World Championships Medals, Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Spots on the Line in Linz
By USRowing Staff • August 23, 2019
The U.S. will have crews competing in all 29 events at the 2019 World Rowing Championships August 25-September 1 in Linz, Austria, with qualification spots for Tokyo 2020 also on the line in the 14 Olympic and four Paralympic boat classes.
At the 2018 World Rowing Championships, the U.S. came home with 10 medals including gold in the women’s four, women’s eight and PR3 women’s pair; silver in the lightweight women’s double sculls, PR3 mixed four with coxswain, and lightweight women’s pair; and bronze in the women’s double sculls, PR1 women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s single sculls and lightweight men’s pair.
This year’s U.S. roster includes 51 members of the 2018 World Rowing Championships’ squad, 17 Olympians and four Paralympians.
The 2019 World Rowing Championships will feature nearly 1,200 athletes from 80 nations including the largest number of para-rowers ever. The championships also are the initial step in the selection process for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as they serve as the first opportunity for countries to qualify their boats (not individual athletes) for 2020.
The U.S. will be looking to build upon last year’s performance, as well as qualify as many of the 14 Olympic and four Paralympic boat classes as possible for Tokyo.
Olympic and Paralympic Events
In the women’s single sculls, Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif.) returns after finishing fourth at last year’s world championships. Kohler will take on an impressive field that has entries from 39 nations and features reigning world champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland, 2017 world champion and 2018 silver medalist Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, and hometown favorite and 2018 bronze medalist Magdalena Lobnig, as well as the return of New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.
Hallie Smith (Washington, D.C.) won bronze in the PR1 women’s single sculls last year and will be looking to get back on the medal stand in 2019. There are 14 entries in the event this year, six more than in 2018. Reigning world champion and world-record holder Birgit Skarstein from Norway is the sculler to beat. Israel’s Moran Samuel, last year’s silver medalist, returns to race as well.
After finishing fourth last year in the PR1 men’s single sculls, 2016 Paralympian Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) will be racing against 26 other scullers in Linz. Last year’s medalists from Australia, Ukraine and Russia all return to this year’s field.
Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) returns in the men’s single sculls and is one of 44 scullers scheduled to compete in Linz. The field includes Norway’s Kjetil Borch, the reigning world champion, the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Synek, Lithuania’s Mindaugas Griskonis and Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez, among others. Meador finished 20th last year.
In the women’s double sculls, the U.S. tandem of Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.), 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the single sculls, and Cicely Madden (Weston, Mass.) defeated the reigning world championship bronze medalists, Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary, at the U.S. National Team Trials in May. Stone and Madden then went on to win a silver medal behind New Zealand’s Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe in their first international race together in June at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland. The duo will take on 21 other crews in Linz. Last year, Lithuania won gold, while New Zealand’s Donoghue and Loe won silver. Both crews return with the same lineups in 2019.
The men’s double sculls has 31 entries including the U.S. duo of Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.). Keen and Frid were part of the U.S. quadruple sculls last year. France, Switzerland and New Zealand won the medals last year, with the U.S. finishing 14th. All three medal-winning crews return in 2019.
The U.S. won the silver medal in the lightweight women’s double sculls last year but features a new lineup this year in Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.) and Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.). Cavallo raced in the lightweight quadruple sculls last year, while Sechser competed in the lightweight single sculls. Romania’s gold-medal double is back, as is The Netherlands’ bronze-medal combination. There are 28 boats entered in the event.
In the lightweight men’s double sculls, Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) will team up with Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) for the U.S. Campbell, who won bronze in the lightweight single sculls last year, reached the finals in the lightweight double at the 2016 Olympics in Rio with a different partner. Trojan brings experience to the boat as well. Last year, Ireland, Italy and Belgium won the medals. Thirty-three lightweight doubles are scheduled to go to the line in Linz.
In the PR2 mixed double sculls, Laura Goodkind (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Russell Gernaat (Redwood City, Calif.) are one of 12 entries scheduled to race. Goodkind raced in the event last year, while Gernaat returns to the national team for the first time since 2017. The Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine won the medals last year.
The women’s pair of Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Cup II in Poznan and won silver in the event at the 2017 World Rowing Championships on home soil in Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. Eisser and Kalmoe will be looking to return to the medal stand in Linz. Last year, the U.S. finished ninth with a different lineup. Canada, New Zealand and Spain won the three medals in 2018. Twenty-six boats are scheduled to race in the event this year.
Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) returns to race in the pair for the fourth consecutive year, this time with Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif.) as his partner. Weiss’ boat finished 15th last year, with Croatia, Romania, and France winning the medals. Twenty-nine crews are entered in the event this year.
In the women’s quadruple sculls, the U.S. crew of Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.), Emily Huelskamp (Sainte Genevieve, Mo.), Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis.) and Lauren Schmetterling (Moorestown, N.J.) will be looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish. Only Huelskamp returns from the 2018 boat. The U.S. will face off against 11 other countries. Poland, Germany and The Netherlands won the medals last year.
The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Gregory Ansolabehere (Bakersfield, Calif.), Tristan Amberger (Towson, Md.), Michael Knippen (Germantown, Wis.) and John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished eighth at the World Rowing Cup race in Poznan earlier this summer. Nineteen countries have entered the event in Linz, including the defending world champions from Italy, and the silver and bronze medalists from Australia and Ukraine.
Last year, the U.S. won gold in the women’s four, with Australia and Russia taking home the other two medals. This year’s boat returns Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) and Madeleine Wanamaker (Neenah, Wis.) from the gold-medal crew, with Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) being added to the mix. Davies is making her first international appearance since stroking the women’s eight to gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Optiz won gold in the eight and finished ninth in the pair at last year’s world championships. Sixteen crews are entered in the event in Linz.
