Gildersleeve Advances to Finals at 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships

Katelin Gildersleeve (Dallas, Texas/Oklahoma City High Performance Center) earned a spot in Sunday’s final of the women’s single sculls, highlighting the fourth day of racing for the U.S. at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in Tokyo, Japan. The U.S. will have six crews racing for medals on Sunday.

Racing in the second of two semifinals, the first-time national team member led through the 1,000-meter mark before Russia’s Anastasiia Liubich used a blistering third 500 meters to take command. Liubich continued to row away from Gildersleeve and Hungary’s Bettina Siska over the final quarter of the race, finishing with a time of 7:45.95. Siska crossed in second position, followed by Gildersleeve in a 7:53.87. With three to advance to the finals, the top three scullers were well ahead of fourth-place Sofia Aguirre Vital of Mexico.

“It was an okay race. I’m excited to build on it tomorrow, take better strokes than I took today and focus on the little technical things I’m trying to perfect,” Gildersleeve said. “Just really (focus on) recovery and making sure my body feels rested and ready to go.”

Liubich, Siska and Gildersleeve will be joined by scullers from The Netherlands, Germany and Canada in the final. The Dutch sculler, Isabel van Opseeland, won the first semifinal in a 7:46.28.

Gildersleeve became the first U.S. junior women’s single sculler since 2008, and only the third in history, to advance to the final. In 2008, Cara Linnenkohl won the silver medal, while Lindsay Meyer took home bronze in 2006.

“The course reminds me a lot of the course in Oklahoma,” said Gildersleeve. “I can’t remember the last day I trained in Oklahoma that it was flat water. With the current and the crossing tailwind that happens every day in OKC, this water is just about the same. It makes me feel like I’m at home.”

Gildersleeve was the only U.S. boat to advance to the medal races from Saturday’s racing.

With three to advance to the final, the men’s pair of David Edington (Portland, Ore./Rose City Rowing Club) and Adam Campain (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron High School) finished fourth in its semifinal and will race in the B final for places 7-12. Italy, Germany and Croatia used strong starts to gain an advantage on the rest of the field in the first quarter of the race, crossing the 500-meter mark in a virtual dead heat. In the second 500 meters, Italy pushed into the lead and continued to establish its advantage during the middle 1,000 meters. Germany made an impressive push in the final 500 meters, coming up just short of the Italians. Italy crossed in a 6:42.12, with Germany 0.16 seconds behind in a 6:42.28. Croatia took the final qualification spot. Edington and Campain finished with a time of 6:53.05. The duo will take on Greece, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Mexico in tomorrow’s B final.

In the second semifinal of the men’s single sculls, Nicholas Aronow (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Oak Neck Academy) finished fourth and will race in the B final. Germany’s Paul Leerkamp led off the start before running into trouble and capsizing in the second 500 meters. Switzerland’s Tim Roth was there to take advantage, moving into the top spot and holding that through the middle portion of the race. However, Belarus’ Ivan Bryzna moved past Roth just after the scullers entered the final 500 meters, with Italy’s Gennaro di Mauro following close behind. At the line, Bryzna held off di Mauro by 0.17 seconds, finishing in a 6:56.82. Roth finished third in a 7:08.87. Aronow crossed in a 7:19.09 and will now race scullers from Chinese Taipei, Cypress, Portugal and The Netherlands tomorrow.

In the women’s double sculls, Taylor English (La Claire, Ill./Y Quad Cities Rowing) and Delaney Evans (Bettendorf, Iowa/Y Quad Cities Rowing) finished fifth in the first of two semifinals and will now row in Sunday’s B final. China jumped out to the early lead, with Germany trying to keep contact followed by the crew from Great Britain. Greece began to increase its stroke rate in the third 500 meters, passing Great Britain as the crews entered the final quarter of the race. The U.S. wound up its rating as well but could not challenge for a top-three position. China won the race in a 7:09.41. Germany followed in a 7:12.26, with Greece claiming the other qualification spot. The U.S. finished with a time of 7:18.44. English and Evans will face crews from Great Britain, South Africa, Italy, Belgium and Russia in the B final.

The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Hailey Mead (Orinda, Calif./Redwood Scullers), Graciella Leon (West Palm Beach, Fla./Miami International RowHouse), Brenna Morley (Bettendorf, Iowa/Y Quad Cities) and Audrey Lyda (Pittsburgh, Pa./Three Rivers Rowing Association) finished sixth in its semifinal. Germany took the lead at the 500-meter mark and was able to maintain its advantage the rest of the way down the course. Italy made a strong move over the final 1,000-meters to move from fourth to second position, with Switzerland taking the final qualification spot. Germany finished with a time of 6:37.17. The U.S. clocked a 6:59.17 and will take on the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, France, Great Britain and China in the B final.

Coxswain Elizabeth Romero​ (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), ​Michael Fairley​ (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Chase Haskell​ (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), Pablo Matan​ (San Jose, Calif.) and Jackson Stone (West Newton, Mass.) claimed second in the B final of the men’s four with coxswain for an eighth-place finish overall. The crew lead through the 1,500-meter mark before Canada earned the victory. Canada finished in a 6:25.11, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:26.35.

