Women’s Pair Wins Semifinal as Three Crews Advance on Friday at U23 Championships

Alina Hagstrom and Regina Salmons won their semifinal of the women’s pair in come from behind fashion. Racing against the defending under 23 world champions from Chile, the U.S. boat used a strong second half to pass the Abraham sisters in the final 200 meters, highlighting Friday’s racing for the United States at the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Poznan, Poland.

In addition, men’s single sculler Ben Davison won his quarterfinal to advance to Saturday’s semifinals, while lightweight women’s single sculler Brigid Kennedy advanced to tomorrow’s semifinals out of her repechage.

Racing in the second semifinal of the women’s pair, Chile led off the line, with Hagstrom (Seattle, Wash./Oregon State University) and Salmons (Methuen, Mass./University of Pennsylvania) sitting in third place behind Romania at the 500-meter mark. The U.S. passed the Romanians to move into second position during the second 500, and with three to advance to the final, Hagstrom and Salmons pulled away from the third- and fourth-place boats as they entered the final quarter of the race.

The American duo continued to press Chile over the final 500, taking the lead with about 200 meters to go.

“The big thing for us was having the expectation that it was going to be really, really hard,” said coach Brett Gorman. “It was really hard to see what was going on in the heats because the racing across all three was so different and the conditions were so variable. It was hard to trust that the times were going to tell us what was going to happen. We went into it with the only expectation being that it was going to be a really, really hard race and that’s exactly what we got. The girls did a great job of getting off the line well – it was pretty windy – and then settling into their rhythm and executing their race plan the whole way down the course.”

At the finish, the U.S. had clocked a 7:48.55 to finish 0.47 seconds ahead of Chile. Greece finished third to earn the other spot in Saturday’s final. Australia won the first semifinal in a 7:50.85, while Great Britain and Belarus also advanced.

“No matter how much time you have (between races), you always break it into mini cycles and that’s what we did between the heat and the semi,” said Gorman of preparing for tomorrow’s final. “We did have an extra day and really looked at those four practices and our recovery as a chance to get better. We’re going to do that again. Even though it’s a shortened time period, we’re going to look at how we can get better in the next 30 hours.”

Racing in the second of four quarterfinals of the men’s single sculls, Davison (Inverness, Fla./University of Washington) took control of his race off the line and cruised to more than a six-second victory over Australia’s Sam Marsh. Davison held an open-water lead by the 1,000-meter mark and had built three to four lengths of open water on Marsh and Italy’s Emanuele Giarri with 500 meters to go.

“I got off a bit sharper today, which was nice, so I didn’t have to crawl back into the race,” Davison said. “Instead, I got a lead and was telling myself finish the race out, but I was ahead and felt comfortable. I’m looking forward to putting together what will have to be a complete piece tomorrow.”

Davison crossed the line in a 7:21.82, with Marsh finishing in a 7:28.03. On Saturday, Davison will race scullers from Ireland, Germany, Latvia, Norway and Italy in the second of two semifinals. Ireland’s Ronan Byrne also won his quarterfinal.

“I think just going into every race, trying to win it,” said Davison of his goals in his fourth and final time racing in the U23 men’s single. “In the past, I’ve definitely been okay to (move) through, come in second and third in races, and just progress. But, I think this year, I definitely have more of a mindset of going out and trying to win every one with the goal of winning in the end.”

Kennedy (East Greenwich, R.I./Harvard University), a three-time U23 National Team member, used a strong back half of the race to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals of the lightweight women’s single sculls. After getting off the line in fifth position, Kennedy slowly worked her way through the field and into a top-three qualification position during the third 500 meters. In the sprint, Kennedy was able to chase down Romania’s Elena-Iuliana Mihai for second place.

“The way I’ve always raced, I’m built for endurance, so when you look at my splits, they are usually pretty identical every 500,” said Kennedy of her second-half move. “For me, it’s not about beating them off the start, it’s about sending through them when they get tired. The goal of that race was that I needed to qualify, so at 750 in, I started my sprint. It’s a gradual build every 250.”

