First Women’s Boat Named to U.S. Under 23 National Team

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — For Kendall Brewer and Brooke Pierson, the goal of making the U.S. Under 23 National Team became a reality on Tuesday, the second day of racing at the 2017 U.S. Under 23 and Under 19 World Championships Trials. Rowing in the pair final, they became the first women to earn a spot on the team that will compete at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

A focus for Brewer and Pierson, who have only been rowing together for a few weeks, is “building off of each other’s rhythms,” said stroke seat Pierson. “It’s different coming in from two separate schools [University of Michigan and University of Washington] with two different strokes. We’re trying to match each other and really vibe off each other.”

This will be Brewer’s fourth U.S. National Team appearance after a gold medal in the quadruple sculls at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships, a fourth-place finish in the quad at the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and gold medals in the eight and four at the 2016 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.

Following a history-making performance in the University of Washington women’s varsity eight during the 2017 season, Pierson will make her first U.S. Under 23 National Team appearance.

Women’s Pair – Unaffiliated (USA)

  • Kendall Brewer (Austin, Tex.; University of Michigan)
  • Brooke Pierson (Oak Harbor, Wash.; University of Washington)

Brewer and Pierson were paired together at this year’s Under 23 Selection Camp and are currently coached by Yale University alum and three-time U23 Selection Camp coach, Wesley Ng. They earned their spots on the roster after rowing uncontested in the event, crossing the line in a time of 7:29.47.

With Ng’s guidance, the selection ultimately led to Brewer and Pierson being paired together as a result of their similar body types and seamless ability to communicate and understand each other in the boat.

It’s always cool to be a part of the process of developing the future of the U.S. National Team,” said Ng. “It’s a process I take seriously, and I am thankful to [U.S. senior women’s team coaches] Tom [Terhaar] and Laurel [Korholz] for trusting me in this position.”

Throughout the day, under 23 athletes competed in heats, with the first-place finisher in each race earning a spot in Thursday’s finals. The remaining competitors were relegated to Wednesday’s repechages.

Narragansett Boat Club single sculler Emily Kallfelz shone in what was one of the most impressive finishes of the day, crossing the line a full 24.64 seconds before second place in a time of 8:00.99.

The final and closest race of the day was the second heat of lightweight women’s double sculls. With only 0.48 seconds between the two Union Boat Club crews, the crew of Kathryne Ruffalo and Agathe Denis pulled ahead to secure a spot in the final with a time of 7:33.46. Teammates Sarah Maietta and Riona McCormick crossed the line shortly after in 7:33.94.

Racing continues Wednesday, June 28, at 8:00 a.m. EST with repechages for the under 23 events.  

The winning crews of each Under 23 event during this week’s trials will earn the opportunity to race for the U.S. at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, July 19-23 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The full U.S. Under 23 National Team will be named on July 7, 2017.

Competition for six U.S. Under 19 National Team crews begins on Thursday, June 29. Events will be contested in a best two-out-of-three format with first finals scheduled for Thursday morning, second finals on Thursday afternoon and third finals, if needed, scheduled for Friday morning. The full U.S. Under 19 National Team will be named on July 12, 2017.

Results from Tuesday’s heats and women’s pair final can be found at

Thursday’s finals will be live streamed on the USRowing Youtube page beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST.

View photos from this week’s racing at USRowing.Photos.

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