Seven Crews Victorious at the 2012 Senior World Championship Trials
July 11, 2012
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Earlier this year, Andrew Campbell and Will Daly had their hopes of rowing in the 2012 Olympic Games in London crushed when they missed a berth to the team in the lightweight men’s double sculls at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.
That didn’t end their year of international rowing efforts, however. Both Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Daly (Vail, Colo.) earned a place on the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior World Championship team, just in a different event.
Daly won the lightweight men’s pair final at the 2012 Senior Non-Olympic Trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., this morning while Campbell followed in the lightweight men’s single sculls.
“It feels great,” said Campbell, who finished fourth in the event at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Slovenia. “Life is about counter-punching and this is me counter-punching. We had a tough go in Lucerne in the double, but you can’t let stuff like that stop you. You have to go on with your career and make the best of the situation.”
Not far from Campbell when he walked off the recovery dock was Daly, who smiled and gave Campbell a big congratulations. “Obviously we’re both supportive of each other,” he said.
Daly, a 2008 Olympian who finished 11th in the lightweight four in Beijing, and his partner Greg Flood (Tulsa, Okla.) won their event in a time of 6:45.377 over training center teammates Christian Klein (Herndon, Va.) and Kyle Traub (Eastham, Mass.), who finished second in 6:46.713.
“The double is done, but we’re both still training and just trying to find anyway we can to stay competitive and stay on the edge,” said Daly. “We’ve stayed in touch and talked about how the training was going and stuff. It will be good to get back into racing again. It’s hard to get back up after losing a qualification regatta, but we’re moving forward, just trying to keep going.”
This morning’s finals wrapped up the combined trials for both the junior and senior teams that will compete August 14-19 at the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In all, seven crews earned a place on the senior team.
In addition to the lightweight men’s single and lightweight men’s pair, crews were named in the men’s pair with coxswain, lightweight women’s single, men’s and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls and lightweight men’s eight.
The junior and senior world championship events and trials are combined in an Olympic year to accommodate athletes who compete in boat classes not contested at the Olympic Games.
In the men’s pair with coxswain, two USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City crews went head-to-head in the finals with Justin Stangel (Madison, Wis.), Blaise Didier (San Francisco, Calif.) and coxswain Stephen Young (Tampa, Fla.) defeating the trio of Ryan Shelton (Wrightwood, California), Max Goff (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and coxswain Marcus McElhenney (Lansdowne, Pa.) in a time of 7:08.784 to 7:12.066.
“It was definitely a tough race,” said Young. “We had a really good rehearsal on Monday in the race for lanes and ended up not quite as far ahead early on in the race as we wanted to be, and were expecting to be.
“They were sitting on our hip the whole way down the course. It was really until about five-hundred to go where we finally started to break out a little bit and at that point I could relax a little and I knew we were in control and it was our race to win,” said Young, who finished fifth in the lightweight men’s eight at the 2010 World Rowing Championships.
Also returning to the world stage in the lightweight women’s single is Ursula Grobler (Pretoria, South Africa) who defeated Katherine Robinson (Everett, Wash.). Grobler won with a time of 7:50.877. Robinson was second in 8:03.753.
Grobler finished fourth in the event last summer at the world championships in Bled, Slovenia and had attempted a bid for the Olympics in the lightweight women’s double. When that did not happen, she refocused her efforts in the single.
“It’s been a tough year,” said Grobler. “I just had to refocus and a world champion medal is still a great victory. It’s not the Olympics, but it is still an achievement and I want to keep going.”
In the lightweight women’s quad, the composite entry of Pocock Rowing Center, Riverside Boat Club and the USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City of Hillary Saeger (Dedham, Mass.), Lindsey Hochman (Seattle, Wash.), Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.) and Chelsea Smith (Edina, Minn.) won in a time of 6:54.285 over Vesper Boat Club, which finished second in 7:09.630.
Both Saeger and Hochman were in the boat that took bronze last summer in Slovenia. “I’m ready for another one,” said Saeger. “We’re looking to move up on the medal stand. We’re getting there and figuring out our racing plan and it’s coming along fast.”
The lightweight men’s quad followed and the composite crew from Malta Boat Club and Seattle Rowing Center of Sam Cunningham (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Bob Duff, (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.), Dave Smith (Seattle, Wash.) and Shane Madden (Ambler, Pa.) rowed uncontested and finished in 6:15.898.
This is Madden’s fifth national team and he returns to the event after finishing fifth in the event last summer in Slovenia. “It feels pretty good,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s back to the grindstone come tomorrow.”
The final event of the morning, the lightweight men’s eight, saw the composite crew from Community Rowing, Inc., and Riverside Boat Club of coxswain Sean Fanning, Phil Grisdela, Anders Corbett, Andrew Hashway, Martin Forde, Nick Dawe, Sean McKenna, Will Robins, and Eric Rhiel win in 5:57.839 over the Vesper Boat Club entry that finished second in 6:02.139.
"I used to be a competitive swimmer and hadn't made it to this level before, so this is a really important event for me,” said Robins. “Not necessarily a capstone, but a certainly a milestone in a multisport career.”
Video clips of the finals of the Junior World Championship Trials can be purchased at http://www.usrowing.org/Multimedia/VideoDownloads.aspx.
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Ed Moran, photos by Monica Worsley