The women’s pair of Heidi Jacobson​ (Greenwich, Conn.) and Kylie Oakes​ (Vero Beach, Fla.) finished third in the B final for a ninth-place finish overall. Lithuania got out to the early lead before the U.S. pulled into the top spot at the midway point of the race. However, the U.S. dropped off the pace in the third 500 meters, with Lithuania and Great Britain moving into the top two positions. Great Britain pulled away from the field in the final stretch, winning the race in a 7:34.98. Lithuania finished second, with the U.S. coming home in a 7:41.00.

The men’s quadruple sculls of Austin Lai (Oakland, Calif./Oakland Athletic Rowing Society), Malakai Leon (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Crew), August Altucher (Portland, Ore./Oregon Rowing Unlimited) and Theory Millar (Topanga, Calif./California Yacht Club) finished 15th overall after taking third in Saturday’s C final. The U.S. raced in second position behind France for the first half of the race before Japan overtook the Americans. France won the race in a 6:05.25, less than a second ahead of Japan. The U.S. finished in a 6:10.14.

In the C final of the men’s double sculls, Gil Dexter (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Rowing Association) and Peter Lawry (Alplaus, N.Y./ Saratoga Rowing Association) came in fourth for a 16th-place overall finish. Greece led the race the entire way down the course, crossing the line in a 6:30.07. After getting off the line in sixth, the U.S. duo moved into fourth in the final 500 meters, finishing with a time of 6:42.02.

In addition to the women’s single sculls, the U.S. will have the men’s four, men’s eight, women’s four, women’s four with coxswain and women’s eight racing in A finals for a chance at medals on Sunday.

The men’s four of Erik Spinka​ (Southport, Conn.), ​Alexander DeGrado​ (Jacksonville, Fla.), Owen Corr ​(Sarasota, Fla.) and Zachary Vachal​ (San Francisco, Calif.) advanced to Sunday’s final thanks to a second-place finish in its heat. The crew will take on Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania and Great Britain in the final.

The U.S. men’s eight of coxswain ​Audrey Gates​ (Orinda, Calif.), ​Harrison Schofield​ (Sarasota, Fla.), Greg Le Meur​ (San Francisco, Calif.), ​John Mark Ozaeta​ (Moraga, Calif.), ​Ian Burnett​ (Arlington, Mass.), James Patton ​(Houston, Texas), ​Travis Keating​ (Placerville, Calif.), ​Savas Koutsouras​ (Culver, Ind.) and Jacob Hudgins (Andover, Mass) won its repechage on Friday to earn a spot in Sunday’s final. The crew will take on heat winners Germany and Great Britain, as well as Poland, Hungary and China in the final.

The women’s four of ​Julia Abbruzzese​ (Ridgefield, Conn.), ​Julia Braz (Sarasota, Fla.)​, Isabella Batistoni​ (Issaquah, Wash.) and ​Katherine Kelly​ (Vashon Island, Wash.) finished second in its repechage to earn a spot in Sunday’s final. The crew will take on Romania, Italy, New Zealand, China and Germany in the race for the medals.

In the women’s four with coxswain, the crew of coxswain ​Carina Baxter​ (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Lindsey Rust​ (Roslyn, N.Y.), ​Morgan Linsley​ (Princeton, N.J.), ​Alena Criss​ (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Aidan Wrenn-Walz​ (Arlington, Va.) advanced to Sunday’s final off of a third-place finish in the repechage. The U.S. boat will race heat winners Italy and China, as well as Germany, France and Australia, with the medals on the line.

In the women’s eight, the U.S. crew of coxswain Hannah Diaz (Seattle, Wash./Holy Names Academy), Mia Levy (Des Moines, Iowa/Phillips Academy Andover), Julietta Camahort (San Francisco, Calif./Marin Rowing Association), Violet Barletta (Weston, Mass./St. Paul’s School), Samantha Henriksen (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation), Gabrielle Graves (Vashon, Wash./Burton Beach Rowing Club), Lettice Cabot (Cambridge, Mass./The Winsor School), Megan Lee (Natick, Mass./Newton Country Day School Crew) and Greta Filor (Rye, N.Y./RowAmerica Rye) finished second in its race for lanes. The crew will take on Italy, Germany, China and Russia in the final.

More than 550 athletes from 50 countries are scheduled to race in Tokyo. This year’s U.S. roster includes 14 athletes returning from the 2018 team. Last year, the U.S. led the medal table with seven.

Complete press coverage, athlete bios and links to event information are available at USRowing’s 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships Coverage Page. Follow along with the U.S. Under 19 National Team as it prepares for the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships by using the hashtags #WRJChamps and #Tokyo2019.

Live video streaming will be available on the World Rowing website. The video streaming will start 10 minutes before the start of racing each day and will cover all races from Wednesday, August 7, through Sunday, August 11. From Wednesday to Saturday, the last 1,000 meters will be streamed. On Sunday, the full 2,000 meters will be streamed.

For the most up-to-date schedule and results, click here.

USRowing would like to thank the following partners for their support of Team USA:

JL Racing — USRowing Official Outfitter and Apparel Supplier

Filippi — Official Boat Supplier of the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team

Vespoli — Official Boat Supplier of the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team

Concept2 — Official Oars of the U.S. Junior National Team

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