The PR3 mixed four with coxswain won the silver medal at the 2018 World Rowing Championships behind Great Britain. This year’s lineup includes coxswain Karen Petrik (Glastonbury, Conn.), Dani Hansen (Patterson, Calif.), Charley Nordin (Alameda, Calif.), John Tanguay (Pennington, N.J.) and Allie Reilly (North Kingstown, R.I.). Hansen, Nordin and Reilly all raced in the boat last year, while Petrik and Tanguay are national team rookies. France rounded out the medals last year, winning the bronze. This year’s field includes 17 crews.
The men’s four features three national team veterans and a senior national team rookie. Clark Dean (Sarasota, Fla.), who won gold in the junior men’s single sculls just last year at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships, joins veterans Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.), Tom Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.), and Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.) in the U.S. lineup. Twenty-two crews will be racing in Linz. Last year, Australia, Italy and Great Britain won the medals, with the U.S. finishing 13th.
After a one-year hiatus from the top of the medal stand, the U.S. women’s eight once again won gold at the 2018 World Rowing Championships ahead of Canada and Australia. This year’s lineup includes Katelin Guregian (Detroit, Mich.), Erin Reelick (Brookfield, Conn.), Gia Doonan (Rochester, Mass.), Emily Regan (Buffalo, N.Y.), Olivia Coffey (Watkins Glen, N.Y.), Dana Moffat (Manlius, N.Y./), Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y.), Kristine O’Brien (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) and Felice Mueller (Cleveland, Ohio). Reelick and Musnicki are the additions to the lineup. Reelick won gold in the four last year, while the two-time Olympic gold medalist Musnicki returns to the team after taking a couple of years off following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. There are 11 crews scheduled to race in Linz.
This year’s men’s eight lineup will be looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish at the world championships. The crew of coxswain Julian Venonsky (Malvern, Pa.), Austin Hack (Old Lyme, Conn.), Ben Davison (Inverness, Fla.), Mike DiSanto (Boston, Mass.), Alexander Richards (Watertown, Mass.), Nick Mead (Strafford, Pa.), Conor Harrity (Weston, Mass.), Patrick Eble (Fort Washington, Pa.) and Alex Karwoski (Moultonborough, N.H.) includes four rowers plus the coxswain from last year’s boat. Davison, Richards and Mead were in other boats last year, while Hack returns after taking two years off following the 2016 Olympic Games. Ten men’s eights are entered in the event. Last year, Germany, Australia and Great Britain won the medals.
Non-Olympic and Non-Paralympic Events
In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.) will take on 18 other scullers. Schmieg won a silver medal last year in the lightweight women’s double sculls. In the lightweight single, France, Italy and Great Britain won the medals, with American Michelle Sechser finishing fourth. None of the medalists from 2018 return in the event, so the medals appear to be up for grabs.
Tyler Nase (Phoenixville, Pa.), a 2016 Olympian in the lightweight men’s four, returns to international competition in the lightweight men’s single sculls. Last year, American Andrew Campbell won the bronze medal in the event. Campbell has moved on to the lightweight double sculls this year. Germany and Switzerland took the top two spots in 2018, but like Campbell, they are not entered in the event this year. This year’s field includes 32 scullers.
In the PR2 women’s single sculls, Madison Eberhard (Getzville, N.Y.) will be making her international rowing debut. Eberhard will take on five other scullers. France, The Netherlands, and Poland won the medals last year, with only the Dutch sculler returning in 2019.
In the PR2 men’s single sculls, Isaac French (Glenville, N.Y.) returns to the national team after taking last year off. French is one of eight scullers entered in the event. Last year, The Netherlands’ Corne de Koning won gold, with Canada and Italy taking home silver and bronze, respectively. All three medalists return in 2019.
Pearl Outlaw (Charlottesville, Va.) and Joshua Boissoneau (Bedford, N.H.) return to the national team in the PR3 mixed double sculls after finishing fifth last year. Seven boats are entered in the race in 2019. Brazil, Austria and Russia won the medals last year.
Mary Reckford (Short Hills, N.J.), Rosa Kemp (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), Michaela Copenhaver (Berkeley, Calif.) and Jessica Hyne-Dolan (Verdi, Nev.) will take on four other crews in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls. The U.S. finished fourth in the event last year behind China, Denmark and Germany. Only Copenhaver returns from that crew.
The lightweight men’s quadruple sculls crew of Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz.), Daniel Madden (New Rochelle, N.Y.), Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.) and Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y.) will face seven other boats in Linz. The U.S. finished 10th last year, with Germany, Italy and Turkey bringing home the medals.
Five boats are entered in the lightweight women’s pair including the U.S. crew of Cara Stawicki (Wall, N.J.) and Margaret Bertasi (London, England). The U.S won silver last year behind Italy.
The lightweight men’s pair features Alex Twist (Seattle, Wash.) and James Nelson (Austin, Texas). Last year, the U.S. finished third behind Italy and Greece. This year’s event has nine entries.
In last year’s debut of the PR3 women’s pair, Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y.) and Dani Hansen won the gold medal as the lone entry in the event. This year, Smith will race with Molly Moore (Indianapolis, Ind.) against the crew from Italy.
In the PR3 men’s pair, Todd Vogt (Rochester, N.Y.) and Andrew Wigren (Wellesley, Mass.) will compete against seven other crews. Vogt and Wigren are making their national team debuts. Canada, Australia and France won the medals last year. The U.S. did not enter the event in 2018.
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