Finals Set at 2019 National Selection Regatta I

With spots in tomorrow’s finals on the line, the semifinals of the men’s and women’s pairs featured tight racing Thursday morning at the 2019 National Selection Regatta I in Chula Vista, Calif.

With only three to advance, the second semifinal of the women’s pair saw places two through five separated by less than a half-length. Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.), the 2017 World Rowing Championships’ silver medalists in the event, won the race by open water in a 7:20.51, setting the fastest time of the semifinals.

But, the next four crews finished just 0.71 seconds apart, with Kristine O’Brien (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) and Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) taking second in a 7:26.62. Kelsey Reelick (Brookfield, Conn.) and Kendall Chase (Evergreen, Colo.) edged out Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) and Gia Doonan (Rochester, Mass.) by a couple of feet to claim the last spot in the final, with Emily Regan (Buffalo, N.Y) and Madeline Wanamaker (Neenah, Wis.) finishing fifth, about a bow-ball further back.

In the first semifinal, Erin Reelick (Brookfield, Conn.) and Felice Mueller (Cleveland, Ohio) clocked a 7:25.95 to finish a little less than two seconds ahead of Emily Huelskamp (Sainte Genevieve, Mo.) and Allyson Baker (North Royalton, Ohio). Brooke Mooney (Peru, Vt.) and Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y.) took the third qualification spot in a 7:30.12.

The top spots in both of the men’s pair races were tightly contested. In the second semifinal, Kyle Flagg (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif.) overtook Tom Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and Conor Harrity (Weston, Mass.) in the final 250 meters to win by 0.16 seconds. Flagg and Carlson crossed the line in a 6:47.46, with Dethlefs and Harrity crossing in a 6:47.62. Alex Wallis (Cupertino, Calif.) and Alexander Richards (Watertown, Mass.) finished another four seconds back to claim the third qualification spot.

Nick Mead (Strafford, Pa.) and Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.) pulled away from Austin Hack (Old Lyme, Conn.) and Alex Karwoski (Moultonborough, N.H.) during the final stretch to claim the top spot in the first semifinal of the men’s pair. Mead and Peszek crossed the line in a 6:43.35, with Hack and Karwoski finishing in a 6:44.64. Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.) and Michael DiSanto (Boston, Mass.) finished third to earn the other spot in the final.

Finals will take place Friday starting at 9:30 a.m. PDT. Heat sheets and complete results can be found here.

The national selection regatta is the first step in making the team that will compete this August at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. In the women’s pair, the NSR winner earns the right to compete at World Rowing Cup I or II. A top-three finish at one of the two world cup races would give the crew the option of being named to the national team in the event. In addition, a top-four finish at the NSR earns the athletes an automatic invitation to the women’s national team selection camp for the camp-selected big boats.

While no world cup selection is up for grabs in the men’s pair in Chula Vista, a top-four finish at the NSR earns the athletes an automatic invitation to the men’s national team selection camp for the camp-selected big boats.

The 2019 World Rowing Championships will be held August 25-September 1 in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. This year’s world championships serve as the initial country qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games.

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