Three Crews Victorious on Wednesday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships

Women’s single sculler Kara Kohler and the women’s pair of Tracy Eisser and Megan Kalmoe won their quarterfinals, while PR1 men’s single sculler Blake Haxton won his repechage, to lead the way for the U.S. on Wednesday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. In addition, four other crews advanced on the fourth day of racing in Linz, Austria.

Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) won the fourth quarterfinal of the women’s pair by open water over Romania to advance to Thursday’s semifinals. The Americans grabbed an early lead on China and Romania in the first 500 meters and extended their advantage to open water by the midway point of the race. The U.S. boat continued to pull away from the field in the third 500, establishing a boat-length of open water at the 1,500-meter mark. In the last quarter of the race, Romania reeled in China but never challenged the American crew. Eisser and Kalmoe won with a time of 7:09.35, finishing more than three seconds ahead of Romania’s 7:12.68.

“I think it’s pretty exciting that there are so many entries now that we’ve gone to quarterfinals. I think it’s an amazing statement for the growth of women’s rowing,” said women’s pair coach Yaz Farooq. “Because there are quarterfinals, we’re racing again tomorrow, so it’s all about recovery, and that’s what they are going to focus on for the next 24 hours to get ready for that race. These guys are a really experienced pair. They’ve been doing this for awhile, so they have a pretty good sense of the field and that’s definitely a strength. To come in after Poznan and have the opportunity to work with them, it’s been really awesome to get to know them and how they race.”

Eisser and Kalmoe will race in the second of two semifinals on Thursday against crews from New Zealand, Ireland, Greece, China and Italy. The top three finishers will advance to the final.

In the women’s single sculls, Kohler (Clayton, Calif.) used a strong second half of the race to cruise to a victory in the first quarterfinal. With three to advance, Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen, Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig and Kohler took control of the qualifying spots in the first 500 meters. Erichsen led the race through the 1,000-meter mark before Kohler made her push to take the lead during the third quarter of the race. Kohler continued to pull away from her competitors over the final 500 meters. At the line, Kohler crossed in a 7:29.00 to finish 5.57 seconds ahead of Lobnig in second. Erichsen finished third. Kohler now will race in the semifinals on Friday.

Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) easily won his repechage in the PR1 men’s single sculls to advance to Friday’s semifinals. Haxton took command immediately, establishing a nine-second lead on Lithuania’s Augustas Navickas in the first quarter of the race. He continued to build his lead the rest of the way down the course, finishing in a 10:05.21, more than 27 seconds ahead of Navickas. The Lithuanian claimed the other qualifying spot for the semifinals.

“It was a good race,” Haxton said. “I had a much better start, felt much more solid — much better time out of the blocks. I felt a much better connection. Everything just fired a little better — a lot more consistent, much better splits through the middle. It was one day of boat feel (in the heat) versus four or five coming out of the canoe worlds, so really encouraging.”

In the lightweight women’s double sculls, Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.) and Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.) finished second in their quarterfinal to advance to Thursday’s semifinals. France grabbed the early lead, with the U.S. sitting in second position about a length back. The two crews continued to row with about the same separation through the 1,500-meter mark, with Romania sitting another length back in third. France was able to widen the margin slightly in the final 500 meters, but the U.S. and Romania had already sealed up the other two qualifying spots. France won the race in a 7:00.80, followed by the U.S. in a 7:03.72.

“It was another fun go down the track, again with our goal of improving every step of the regatta,” Sechser said. “You never really know how these progressions are going to play out, especially with the quick turnaround, the weigh-in, the quick turnaround for the semis tomorrow, and how that plays into the tactics of the field. People front-loading the first thousand a little bit, making sure they can get their position locked up, with expending as little energy as possible before the big dance tomorrow.”

Cavallo and Sechser will race against Great Britain, The Netherlands, South Africa, Romania and Italy in the first semifinal on Thursday, with the top three finishers moving on to the final.

Tyler Nase (Phoenixville, Pa.) finished second in his quarterfinal of the lightweight men’s single sculls to advance to the semifinals. Italy’s Martino Goretti established his lead early in the race and was never challenged for the top spot. Greece’s Eleftherios Konsolas rowed in second position through the first half before Nase passed him in the third 500 meters. Goretti won with a time of 6:53.88, with Nase finishing in a 6:58.21.

In the PR2 men’s single sculls, Isaac French (Glenville, N.Y.) advanced to Friday’s final off of a second-place finish in his repechage. Italy’s Daniele Stefanoni led from start to finish, winning in a time of 9:08.19. French sat in third place through the midway point of the race before moving into second ahead of Spain, finishing with a time of 9:17.44. New Zealand finished fourth to also advance. The four scullers join Canada and The Netherlands in the final.

“The race felt really good,” French said. “It felt good to get back on the course and go down another time. In the beginning, all the boats were … you couldn’t really tell who was going to pull ahead, so that was really motivating. Coming in, I just wanted to stay strong, stay consistent throughout the race, really work on my technique and try to finish strong with a good sprint.”

In the PR3 men’s pair, Todd Vogt (Rochester, N.Y.) and Andrew Wigren (Wellesley, Mass.) finished fourth in their repechage to advance to Friday’s final. France and the Ukraine led off the line before the French pulled away for an easy victory in what amounted to a race for lanes after Germany did not start the race. France finished with a time of 7:19.36, with Ukraine coming in second. Austria finished third, with the U.S. crossing the line in a 7:55.23. The four crews will join heat winners Canada and Australia in the final.

