Three Crews Earn Spots on 2019 U.S. National Team
By Maeve Berry • May 19, 2019
On Sunday morning, tight racing across all events capped-off the 2019 Senior Trials II/Para NSR/Speed Order II. As a result, three crews earned their spots on the 2019 U.S. National Team and ultimately will represent Team USA at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Sunday’s racing finished with 12 men’s doubles racing on Mercer Lake to conclude the Speed Order II event.
In dominant fashion, the Hydrow/Vesper composite crew of Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.) and Michelle Sechser (Folsom Calif.) pulled a 7:09.00 to win the lightweight women’s double. The two finished over 10 seconds ahead of the second place Sarasota/BIAC composite crew of Mary Reckford (Short Hills, N.J.) and Rosa Kemp (Putnam Valley, N.Y.).
“We’re feeling pretty excited, it’s been a fun week of racing,” Sechser said. “It definitely felt good after the speed order to choose a lineup and commit to it. Commit to the goal and keep moving forward on the good days, bad days and hard days.”
Sechser and Cavallo joined up after racing against each other in this year’s Speed Order I for the lightweight women’s single.
“We committed from then to this moment,” said Cavallo. “It’s really cool to see it manifest. This week of racing almost felt like slow motion with the amount we were able to progress in this timespan. I’m just stoked for how much time we have before worlds to be squeezing speed out.”
The second-place crew of Reckford and Kemp trailed the first-place crew, but was able to stay ahead of the Cambridge/Potomac composite of Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) and Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.). The crews finished in 7:19.60 and 7:21.03, respectively. Crossing the line fourth in 7:25.01 was Sarasota Crew’s Jessica Hyne-Dolan and Cara Stawicki (Wall, N.J.).
The highly anticipated women’s double was the first race to take place this morning and concluded with Cambridge Boat Club’s Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.) and Cicely Madden (Weston, Mass.) coming out on top, edging out NYAC’s Ellen Tomek (Flushing, Mich.) and Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.). Tomek and O’Leary have medaled in the event at the world championships numerous times in years past.
“We’re really excited,” said Stone. “We expected the most from our competition. There was a really strong field out there today and even the whole week. We knew we’d have to give maximal effort and that was our goal, to add more and be tougher down the course.”
“Leave everything on the course–no regrets–and be gritty,” Madden said.
“We’ve been in the double for four weeks,” Stone said. “It’s been a fun improvement curve looking for speed every practice and seeing how much faster we can get. Then, ultimately we can apply it at the world championships and qualify the boat for Tokyo.”
Stone and Madden clocked a 7:07.39, while the New York Athletic Club crew followed in 7:09.95. ARION’s crew of Lily Keane (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Kristina Wagner (Weston, Mass.) and USTC-Princeton’s Alie Rusher (West Bend, Wis.) and Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.) took third and fourth in 7:14.11 and 7:26.14, respectively.
The lightweight men’s double final showed close racing, as all crews finished within an eight second spread. The Newport/Cambridge composite of Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) proved their speed, winning in 6:31.80.
“We’re thrilled to get another chance to represent the U.S.,” said Campbell. “Both of us have been on the national team a number of years in the past. We’re coming up on our 10 year anniversary of meeting at the junior national championships. We have to get top seven [at worlds] to qualify.”
Though first meeting years ago as competitors, Trojan and Campbell started prepping for trials, training together in Boston, Mass.
“Our biggest goal is to keep climbing the ladder of speed,” said Trojan. “We definitely have work to do and we’re looking forward to only going faster, instead of getting too flatlined. One race at a time.”
Vesper/New York Athletic Club composite crew of Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Daniel Madden (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was able to hold on and finish in 6:33.20 to take second. Matthew O’Leary (Westwood, Mass.) and Tyler Nase (Phoenixville, Pa.), a Keble/Vesper composite, crossed the line third in 6:39.11. The Potomac/Vesper composite crew of Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.) and Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y.) followed in fourth, just 0.71 seconds behind.
Clenching first in the final of the men’s double Speed Order was the Craftsbury/Penn AC composite crew of John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Justin Keen (Hatfield, Penn.). Graves and Keen clocked a 6:33.42, just 0.72 seconds ahead of Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) and Jonathan Kirkegaard (Philadelphia, Penn.), a Craftsbury/Vesper composite. Two Penn AC crews followed closely behind, as Michael Knippen (Germantown, Wis.) and Gregory Ansolabehere (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished in 6:34.92, while Charles Anderson (Clifton Heights, Penn.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) took fourth in 6:35.76.
The final race of the day, the B final to determine places 7 through 12 overall in the men’s double, was won by Wesley Vear (Louisville, Ky.) and Nathan Lado (New York, N.Y.) in 6:40.34. The Craftsbury crew finished just ahead of Penn AC’s William Burstein (Montclair, N.J.) and Thomas Phifer (New York, N.Y.), which clocked a 6:43.78.
After the decision was made by USRowing to host the two Para races of the weekend in Boston, Mass. on Friday, May 17, CRI’s PR3 pair of Tom Demers (Andover, Mass.) and Andrew Wigren (Wellesley, Mass.) reported a finish time of 8:26.28. Demers and Wigren will now receive an invite to the selection camp that will decide the PR3 mixed four with coxswain to race at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Hallie Smith (Washington, D.C.), the sole entry in the PR1 women’s single Speed Order, clocked in at 11:46.0 in her race down the course.
To access all of the results from this weekend’s racing, click here.
Click here for additional information on the 2019 Senior Trials II/Para NSR/Speed Order II.
Additionally, photo galleries for each racing day will be posted to usrowing.photos.
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.