U.S. Crews Qualify for A Finals at 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships

SARASOTA-BRADENTON, Fla.–In the midst of the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, Team USA had five crews qualify for their respective A finals and A/B semifinals.

The lightweight men’s double of Luke Smith (Tampa, Fla.) and Alexandar Damjanovic (Alexandria, Va.) managed to clinch the final qualifying spot in the A/B semifinals, as the crew took third in their respective repechage. 

“Going into these semifinals, we know all the crews we’re going to be facing are fast and we really want to push them as much as possible,” said Damjanovic.

The two sat in fourth through the halfway mark, but powered through Egypt to clock 6:39.58. Spain and Hong Kong took first and second in 6:31.25 and 6:32.94, respectively, advancing with the U.S.

“We’re just trying to get better and better every time,” said Smith. “We have relatively good endurance, so everytime we have another race, we have a little more of an advantage.”

“So, just progress every race, get a little bit faster, hopefully surprise some people,” Damjanovic said. “Traditionally, this event can be a hit or miss so we’re looking to push that bound.”

After finishing in 11th at last year’s championships in the lightweight women’s single, Brigid Kennedy (East Greenwich, R.I.) is now in contention for a medal in the event. Through the first 500 meters, Kennedy edged out in front of the field, holding that position until the sprint. Switzerland crossed the line just ahead of the U.S. sculler in 7:41.00. Kennedy took second in 7:42.40 and was followed by Hong Kong in 7:42.53.

The women’s pair of Hadley Irwin (Washington, D.C.) and Sarah Johanek (Cleveland, Ohio) also earned second in their respective A/B semifinal, advancing to the A final. The two clocked a 7:06.82, behind Greece, which set an under 23 world record in the category in 6:58.68. The crews will be joined by New Zealand in the final.

Taking third in their men’s double repechage, was Cole Dorsey (Rowayton, Conn.) and Mark Couwenhoven (Parkton, Md.). The Americans battled with Norway through the core of the race, but ultimately crossed the line in 6:30.36, behind Norway’s 6:27.96. Canada took first in 6:27.70 and will progress to the A/B semifinal alongside the U.S. and Norway.

In the women’s double repechage, the U.S. crew of Emily Delleman (Davenport, Iowa) and Elizabeth Sharis (Bettendorf, Iowa) clocked a 7:02.66 to take third. The pair will race in the B final for places 7-12. Australia won the repechage in 6:56.92.

After taking fourth in this morning’s men’s single quarterfinal and missing out on the A/B semifinal by less than three seconds, James Wright (Philadelphia, Pa.) raced in the C/D semifinals. Wright finished in 7:03.89, just 0.10 second behind second-place Algeria. Paraguay crossed the line first and will join the two in the C final.

The women’s eight of Isabel Weiss (Chicago, Ill.), Larkspur Skov (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Sophia Kershner (Palmyra, Va.), Mary (Daisy) Mazzio-Manson (Wellesley, Mass.), Kinsey McNamara (Chelmsford, Mass.), Kendall Fearnley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) Jeri Rhodes (St. Louis, Mo.), Sierra Tiede (Missoula, Mont.) and Madeline Perrett (Ann Arbor, Mich.) competed in an exhibition race for lanes, taking fourth in 6:11.33. The Netherlands clocked the fastest time at 6:04.63. 

For all results, visit World Rowing.

Racing is scheduled kick off tomorrow with A/B semifinals at 9:00 a.m., B finals at 9:40 a.m., A finals at 10:20 a.m., C finals at 12:45 and D finals at 1:05 p.m. Saturday’s racing is highlighted by the remaining semifinals and races for medals in 10 boat categories. Finals in the other 12 events will take place on Sunday.

USRowing Productions will stream all five days of racing live on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on ESPN.com and the ESPN app across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected streaming devices. The network is available at no additional cost to fans who receive pay TV subscription from an affiliated provider. The network also is available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

Complete press coverage, athlete bios and links to event information are available on USRowing’s coverage page

Follow along with the U.S. Under 23 National Team as it prepares for the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships by using the hashtag #WRU23Champs.

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