With three to advance to the semifinals, the men’s pair of Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) and Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif.) came up about two feet short and now will race in the C/D semifinals on Friday. New Zealand got out in front off the start, with South Africa and the U.S. sitting just off the pace. The three crews maintained their position into the final 500 meters. That’s when the boat from Great Britain began its sprint. The British crew continued to chip away at the U.S. advantage over the final 250 meters, taking third in the last couple of strokes. New Zealand held on to win with a time of 6:29.70. South Africa finished 1.03 seconds back in a 6:30.73, with Australia crossing in a 6:31.62. The U.S. finished in a 6:32.04.

Men’s single sculler Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) finished fifth in his quarterfinal and now will race in the C/D semifinals on Thursday. Norway’s Kjetil Borch, the defending world champion, used a dominant start to establish the lead and then rowed to a two-second victory, crossing in a 6:49.40. New Zealand’s Robert Manson finished second, followed by Croatia’s Damir Martin. Meador finished in a 7:02.59.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) finished fifth in their quarterfinal and will race in the C/D semifinals on Thursday. Campbell and Trojan sat in fifth position the entire way down the course, about a length off the fight for second and third. Germany controlled the race at the head of the field, while Denmark, Canada and the Czech Republic battled it out for the last two qualification spots. At the line, Germany won the race in a 6:19.54, with the Czech Republic finishing second and Canada besting Denmark for third. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:25.46.

The men’s double sculls duo of Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) finished sixth in its quarterfinal and now will race in the C/D semifinals on Thursday. With three to advance, Keen and Frid rowed in third position through the first half of the race but were unable to keep pace over the second 1,000 meters. Great Britain won the race in a 6:14.21, just ahead of Switzerland. Australia finished third. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:41.18.

The lightweight men’s pair of Alex Twist (Seattle, Wash.) and James Nelson (Austin, Texas) finished fifth in its repechage and will race in the B final for places 7-8. With the top four to advance to the final, Twist and Nelson got off the line in fifth, trailing the fourth-place Austrian crew by more than three seconds 500 meters into the race. During the third 500, Twist and Nelson began to cut into the Austrian’s lead. Unfortunately, the American boat could not close the gap. Brazil won the race in a 6:48.50. The U.S. finished in a 6:58.31, 1.41 seconds out of a qualifying spot.

Three crews hit the water for the first time this week in their preliminary race to determine lane assignments for the final.

In the PR3 women’s pair, Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y.) and Molly Moore (Indianapolis, Ind.) easily won their race for lanes over Italy. Smith and Moore clocked an 8:55.53 to finish well over a minute ahead of the Italians. The two crews will square off again in Friday’s final.

Pearl Outlaw (Charlottesville, Va.) and Joshua Boissoneau (Bedford, N.H.) finished third in their race for lanes in the PR3 mixed double sculls behind Russia and Austria. The Russian duo got off the line quickly, staking claim to the top spot, with Austria pushing into second position. The U.S. battled China for third for much of the race before pulling away in the final 500 meters. Russia finished with a time of 7:50.54. The U.S. crossed in an 8:15.77. The six crews will race again in the final on Friday.

In the PR2 women’s single sculls, Madison Eberhard (Getzville, N.Y.) finished fourth in her race for lanes. Australia’s Kathryn Ross easily won the race in a 9:24.99, followed by The Netherlands’ Annika van der Meer. Eberhard finished in a time of 10:31.83 and now will race the same five scullers in Friday’s final.

In addition to the crews that advanced today, the U.S. will have five more boats racing in semifinals on Thursday, as well as one boat racing in a repechage. The top three finishers in each semifinal will advance to the finals.

The PR3 mixed four with coxswain crew of coxswain Karen Petrik (Glastonbury, Conn.), Dani Hansen (Patterson, Calif.), John Tanguay (Pennington, N.J.), Charley Nordin (Alameda, Calif.) and Allie Reilly (North Kingstown, R.I.) advanced to the semifinals with a win in its heat. The crew will race against Italy, Russia, Ukraine, France and The Netherlands in the second of two semifinals on Thursday.

The U.S. women’s four of Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.), Madeleine Wanamaker (Neenah, Wis.), Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) and Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) advanced to the semifinals thanks to a second-place finish in its heat. The crew will take on The Netherlands, China, Poland, Canada and Great Britain in tomorrow’s second semifinal.

In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.) advanced to the semifinals off of a second-place finish in her heat. Schmieg will race against scullers from The Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Italy and Norway in the second of two semifinals.

In the PR2 mixed double sculls, Laura Goodkind (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Russell Gernaat (Redwood City, Calif.) advanced to the semifinals after finishing third in their heat. The U.S. will race against crews from Great Britain, Ukraine, Brazil, China and Canada in the second semifinal.

The men’s four of Clark Dean (Sarasota, Fla.), Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.), Tom Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.), and Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.) won its repechage by just under one second, advancing to the semifinals. On Thursday, the U.S. will take on Australia, Poland, Germany, France and South Africa in the second of two semifinals.

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.) finished fourth in its heat and now will race in the repechages on Thursday. The U.S. will race against Great Britain, Poland, Australia and Romania, with the top two finishers moving on to the final.

Olympic and Paralympic berths for Tokyo also will be on the line for seven American crews during tomorrow’s racing. By advancing to the finals, the women’s four, men’s four, women’s quadruple sculls, women’s pair, lightweight women’s double sculls, PR3 mixed four with coxswain, and PR2 mixed double sculls would earn qualification spots for the U.S. for 2020.

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. Friday features the remaining semifinals and the first set of finals. Saturday and Sunday will feature the remaining finals.

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.

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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 via authentication. Click here for complete broadcast and live streaming information.

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