Spring Speed Order II / NSR Begins Saturday on Mercer Lake

PRINCETON, N.J. — The path towards the 2017 World Rowing Championships continues this week, when racing begins at the 2017 Spring Speed Order II / National Selection Regatta (NSR).

Beginning Saturday morning and running through Monday, May 22, 76 athletes will compete in six events. In the National Selection Regatta events racing will be contested in the men’s and women’s pairs. The Speed Order events are the men’s and women’s doubles and the lightweight men’s and women’s doubles.

In both of the NSR events, a win offers those boats the opportunity to race a 2017 World Rowing Cup, and with a result in the top six (depending on the number of entries) be named to the U.S. National Team.

For those crews racing in Speed Order events, the regatta serves as a chance to test their speed against America’s elite rowers. More than 40 athletes competing have represented the U.S. in international competition including eight Olympians from the past three Olympic Games in Rio, London and Beijing.

Racing begins with morning time trials Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and continues with semifinals Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. All finals are scheduled for Monday, beginning at 8:00 a.m. with the NSR events.

NSR: Men’s Pair (M2-)

The men’s pair is the largest field with nine crews entered. Of those crews, five are comprised of USRowing Training Center – Princeton athletes. The pairings are:

Bobby Moffit (Greenwich, Conn.) and Greg Davis (Hillsborough, Calif.); Graham Miller (Greenwich, Conn.) and Thomas Phifer (New York, N.Y.); Kyle Peabody (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and Michael Colella (Kensington, Md.); Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.) and Jordan Vanderstoep (Soquel, Calif.); 2016 Olympian in the men’s pair Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) and Hunter Leeming (Sarasota, Fla.).

U.S. men’s coach and two-time Olympian Bryan Volpenhein has spent the past four weeks between speed order and NSR setting line-ups to find the most speed among the pairs.

“The focus isn’t so much on the pairs as it is learning how to move a boat and learning how everybody rows, so that when they get in an eight, there is a more unified style,” said Volpenhein. “It’s early in the process; we always have to keep that perspective with ourselves. We’re starting over in a lot of ways. It’s a young group, but they have a great mindset and great attitudes. They are working hard towards Tokyo and taking the steps they need to take to be ready in four years.”

Representing Vesper Boat Club is London Olympian Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.) and three-time U.S. National Team member Yohann Rigogne (Besançon, France).

NSR: Women’s Pair (W2-)

There are seven crews entered in the women’s pair event, all of which will be representing the USRowing Training Center – Princeton. The pairings are:

Kendall Chase (Evergreen, Colo.) and Meghan Wheeler (McLean, Va.); Kelly Pierce (Oakton, Va.) and Alex Spaulding (Berrien Springs, Mich.); Coco Schoeller (Miami, Fla.) and Erin Reelick (Torrington, Conn.); 2016 Olympic women’s eight gold medalist Emily Regan (Buffalo, N.Y.) and 2016 Olympic alternate Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wisc.); 2016 Olympian Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and three-time Olympian Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.); Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wisc.) and Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.); Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) and 2016 Olympian Grace Latz (Jackson, Mich.).

Speed Order: Men’s Double Sculls (M2x)

Seven crews are entered in the men’s double sculls. Among those competing are five boats from Schuylkill Navy including second-place finisher in last month’s men’s single speed order, Erik Frid (Durham, N.H.).

A total of six athletes have represented the United States in international competition, including Craftsbury Sculling Center athletes Stu Maeder (Washington, D.C.) and Wes Vear (Marquette, Mich.) and Schuylkill Navy athletes Erick Winstead (Fairfield, Conn.), Luke Wilhelm (Miranda, Calif.), Lenny Futterman (New York, N.Y.) and Frid.

Speed Order: Women’s Double Sculls (W2x)

Back for her first and what she says will “almost certainly be the start and end of the 2k season for me” is 2016 Olympic silver medalist Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.), whose sculling prowess in the women’s single, as well as her dedication to her career as a doctor, earned her recognition across the U.S.

Stone will begin her medical residency in June and is looking forward to using the time at Speed Order with lightweight single sculler Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) to get in some spring racing. Despite their limited time practicing together, Stone is confident that their individual abilities will unite seamlessly.

“Mary and I both love rowing and racing,” said Stone. “We’re competitive, and we always want to get faster. That’s why we decided to hop in the double to get another opportunity to race. There aren’t many domestic regatta opportunities for elite athletes, and Speed Order somewhat miraculously fits into both of our schedules.”

Representing the USRowing Training Center – Princeton will be Meridith Kisting (Loves Park, Ill.) and Lauren Tracey (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.).

Speed Order: Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x)

Four crews are entered in the lightweight men’s double sculls. Having both competed in the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls at the 2016 World Rowing Championship, Riverside Boat Club’s Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.) and Christopher Lambert-Rogers (Ithaca, N.Y.) are trying their skill in the double this week.

Also among them are crews from Potomac Boat Club, Undine Barge Club and New York Athletic Club.

Speed Order: Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x)

As the smallest event of the weekend, the lightweight women’s double will see all three crews go straight to finals. Three women have previously represented the United States internationally as lightweight rowers including Penn A.C.’s Jen Sager (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Riverside Boat Club’s Hillary Saeger (Dedham, Mass.) and Erin Roberts (Fogelsville, Pa.).

Sager’s pair partner Cara Stawicki (Wall, N.J.) will be the only competitor returning from last month’s event.

Racing alongside them will be a composite boat from Vesper Boat Club and Potomac Boat Club.

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