Medals and Olympic Qualification for U.S. Crews at 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II
May 27, 2012
LUZERN, Switzerland – Racing at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland came to a close Sunday. Three U.S. crews – the women’s eight, women’s pair and women’s quadruple sculls – had gold, silver and bronze-medal performances, while the lightweight women’s double sculls finished fourth to qualify for London.
WOMEN’S PAIR FINAL
In the first A final of the morning, the U.S. women’s pair of Eleanor Logan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) and Erin Cafaro (Modesto, Calif.) repeated its silver-medal world cup performance in the event, having won silver in Belgrade just three weeks ago.
“Basically, our goal was to get a little bit faster each race,” said Cafaro, who won gold in Beijing with Logan in the women’s eight. “We’ve been rowing together since 2008, but this combination came together recently and we’re still finding speed. It’s fun. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to get even more faster after this, no matter what boat we’re in.”
In the final, Great Britain’s Heather Stanning and Helen Glover got out of the blocks first with the U.S. crew and New Zealand’s Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh not far behind. Logan and Cafaro moved into second place just before the 1,000-meter mark and held off New Zealand through the finish line, where they crossed with a time of 7:04.09. Great Britain posted a 7:02.14 for the gold medal, with New Zealand in a 7:05.98 for bronze.
“I just tried to clear my mind and trust the work we’ve done, trust the rhythm and try to have a little fun,” said Logan. “I think we’re pretty good together, but we know how much better we can be with more time.”
Logan and Cafaro qualified for the Olympic Games at the first world cup, and have until May 30 to accept. Should they decline, the women’s pair will be included in the Olympic Trials – Rowing June 11-14 in West Windsor, N.J.
1. Great Britain, 7:02.14; 2. United States, 7:04.09; 3. New Zealand, 7:05.98; 4. Australia, 7:17.88; 5. Argentina, 7:19.74; 6. South Africa, 7:20.22.
LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS FINAL
Next up, Julie Nichols (Livermore, Calif.) and Kristin Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.) finished fourth in the lightweight women’s double sculls to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
En route to Sunday’s race, Nichols and Hedstrom finished third in their heat and advanced with a second-place finish from the repechage. Then in the final, the U.S. crew was third off the line behind China’s Wenyi Huang and Dongxiang Xu and New Zealand’s Julia Edward and Louise Ayling. Defending world champions Alexandra Tsiavou and Christina Giazitzidou of Greece, who were in sixth place for much of the race, laid down the fastest 500-meter split in the last stretch to overtake the American crew and finish within 0.65 seconds of the leader for a bronze medal.
China won gold with a time of 7:04.14, followed by New Zealand second in 7:04.39 and Greece third in 7:04.79. The United States held off Great Britain’s Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking by just 0.09 seconds to grab the fourth-place spot.
“We had no idea it was that close, but we’ll take it,” said Nichols, a 2008 Olympic alternate. “We’re so excited. It is a dream for both or us. We’re looking forward to getting back to California and getting back to training and ramping up for the next race of the season.”
“Overall, the piece was great,” said Hedstrom. “We’ve been working hard since Belgrade on fine-tuning everything. I feel like the piece that we went out and did today was just what we had worked on, and we did a really good job of executing. That was the plan.”
1. China, 7:04.14; 2. New Zealand, 7:04.39; 3. Greece, 7:04.79; 4. United States, 7:07.45; 5. Great Britain, 7:07.54; 6. Denmark, 7:08.01.
WOMEN’S QUADRUPLE SCULLS FINAL
Having advanced to the final directly from the heats, the USA 1 women’s quad entry of Kate Bertko (Oakland, Calif.), Adrienne Martelli (University Place, Wash.), Natalie Dell (Clearville, Pa.) and Stesha Carle (Long Beach, Calif.) entered Sunday’s final with the goal of winning a medal.
