U.S. Wins Two Medals at 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships

The men’s eight won the silver medal, while Katelin Gildersleeve brought home the bronze medal in the women’s single sculls on Sunday as racing concluded at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

The 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) gave the U.S. its top finish of the day, bringing home a silver medal in the regatta’s final race.

“It means a lot,” said Ozaeta on winning the silver medal. “It’s a really hard thing to do. There are a lot of quality crews out here, and I think this just really represents all of the work we put in this summer and through our entire rowing careers to get us all to this point. To win a medal for your country at the world championships is, at the end of the day, something to be proud of.”

Germany and the U.S. raced to the head of the field in the first 500 meters, establishing nearly a four-second lead on the rest of the boats. The Germans slowly increased their advantage during the second quarter of the race before opening up a three-second lead coming into the final 500 meters. Meanwhile, the U.S., racing in a boat named for the late Mary Teti, built a five-second advantage over the remainder of the field through the middle 1,000 meters, cruising to the silver medal. Germany won with a time of 6:12.10, with the U.S. clocking a 6:16.50. Great Britain won the bronze medal in a 6:19.82.

“Today’s race was probably one of the best races that we could have put together,” Schofield said. “We tried to get out in front right at the beginning, tried to stay with the top crews. For me at least, I thought it was everything that we had and just like the perfect piece that we could have put together at the end of the day. The Germans just had a great, great race – more powerful crew. They just kept walking away, but (I’m) very proud of everything this crew accomplished this whole summer.”

In the women’s single sculls, Gildersleeve (Dallas, Texas/Oklahoma City High Performance Center) brought home the bronze medal, becoming only the third U.S. junior women’s single sculler in history to reach the medal stand.

“I was just excited to get another shot out there and see what happened,” Gildersleeve said. “You never know what to expect, and all I could do was just keep my head in the boat and finish as fast as I could. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to come back to another world championship. It’s just the beginning for me. It’s great to do this as a junior, but I can’t wait for what’s ahead.”

Germany’s Alexandra Foester took the race out hard, with The Netherlands’ Isabel van Opzeeland rowing in second just ahead of the American sculler. With Foester still out in the front of the field, Gildersleeve pulled ahead of the Dutch sculler as the boats hit the 1,000-meter mark. Gildersleeve continued to row in second as Russia’s Anastasiia Liubich rowed through van Opzeeland and closed the gap on Gildersleeve. In the final 500 meters, Foester maintained her margin to win by nearly seven seconds, clocking an 8:31.38. Liubich claimed silver in an 8:38.15, with Gildersleeve coming home in an 8:41.90.

“She came out really with the goal of performing her best, staying in the fight and taking the strokes that we had talked about and not getting too focused on the outcome of the race, really staying focused on her performance,” said coach Reilly Dampeer about Gildersleeve’s performance this week. “Having this be her first time at a junior world championship, we didn’t know what to expect, but we knew she could accomplish her best, and I think today was a great example of that.”

In the final of 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) got edged out at the line to finish in fourth place. Germany took the early lead with Russia and the U.S. sitting about two seats back at the 500-meter mark. The Americans moved into second during the second quarter of the race with China also moving through the field. At the midway point, Germany held a seat lead over China and the U.S., who were in a virtual dead heat heading into the back half of the race.

China began to push its bowball ahead of the Germans in the third 500, earning a three-seat lead on Germany as the crews hit the final 500-meter stretch. The U.S. continued in third, about a seat behind, with Italy another seat back. At the line, China held off a charging Germany to win the gold, with Italy finishing less than a deck ahead of the U.S. for bronze. China clocked a 6:35.34, with Germany finishing in a 6:35.93. Italy stroked a 6:37.49, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:37.93.

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.) were in medal position through the 1,700-meter mark before Germany was able to overtake the American crew in the final few strokes. Italy got off the line in first position with the U.S. boat trailing close behind. The Americans made a move in the second 500 meters to take a slight advantage over Italy as the crews hit the halfway mark. Italy then re-took the lead in the third quarter of the race, with the U.S. still in second and China closing the gap in third. The three crews continued to battle into the final 500 meters, but the U.S. could not keep pace. Italy inched away in the final sprint to win gold in a 7:19.80. China won silver in a 7:21.78, with Germany claiming the bronze in a 7:24.74. The U.S. finished in a 7:26.45.

Erik Spinka​ (Southport, Conn.), ​Alexander DeGrado​ (Jacksonville, Fla.), Owen Corr ​(Sarasota, Fla.) and Zachary Vachal​ (San Francisco, Calif.) finished sixth in the final of the men’s four. Germany took the early advantage with Romania, the U.S., Great Britain and Italy battling it out for a top-three position 500 meters into the race. Great Britain pulled into third at the halfway mark, but the U.S. was still in contact for the bronze-medal position. Unfortunately, the American crew could not keep up with the medal-pace. Germany held off a hard-charging British crew to win the gold in a 6:18.25. Great Britain and Italy overtook Romania to win the silver and bronze medals, respectively. The U.S. finished in a 6:32.30.

The women’s four of ​Julia Abbruzzese​ (Ridgefield, Conn.), ​Julia Braz (Sarasota, Fla.)​, Isabella Batistoni​ (Issaquah, Wash.) and ​Katherine Kelly​ (Vashon Island, Wash.) dropped off the pace from the start, finishing sixth in the final. Four crews were within a second of each other 500 meters into the race with Italy setting the pace. The Italians continued to lead at the midway point as China rowed into second position from fifth. The Chinese boat built on that momentum over the third 500, overtaking Italy and pulling away for the victory. China won gold in a 7:01.42, with Italy taking silver in a 7:05.08. Germany won the bronze medal. The U.S. finished in a 7:24.30.

The men’s pair of David Edington (Portland, Ore./Rose City Rowing Club) and Adam Campain (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron High School) held off Denmark in the final few strokes to win the B final and finish in seventh place overall. Switzerland got off the line in first position, but the U.S. boat took the lead just as the crews reached the 500-meter mark. Edington and Campain continued to build on their lead over the middle 1,000 meters. Denmark made a huge move during the final 500 meters, coming from fifth position nearly six seconds back to finishing a half-deck behind the U.S. in second. Edington and Campain finished with a time of 7:10.77, with Denmark crossing in a 7:11.27. Greece finished third.

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 third in the B final and ninth overall. Italy, Russia, Belgium and the U.S. were within a foot of one another at the 500-meter mark before Russia began to drop off the pace. The three crews were still within a second of each other at the midway point before Italy and Belgium began to press ahead. The Italians used a strong final 500 meters to open up their advantage, crossing the line in a 7:33.27 for a four-second victory over Belgium. The U.S. finished with a time of 7:40.72.

In the men’s single sculls, Nicholas Aronow (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Oak Neck Academy) finished fifth in the B final for an 11th-place overall finish. Germany’s Paul Leerkamp led through 1,500 meters before Cypress’s Rares-Andrei Nechita and the Netherlands’ Joost Schwarz pulled ahead. At the line, Nechita won in a 7:31.02 with Schwarz in second. Aronow used a strong second half to move from sixth to fifth, finishing just behind Leerkamp. Aronow clocked a 7:35.63.

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 the B final for a 12th-place finish overall. France led off the line before the Czech Republic grabbed the top spot, which they held the rest of the way down the course. The Czech boat won the race in a 6:58.41. The U.S. finished in a 7:21.53.

For complete results, click here.

More than 550 athletes from 50 countries raced in Tokyo. 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.

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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