Greece’s Maria Pergouli won race in an 8:31.54, with Kennedy finishing 1.65-seconds behind in an 8:33.19. Mihai was another 0.2 seconds back.

“I just kept looking over in my periphery at Romania and she was right there,” Kennedy said. “I just brought up the pressure a little bit, but my goal wasn’t second, it was to qualify. Truthfully, more than anything, I wanted to make the A or B final, and I almost started crying when I went through the finish line because I knew. I’m just so excited.”

In tomorrow’s semifinal, Kennedy will take on scullers from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Uruguay.

“I think there is something to be said for happy nerves. I’m the type of person that talks on the start line, so I’m going to embrace this absolute joy that I have right now and then I’m going to channel that,” Kennedy said.

The women’s four of Meghan Gutknecht (Guilderland, N.Y./University of Michigan), Teresa Rokos (Pasadena, Calif./Harvard University), Niamh Martin (Seattle, Wash./University of Wisconsin) and Chase Shepley (Crystal Lake, Ill./Stanford University) finished fourth in its repechage and now will race in Sunday’s B final for places 7-12. The crew dropped off the pace in the first 500 meters. Belarus won the race in a 7:05.87, with Great Britain taking the second qualifying spot in a 7:11.02. The U.S. finished with a time of 7:24.87.

The men’s pair of Aidan Bridwell (Redding, Conn./Northeastern University) and Louis Pratt (Arlington, Mass./Northeastern University) won their afternoon C/D semifinal to advance to Saturday’s C final, which will determine overall places 13-18. Bridwell and Pratt led at every 500-meter split, crossing the line in a 7:22.52.

In the C/D semifinal of the lightweight women’s double sculls, Isabella Garcia-Camargo (Seattle, Wash./Stanford University) and Sophia Denison-Johnston (Berkeley, Calif./University of California, Los Angeles) finished second behind Chile to advance to Saturday’s C final for places 13-18. The U.S. and Chile traded the top position at the first three 500-meter splits, but Chile was able to pull away in the final 500 meters.

In the men’s double sculls, Evan Dwinell (Tallahassee, Fla./Dartmouth College) and Joshua Bilchik (Brookline, Mass./Bates College) finished fifth in their morning heat before coming back to finish third in their afternoon C/D semifinal. The crew now will race in Saturday’s C final.

After finishing fifth in his morning quarterfinal, Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y./University of Virginia) finished fourth in his C/D semifinal and will move on to Saturday’s D final for places 19-24. Heese sat in second place in a tight, five-way battle at the halfway point, before dropping back to fourth.

After finishing fifth in its morning repechage, the women’s double sculls crew of Ashley Johnson (Buffalo, N.Y./Syracuse University) and Sydney Michalak (Peterborough, N.H./Syracuse University) came back to finish fourth in its afternoon C/D semifinal. In their semi, Johnson and Michalak were in a battle for first with Japan and Denmark before running into trouble in the final 500 meters and dropping to fourth. The crew will now race in Saturday’s D final for places 18-19.

The lightweight men’s double sculls crew of Artym Hayda (Providence, R.I./Georgetown University) and Thomas Satterthwaite (Cranston, R.I./Harvard University) finished fourth in both its morning repechage and afternoon C/D semifinal and now will race in the D final for places 19-24.

The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Alexandr Lilichenko (Orinda, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University), Jesse Maritz (Stanwood, Wash./Oregon State University) and Baxter Call (Vashon Island, Wash./Oregon State University) finished sixth in its repechage in a 6:41.46. The crew will race in the C final for places 13-18 on Saturday.

Additionally, the U.S. will have nine more crews racing on Saturday that advanced on previous days including two in the semifinals and seven in the finals.