Ukraine led in the final from start to finish, with Germany and Great Britain coming through the 1,000-meter mark, 1-2-3. The United States crew was in sixth at the halfway point, but picked up pace in the third 500 before leading a strong charge in the last quarter of the race.
“We knew that we wanted to get just a little bit faster every 500 (meters) and just be as patient as we could be at the rate we were at,” said Carle. “It felt great, we were all very determined and very set on getting onto the podium. I think all four of us stuck together and pushed through.”
Ukraine won gold in a 6:15.37, followed by Germany with silver in a 6:19.40. The U.S. held off New Zealand for the bronze medal in 6:21.45 to the Kiwis’ 6:22.71.
“It was the first time we’ve raced in this lineup; we’re still in selection,” said Carle. “The name date is June 22 and we have a very competitive group of athletes at home.”
1. Ukraine, 6:15.37; 2. Germany, 6:19.40; 3. United States, 6:21.45; 4. New Zealand, 6:22.71; 5. Great Britain, 6:23.73; 6. Australia, 6:25.67.
WOMEN’S EIGHT FINAL
In the closest finish of the day, the U.S. women’s eight, fresh off of setting a world best time in the heats Friday, managed to hold off Canada by 0.03 seconds for the win.
Defending Olympic and world champions Mary Whipple (Orangevale, Calif.), Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.), Caroline Lind (Greensboro, N.C.), Taylor Ritzel (Larkspur, Colo.), Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y.), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Jamie Redman (Spokane, Wash.), Susan Francia (Abington, Pa.) and Esther Lofgren (Newport Beach, Calif.) were in third behind The Netherlands and Canada at the 500-meter mark.
The Dutch fell back by the halfway point, and the U.S. charged ahead and onto what looked to be Lucerne world cup gold.
Oh, Canada. The 2011 world championship silver-medalist crew sprinted hard and crossing the line, it was anyone’s guess. When USA flashed first on the results board, it was by a margin of 0.03 seconds, less than a bow ball’s distance.
“It just goes to show that the women’s eight is going to be a barn-burner in London,” said Whipple. “And we’re prepping for it. We know we’re going to have to fight for each inch. We’re happy that that inch was ours today, and we’re not going to let up.
The U.S. posted a time of 5:59.26 for the gold medal. Canada crossed in 5:59.29, with The Netherlands third in 6:03.20. Australia, Great Britain and Germany rounded out the field.
“In the heat, we were racing the clock, but in this (final), we were obviously racing the other boats,” said Davies. “We tried to keep our heads in our own boat and be focused.”
“We worked hard for each stroke today,” said Whipple. “We’re going to go home and make them a little bit better.”
1. United States, 5:59.26; 2. Canada, 5:59.29; 3. The Netherlands, 6:03.20; 4. Australia, 6:06.79; 5. Great Britain, 6:06.86; 6. Germany, 6:16.03.
WOMEN’S QUADRUPLE SCULLS B FINAL
The USA 2 women’s quadruple sculls crew of Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.), Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif.), Kady Glessner (Seattle, Wash.) and Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.) finished second in the B final, for eighth place overall.
The U.S. crew was in third behind China and Germany crossing the 500-meter mark, but pulled into second place by the halfway mark. China won the race in 6:30.24, with the U.S. in 6:31.65 and Germany in 6:35.22.
MEN’S SINGLE SCULLS B FINAL
In the men’s single sculls, Ken Jurkowski (New Fairfield, Conn.) finished third in the B final for ninth place overall. The U.S. sculler made a strong push in the second 500 meters, taking the lead over Lithuania and South Africa. Lithuania’s Mindaugas Griskonis came back to win the race in 6:57.20. South Africa finished second in 6:58.16, with the U.S. third in 7:00.96.
Jurkowski, who won the first National Section Regatta and finished 11th at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, needed a top-four finish in Lucerne to earn an automatic berth to the 2012 Olympic Games. The men’s single will now be included in the 2012 Olympic Trials – Rowing in June.
For complete results of 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II, visit www.worldrowing.com.
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