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Fifteen 2012 National Champions Crowned on Mercer Lake

June 29, 2012

WEST WINDSOR, N.J.  – Vesper Boat Club’s Matthew Brown started his racing season trying to find a way to London by rowing a double at the Non-Qualified Small Boat trials in Chula Vista, California this spring.

It didn’t work out. Finishing last in his heat, Brown headed back to Philadelphia, got back into his single, and started thinking about the next four years and the 2016 Olympic Games.

His first goal was winning the men’s single sculls at 2012 USRowing National Championships. He checked that off the list this morning on Mercer Lake, in West Windsor, N.J., finishing first in a time of 7:11.132.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Brown said. “It’s a good feeling for me. Working up to this has been a tough journey, but I feel like this is kind of the start of the point of the journey I want to be going on. I want to make the Olympic team.

“I started with a huge disappointment at the Olympic trials but then I turned it around a couple of months later with a national championship and this is kind of the start of the next four years.”

Brown was one of 15 crews to be crowned a national champion at the conclusion of three days of racing.

On a day that started with booming thunderstorms and then cleared to sunny skies, the racing was uninterrupted and began with two USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City pairs with coxswain going head-to-head in a two boat race.

The entry of Justin Stangel, Blaise Didier and coxswain Stephen Young edged the entry of Ryan Shelton, Max Goff and coxswain Marcus McElhenney, 7:04.464 to 7:05.526.

In the women’s single, Riverside Boat Club’s Emily Huelskamp won in a time of 7:46.646, followed in second and third by Craftsbury Sculling Center’s Madison Lips and Riverside’s Lauren Schmetterling.

The men’s single was next, followed by the lightweight women’s single sculls. Katherine Robinson from the Seattle, Washington-based Pocock Rowing Center won with a time of 7:53.502. Vesper Boat Club’s Mary Jones was second, followed by Ottawa Rowing Club’s Lilianne Page.

For Robinson, who was in the bronze medal winning lightweight women’s quad at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia last summer, the win here was a step toward making the lightweight single for the senior world championships in Bulgaria this summer. If she wins her event at the 2012 Non-Olympic Senior World Championship Trials on Mercer Lake, July 8-11, she will earn a berth on that squad.

“I’ve got some work to do,” Robinson said. “It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to really race the single and I view this as a pretty crucial checkpoint as far as being a legitimate entry at trials in the coming 10 days or so and I’m looking forward to it.”
 
In the lightweight men’s single, New York Athletic Club’s Tom Paradiso completed his week by beating Undine Barge Club’s Hugh McAdam and Riverside’s Jacob Georgeson in a time of 7:06.702.

The women’s pair event featured two boats and was won by the Queen's University of Ontario entry of Meghan Robinson and Elise Hoffmann over Craftsbury’s Elizabeth Sonshine and Haley Sive.
    
In the men’s pair, five boats from USRowing’s Oklahoma City Training Center lined up with an entry from St. Catharines Rowing Club and took the first five spots. The first three boats to cross the line were powered by six 2012 U.S. Olympians.

Winning the race in a time of 6:29.397 was Silas Stafford and Tom Peszek, followed in second by Will Newell and Anthony Fahden and in third by Robin Prendes and Nick LaCava.

Stafford and Peszek will represent the United States in the men’s pair. Newell, Fahden, Prendes and LaCava will row the lightweight men’s four in London.

“It’s always fun to represent Oklahoma City that way,” Peszek said. “It was fun. So now we just keep on training and keep getting faster and get ready for London.”
 
The regatta also featured an exhibition race by the U.S. women’s Olympic double sculls team of Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge, who came down the course in a time of 6:58.689.

The national championship women’s double event was won by the Sarasota Crew entry of Carli Goldberg and Cara Linnenkohl in a time of 7:07.879. Finishing in second and third were Riverside’s Huelskamp and Lauren Schmetterling and Craftsbury’s Madison Lips and Erin Roche.

It has been a good week for Goldberg and Linnenkohl, who won the event at the 2012 Under 23 World Championship Trials earlier this week. “I’m glad we got the racing experience in,” said Goldberg. “We still have a lot to learn, but we’re psyched.”

In the men’s double, the composite entry from Long Beach Rowing Association and Cambridge Boat Club of Nick Trojan and Austin Meyer won over the composite entry from the Potomac Boat Club and the USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City team of Greg Ansolabehere and Taylor Frank and Philadelphia Sculling Club’s Andrew Ramsey and Ryan Allen in a time of 6:25.247.

The lightweight women’s double event was won by USRowing Training Center – OKC’s entry of Michelle Sechser and Chelsea Smith in a time of 7:07.363.  The composite entry from Pocock and Riverside of Lindsey Hochman and Hillary Saeger were second followed by Ottawa’s Juliette Robert Bigras and Victoria Ozimkowsk.

Hochman and Saeger were also in the lightweight women’s quad at the 2011 World Rowing Championships and will compete with Smith and Sechser for a spot in the event at the 2012 Non-Olympic Senior World Championship trials.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, the unaffiliated entry of Mark Henry and Dylan Harris took first in a time of 6:32.511 over Ottawa’s Nicholas Harris and Matthew Christie and NYAC’s Tobin Mcgee and Ryan Ujazdowski.

After rowing in the men’s pair event, the Olympic lightweight men’s four crew of Prendes, LaCava, Newell and Fahden went back on the water and took the gold medal in the men’s four event in 5:58.601. Finishing second was USRowing Training Center-OKC, followed by the Craftsbury entry.

The women’s quadruple sculls event was won by the USRowing entry in a time of 6:39.105. The Pocock/Riverside/USRowing Training Center-OKC entry was second followed by the crew from Craftsbury.

In the men’s quad event, Maritime Rowing Club finished first and second with the winning boat clocking a 6:04.343. Craftsbury’s entry finished third in the three boat race.

The lightweight men’s quad was won by the composite entry from Malta Boat Club and Seattle Rowing Club in a time of 5:57.947, followed by Ottawa in the two-boat race.

The morning racing was concluded with a dual race in the mixed legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain adaptive event between two USRowing entries. The winning boat, made up of five 2012 Paralympians Alexandra Stein, Eleni Englert, Emma Preuschl, Andrew Johnson and Dorian Weber, finished with a time of 3:30.771.

For full results visit, http://www.usrowing.org/Events/EliteNationals/2012NCResults.aspx.

Following the event, video clips can be purchased at http://www.usrowing.org/Multimedia/VideoDownloads.aspx.

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 and The Perfect SNAQUE. 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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