Rowers Prepare for their Final Strokes Towards Sarasota-Bradenton
By Genevieve Carrillo • August 8, 2017
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — 2017 Stanford University graduate Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.; Stanford University) was certain she was done rowing following her most recent IRA national title.
On a whim, she followed her coach’s advice, continued rowing and made the openweight women’s quadruple sculls at selection camp, making her fourth national team. The Under 23 National Team competed in Plovdiv, Bulgaria at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
“When I crossed the line [at the championships], my first thought was, ‘No. I’m not done.’” said Cavallo. “The next day, while I was still in Bulgaria, I signed up for senior trials in the [lightweight] single.”
This ambitious decision was made even more impressive by the fact that this past Sunday’s time trial was Cavallo’s first time ever racing in a single. Lined-up alongside women who have spent years training in the event, Cavallo won her repechage by nearly four seconds, in a time of 8:07.56.
Cavallo started her rowing career at Nathan Benderson Park, the site of the 2017 World Rowing Championships. For Cavallo, this year’s Worlds highlights two things close to her heart: rowing and the city of Sarasota.
“I was rowing on Benderson back when they had the hashtag ‘#2kBy2011.’ It was a 1,800 meter course,” said Cavallo. “I’ve seen that facility go from a puddle next to a highway to what it is now, and I think it’s awesome. I’m going to find a way to get there, whether it’s competing or spectating.”
This morning would host repechage racing for five events and semifinals for another, giving athletes another chance at making the finals where they will race for a spot on the national team. In the first repechage of the women’s lightweight single sculls, Sydney Taylor (Dover, Del.; Williams College) of the Seattle Rowing Center took the top qualifying position with a time of 8:03.88.
Taylor and Cavallo will join Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.; University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Michaela Copenhaver (Princeton University) in the final tomorrow at 9:20 a.m. EST.
The women’s single sculls was the only event to progress to semifinals. The semis saw the top two competitors in each flight advance to the final. In the first semifinal, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist in the women’s quad, Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif.; University of California) of California Rowing Club, placed first with a time of 7:41.33, with seven-time national team member from SoCal Scullers, Stesha Carle, (Long Beach, Calif.; University of Michigan) grabbing the second qualifying spot in 7:46.13.
The second semifinal of the women’s single sculls hosted 2016 Olympian Felice Mueller (Cleveland, Ohio; University of Michigan) of The Foundry, who took a commanding lead, crossing the line in a time of 7:33.85. She was followed by Narragansett Boat Club’s Emily Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I.; Princeton University) in a time of 7:48.69. Kallfelz recently earned a bronze medal in Plovdiv at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
The four women will race in Wednesday’s final at 8:08 a.m. EST. The winner will earn the right to be named to the 2017 United States Senior National Team and compete at the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
Advancing from the repechages in the men’s single sculls are Tom Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio; Trinity College) from the New York Athletic Club and Penn AC’s Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.; Pennsylvania State University). With a time of 7:04.61, Graves led the field in repechage one, while in repechage two, Keen pulled ahead of the pack to finish in a time of 7:12.19.
They will be joined by Michael Clougher (Canton Mass.; Connecticut College) of California Rowing Club and Ari Cohen (Wellesley, Mass.) of Community Rowing, Inc. in the final on Wednesday, August 9 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
In the women’s double sculls, only one repechage was run. The top two crews would advance to the final. Four ARION teammates qualified, as the crews of Maureen McAuliffe (Herndon, Va.; George Mason University) and Elizabeth Sonshine (Short Hills, N.J.; Bates College) along with Lily Keane (Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbia University) and Kara Soucek (McCall, Idaho, Gonzaga University) crossed the line in times of 7:04.71 and 7:06.29, respectively.
The doubles will race for a spot on the national team against the New York Athletic Club/Vesper Boat Club composite crew of 2016 Olympians Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.; University of Virginia) and Ellen Tomek (Flushing, Mich.; University of Michigan), as well as the Unaffiliated/California Rowing Club composite of Emily Huelskamp (Sainte Genevieve, Mo.; Wheaton College) and Margaret Bertasi (London, England; Princeton University). The final will be held on Wednesday at 8:24 a.m. EST.
Four crews of USRowing Training Center athletes faced off in the repechage of the men’s pair, where the top two crews would progress to the final. In a close finish between the top three crews, the pair of Bobby Moffitt (Greenwich, Conn.; Dartmouth College) and Nate Goodman (Montclair, N.J.; Yale University) secured first place with a time of 6:43.40. They were followed closely by Kyle Peabody (LaGrange, N.Y.; Boston University) and Ben Ruble (University of Wisconsin), in 6:45.34.
Being teammates has its advantages on and off the water for the men of the USTC.
“We race every day in practice so there are no secrets,” said bow-seat, Goodman. “It allows me to be a little more internal; I know what’s going to happen at every marker and can just focus on my own boat.”
The four men will race on Wednesday at 8:32 a.m. EST, against the crew of Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.; Brown University) and Michael Colella (Kensington, Md.; Cornell University), and also Andrew LeRoux (Venice, Fla.; Princeton University) and Ben Delaney (Windermere, Fla.; George Washington University), who earned the fastest time in Monday’s heat.
The lightweight men’s single sculls ended in the closest finish of the day, with the top three crews finishing within 0.89 seconds of each other. However, only the top two athletes would continue on to the final. Despite catching two small crabs in the beginning of the race, Seattle Training Center’s William Solberg (Darien, Conn.; Columbia University) was able to rebuild speed to ultimately take the lead over Hugh McAdam (Hollis, N.H.; Washington College) of Craftsbury. The two secured spots in the final in times of 7:16.07 and 7:16.17, respectively.
Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz.; University of Pennsylvania) of Penn AC narrowly missed the qualifier, finishing with a time of 7:16.96.
The men will race for their spot on the national team against Matt O’Leary (Westwood, Mass.; Harvard University) of Keble Boat Club and Nicholas Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.; Orange Coast College) of Newport Aquatic Center in the final at 9:12 a.m. EST.
Finals determined out of placement from time trials include the men’s double sculls, lightweight women’s double sculls, PR3 mixed double sculls, PR2 mixed double sculls and the PR1 women’s single sculls.
Eight events will run uncontested tomorrow, including the lightweight men’s double sculls, men’s quadruple sculls, men’s pair with coxswain, lightweight men’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, lightweight men’s four, lightweight men’s pair and the PR1 men’s single sculls.
Live streaming of tomorrow’s finals will be available for all 19 races as athletes etch their names on to the 2017 United States National Team roster. Racing begins at 8:00 a.m. EST with a live stream available on the USRowing Youtube page.
Photos available at USRowing.Photos.
Follow along on Instagram at @USRowing, or with the hashtag #USRWorldTrials.