Fifteen U.S. Crews Hit the Water on Sunday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships

The U.S. will have 15 crews competing on Sunday, as racing gets underway at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria.

At the 2018 World Rowing Championships, the U.S. came home with 10 medals including three gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

The U.S. won gold in the women’s four last year, with Australia and Russia taking home the other two medals. This year’s boat will begin defense of the world title in the first of three heats against Croatia, Germany, Australia, Ukraine, and Ireland. Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) and Madeleine Wanamaker (Neenah, Wis.) return from that gold-medal crew, with Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) being added to the mix. Davies, a three-time Olympic medalist, 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. The top two finishers in the heat will advance directly to the semifinals.

The PR3 mixed four with coxswain won its fifth consecutive 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. The U.S. will take on France, The Netherlands, Japan, China and Israel in the second of three heats on Sunday, with the top two crews advancing directly to the semifinals.

In the PR2 mixed double sculls, Laura Goodkind (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Russell Gernaat (Redwood City, Calif.) will face off against Germany, Great Britain and Poland in the third of three heats. Goodkind raced in the event last year, while Gernaat returns to the national team for the first time since 2017. Poland won the silver medal last year. The top three finishers in each heat move on to the semifinals.

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. On Sunday, they will take on crews from The Netherlands, South Africa, Ireland and Chile in the fourth of five heats, with the top four finishers moving on to the quarterfinals.

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. Tomorrow, the U.S. will take on crews from Denmark, Ireland, Australia, Croatia, and Brazil in the first of five heats. The top four finishers advance to the quarterfinals.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, the U.S. boat of Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) will face off against Portugal, Germany, Kazakhstan, and Poland in the fifth of six heats. Campbell won bronze in the lightweight single sculls last year, while Trojan last raced at the world championships in 2017. The top three finishers in the heat advance directly to the quarterfinals.

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 in 2018, while Sechser competed in the lightweight single sculls. The duo will take on crews from Italy, Chinese Taipei, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Australia in the first of five heats, with the top four finishers moving on to the quarterfinals.

The U.S. 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 lineup. The crew will race Austria, Ukraine, Italy, Russia and India in the second of four heats, with the winner advancing to the semifinals and the rest of the crews heading to the repechages. Italy won the silver medal 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. On Sunday, the crew will take on Russia, Poland, Moldova, China, and Austria in the second of three heats. The top two crews will advance to the semifinals.

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. Nase will race in the fourth of six heats tomorrow against scullers from Ireland, Serbia, Slovakia and Switzerland, with the top three advancing directly to the quarterfinals.

In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.) will take on scullers from Italy, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and Hong Kong in the first of three heats. Schmieg won a silver medal last year in the lightweight women’s double sculls. The top two finishers in the heat will move on to the semifinals.

After finishing fourth last year in the PR1 men’s single sculls, 2016 Paralympian Blake Haxton  (Columbus, Ohio) returns to race in Linz. Haxton will compete against scullers from China, Belgium, Brazil, Korea, and Paraguay on Sunday, with the winner moving on to the semifinals.

“Sunday to Sunday, so kind of a long week of racing, but it should be good,” Haxton said. “This is when it starts really mattering for Tokyo in the long run, so (I’m) excited to get after it. There’s a little more riding on the semifinals and some of the preliminaries just because, if you get to the A final, you’re going to Tokyo, so maybe a little more thinking there. Certainly a little more stress, but other than that, you just row your race and play with the hand you’re dealt.”

The U.S. duo of Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) will race against Ukraine, Belarus, Ireland, Australia, and Norway in the first of six heats of the men’s double sculls. Keen and Frid were part of the U.S. quadruple sculls last year. The top three finishers in each heat move on to the quarterfinals.

In the women’s single sculls, Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif.) returns after finishing fourth at last year’s world championships. Kohler will open her regatta against scullers from Ukraine, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, and Slovakia in the second of eight heats, with her sights set on getting back to the final and reaching the medal stand. The top two finishers in each heat advance directly to the quarterfinals.

Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) returns in the men’s single sculls and is one of 44 scullers scheduled to compete in Linz. Meador finished 20th last year. The American will race against scullers from Italy, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, and Spain in second of eight heats on Sunday, with the top two finishers moving on to the quarterfinals.

The 2019 World Rowing Championships run from August 25-September 1 and will feature nearly 1,200 athletes from 80 nations including the largest number of para-rowers ever. Racing continues on Monday with heats in six additional events and repechages in nine categories. Heats and repechages continue on Tuesday, while quarterfinals start on Wednesday. Semifinals begin Thursday, with finals set to start on Friday and run over the final three days.

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. Click here for more information on FISA’s Olympic qualification process. Click here for more information on FISA’s Paralympic qualification process.

Follow USRowing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for full coverage of the U.S. team competing at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Use the hashtag #WRChamps, #WRC2019.

World Rowing has partnered with NBC Sports Group for coverage of the World Rowing Cups, European Championships and World Championships in the U.S. The Olympic Channel television network will broadcast all eight days of racing and will stream all eight days on either the Olympic Channel or NBCSN. Click here for complete broadcast and live streaming information.

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