Twelve Crews Earn Spots on World Championship Roster On Final Day of Senior and Para Trials II
By Rachel Day • August 8, 2018
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — USRowing Training Center athletes Gia Doonan (Rochester, Mass.) and Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) will have to race twice as hard at the 2018 World Rowing Championships after qualifying in the women’s pair this morning at the 2018 Senior and Para World Championship Trials II.
Doonan and Opitz already secured their spots on the national team, being named to the women’s eight July 31, but decided to push themselves to qualify in the pair as well. In one of the closest finishes of the morning, Doonan and Opitz sprinted in the last 250 meters of the race to cross the line first in 7:13.72, 0.65 seconds ahead of second place, Meghan Wheeler (McLean, Va.) and Jessica Thoennes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis.) and Erin Briggs (Orono, Minn.) rounded out the final in third place at 7:18.99.
Opitz saw racing at the trials as a chance for the pair to push their athletic abilities in friendly competition.
“We were just looking at it as an opportunity to obviously get more fit,” Opitz said. “It was sort of left open ended to the [training] camp as an option to pursue more racing and we wanted to see what we could do against a competitive field of our teammates and have a good time with it.”
In Doonan’s last national team appearance, she won gold in the women’s four and eight at the 2016 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She looks forward to racing again at the pinnacle of international competition.
“It’s always exciting to race other countries and see what everyone else is up to,” Doonan said.“We’re excited, fit and we’re raring to go.”
Over the course of Wednesday morning, 12 crews crossed the finish line in first place, earning spots on the 2018 World Rowing Championship roster.
Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) and Michael Colella (Kensington, Md.) will compete for the second year in a row in the men’s pair at the world championships after winning their final in 6:29.73. The duo edged out fellow USRowing Training Center athletes Finn Meeks (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Greg Davis (Hillsborough, Calif.) and also Robert Moffitt (Greenwich, Conn.) and Spencer Furey (Far Hills, N.J.), who finished in 6:32.78 and 6:36.69, respectively.
After intense racing all week, the men’s single final ended today with Riverside Boat Club’s Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) winning in a time of 7:02.59. Malta Boat Club’s Leonard Futterman (New York, N.Y.) followed closely behind in second place with 7:03.91. Vesper Boat Club’s Tyler Nase (Phoenixville, Pa.) took third in 7:08.35. This will be Meador’s first time competing on a national team of any level.
Meador has been training for the past year in the hopes of qualifying in the men’s single and placed consistently well throughout senior trials.
“Results from the time trial and heat made me feel pretty confident. I had to make the decision about being prepared to go to worlds before trials,” Meador said. “Coming to the finish line was less of a surprise and more of a mentality that I had to stay in that position. It’s a big step and hopefully part of getting ready to do something big internationally.”
The Penn AC and Seattle Rowing Center composite crew of Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.), Gregory Ansolabehere (Bakersfield, Calif.), Michael Knippen (Germantown, Wis.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) are headed to Bulgaria after winning the men’s quadruple sculls final in 5:56.19. The Penn AC B boat was only other crew in the final, who crossed the line in 6:18.21.
Frid is looking forward to training intensively alongside the other three men and making changes to put out the fastest boat possible.
“There’s a lot of work for us to do between now and worlds,” Frid said. “We’ve been working on a lot of things and I think earlier this week we put together a good piece and today there were a few things missing, so I think we all feel some urgency and feel excited to make the boat work.”
The men’s lightweight double sculls final saw the Potomac Boat Club crew of Hugh McAdam (Hollis, N.H.) and Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.) punch their world championship ticket with a time of 6:37.53. Osprey Rowing Club’s Joseph Martinez (Warwick, R.I.) and Charles Boyle (Providence, R.I.) followed in 6:58.40. This will be McAdam’s second senior national team and Schmidt’s fifth. This is the first time the two have raced in a world championship boat together.
Riverside’s Jillian Zieff (Wayland, Mass.) and Jennifer Sager (Philadelphia, Pa.) took the edge for first place in the final of the women’s lightweight pair in 7:28.11. Vesper’s Liz Euiler (Meredith, N.H.) and Solveig Imsdahl (Schoenwald, Germany) crossed second in 7:36.75, with Union Boat Club’s Makayla Karr-Warner (Woodside, Calif.) and Elizabeth Martin (Lexington, Mass.) finishing third in 7:53.94.
The PR3 mixed double sculls will be represented by two Community Rowing Incorporated athletes, Pearl Outlaw (Charlottesville, Va.) and Joshua Boissoneau (Bedford, N.H.). The two qualified for world championships after winning their final in 8:29.77. The Three River’s Composite crew of Patricia Walsh (Austin, Texas) and Aidan Porter (Farmington, Conn.) raced hard against the winning crew, but fell off in the final 500 meters, crossing the line in 8:39.80.
Outlaw said it still doesn’t feel real that she is headed to the world championships for the first time. She is one of the youngest senior national team members as a rising college junior.
“At the end of the race all I could keep thinking was ‘we did it’ and all those months in the heat and training, with good days and bad, was all worth it in the end,” Outlaw said.
Two CRI crews went head-to-head in the PR3 women’s pair final, which will be contested for the first time at this year’s championships, with Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y.) and Danielle Hansen (Patterson, Calif.) taking first in 7:53.53 over Allie Reilly (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Molly Moore’s (Indianapolis, Ind.) 7:59.22. Hansen is also competing in the PR3 mixed four with coxswain at this year’s world championships. Smith and Hansen have competed together for years and won silver in the arms, trunk and legs four with coxswain at the 2017 World Rowing Championships and 2016 Paralympic Games in addition to the 2015 and 2014 world championships.
Events with only one entrant included the men’s lightweight pair, men’s lightweight quadruple sculls, women’s lightweight quadruple sculls and PR2 women’s single sculls.
In the men’s lightweight pair, NYAC’s Thomas Foster (New York, N.Y.) and David Smith (Seattle, Wash.) will represent the U.S. at the championships after posting a time of 7:07.64.
The ARION, Riverside Boat Club and Seattle Rowing Center composite quad of James Nelson (Austin, Texas), Alexander Loy (Ballston Lake, N.Y.), Sam Hausmann (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Michael Landuyt (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) earned their spot on the 2018 roster after finishing their race in a time of 6:11.61.
Michaela Copenhaver (Berkeley, Calif.), Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.), Margaret Bertasi (London, England) and Hillary Saeger (Dedham, Mass.) complete the women’s quadruple sculls lineup after finishing their race in 6:42.51. Cavallo has competed in both the women’s lightweight and openweight quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Bertasi rowed in the women’s quadruple sculls at the 2014 World Rowing Under 23 Championships along with the 2009 and 2010 World Rowing Junior Championships. Saeger has competed in the lightweight quad event at the world championships six times, earning bronze medals in 2009 and 2011 and a silver in 2013. This will be Copenhaver’s first national team.
Laura Goodkind (Los Angeles, Calif.) will represent the U.S. after finishing her race in the PR2 women’s single sculls in a time of 11:04.12. At the Senior and Para World Championship Trials I, Goodkind also qualified her PR2 mixed double with Ronald Harvey (Long Beach, Calif.) Last year Goodkind placed 5th in the mixed PR2 double sculls at the World Rowing Championships. This will also be the first time the PR2 women’s single sculls will be contested at the world championships.
Results for the 2018 Senior & Para World Championship Trials II are posted on herenow.com. All finals are available to watch on USRowing’s YouTube Channel. For more Senior & Para World Championships Trials II coverage, visit usrowing.org. A limited number of photos of the event will be available at usrowing.photos.