Emily Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I./ Princeton University) will take on Ukraine, Great Britain, Brazil, Latvia and Italy in the second of two semifinals in the women’s single sculls. Like Kallfelz, Ukraine’s Kateryna Dudchenko won her heat to advance to the semifinals.

The men’s four of Alexander Wallis (Cupertino, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), Andrew Knoll (Greenback, Tenn./United States Naval Academy), Hunter Hodges (Seattle, Wash./University of California, Berkeley) and Eli Maesner (Redmond, Wash./University of Washington) advanced to Saturday’s semifinals thanks to a second-place finish in the heat. The crew will face boats from Romania, New Zealand, Lithuania, Chile and Turkey. New Zealand and Romania both won their heats.

In the men’s four with coxswain, the crew of coxswain Woods Connell (Bethesda, Md./Yale University), Viggo Hoite (Berkeley, Calif./Brown University), Alex Miklasevich (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brown University), William Creedon (Denver, Colo./University of California, Berkeley) and Peter Arata (Bellevue, Wash./Northeastern University) easily won its heat to advance to Saturday’s final. The boat will race against Italy, Great Britain, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. Italy also won its heat.

The lightweight men’s quadruple sculls crew of Chase Deitner (Perth, Australia/University of Washington), Jimmy Francis (St. Louis, Mo./Oklahoma City University), Danny Madden (New Rochelle, N.Y./Manhattan College) and Sam Melvin (Costa Mesa, Calif./Orange Coast College) also won its heat to advance directly to Saturday’s final. The quartet will face Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain. Denmark was the other heat winner.

After winning their race for lanes, Caroline O’Brien (Darien, Conn./Georgetown University) and Sarah Maietta (Wayland, Mass./Boston University) will take on crews from Hungary, Germany and Italy in the inaugural final of the lightweight women’s pair.

The women’s four with coxswain of Izzi Weiss (Chicago, Ill./University of Virginia), Sarah Johanek (Cleveland, Ohio/Rutgers University), Samantha Lamos (Petaluma, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), Jennifer Mundelius (Danville, Calif./Brown University) and Carlisle Wheeler (Brewster, Mass./University of California, Los Angeles) also won its race for lanes. The crew will face Ukraine, Russia, Italy and Germany in Saturday’s race for the medals.

The lightweight men’s pair of Luke Smith (Tampa, Fla./Colgate University) and Alexandar Damjanovic (Alexandria, Va./Colgate University) earned a spot in the final thanks to a second-place finish in its repechage. Smith and Damjanovic will race against Greece, Ireland, Italy, Chile and Germany. Greece and Ireland come in as the top seeds after winning their respective heats.

In the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, Olivia Farrar (Pittsford, N.Y./Harvard University), Janice Hagerman (Boxford, Mass./Boston University), Liz Ray (Miami, Fla./Columbia University) and Grace Joyce (Northfield, Ill./University of Wisconsin) also advanced to the final, thanks to a third-place finish in the repechage. The crew will take on heat winners The Netherlands and Italy, as well as France, Germany and Japan, in tomorrow’s race for the medals.

The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Claire Campbell (New Canaan, Conn./Dartmouth University), Isabella Strickler (Grosse Pointe, Mich./University of Virginia), Megan Hinkle (Troy, Ohio/University of Michigan) and Arianna Lee (Folsom, Calif./Syracuse University) moved into Saturday’s finals with a fourth-place finish in the repechage. The U.S. will race Great Britain, Romania, The Netherlands, Germany and Canada. Great Britain and Romania enter the race as the top seeds off of their victories in the heats.

Racing concludes on Sunday with finals in the other 13 events.

World Rowing’s live video streaming and VOD will be available via USRowing’s Facebook page. Video streaming starts 10 minutes prior to racing each day and will cover all races from Wednesday through Sunday.

Complete press coverage, athlete bios and links to event information are available at www.usrowing.org and www.worldrowing.com. Follow along with the U.S. Under 23 National Team as it prepares for the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships by using the hashtag #WRU23Champs.

We like these companies
Sponsors & Partners