programs. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at beth@usrowing.org.

Ed Moran

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