Four Crews Advance to Finals on Thursday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships

Four U.S. crews — the PR3 mixed four with coxswain, women’s pair, men’s four and women’s four — advanced to the finals on Thursday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria. In the process, the four crews earned qualification spots for the U.S. for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The 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 finals of the PR3 mixed four with coxswain with a victory in the second semifinal. Russia took the early lead, but the American boat pulled away during the second quarter of the race, ultimately winning by a couple of lengths of open water. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:59.37, 6.20 seconds ahead of second-place Italy. Russia finished third to also qualify for the final. In addition, the U.S. crew qualified the boat for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“It was a good race,” Tanguay said. “We duked it out a little in the first thousand just trying to get up as far as possible. (We’re) just prepping for the final on Saturday where we duke it out with (Great Britain). We’re excited to actually face them face-to-face instead of through the times after the races.”

Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) edged out Italy by a bowball to finish second in their semifinal of the women’s pair, advancing to the final and qualifying the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games in the process. New Zealand took the early lead and rowed at the head of the field the rest of the way down the course. Meanwhile, a furious battle was taking place for the remaining two qualifying spots for the final. Ireland held second position off the line before China took over the spot at the midway point of the race. The U.S. sat in fourth place at the 1,000-meter mark, just a canvas behind Ireland and about a half-length behind China. Eisser and Kalmoe made a strong move in the third 500 to take the lead on the Irish and a faltering Chinese boat, but the Italians were also closing the gap in the outside lane. At the line, New Zealand won in a 6:57.92, with the U.S. crossing in a 7:01.78. The Italians finished 0.02 seconds back in a 7:01.80, with Ireland finishing fourth.

“We knew that every crew in those stake boats today had Olympic qualification on their brains,” said women’s pair coach Yaz Farooq. “It’s an extra level of pressure in addition to the opportunity to race for the medals and that just brought out the best in that race. We were ready for people to come flying out of the blocks. We knew there would be a fast start from Ireland, and Italy had shown that they were definitely aggressive racers. Throw in China and New Zealand has been a strong performer throughout the races. We were ready for fast starts, we were ready for aggressive sprinting, and we got all of that.”

The men’s four of Clark Dean (Sarasota, Fla.), Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.), Tom Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.), and Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.) pulled away from Germany in the final 500 meters to finish third and earn a spot in Saturday’s final. Germany and Poland got off the line quickly, establishing the early lead before Australia moved into the top spot during the second quarter of the race. Australia, Poland and Germany continued to increase their advantage as the crews hit the midway point of the race, with the U.S. sitting in fourth by just over a length. The American crew began to put pressure on Germany in the third 500, closing the gap to a half-second going into the final quarter of the race. The U.S. then rowed through Germany to earn a qualifying spot for the finals and secure an Olympic berth for Tokyo. Australia won the race in a 5:44.21. Poland finished second in a 5:46.97, with the U.S. crossing in a 5:47.14.

“We kind of knew what it was going to be, and we got it in spades,” Peszek said. “I think we had a really good start. We had a really strong first 500 and, sure enough, everyone was there with us or up. We knew we were going to stick to our boat and our plan and our rowing, and we just hung in there. The last, I don’t know, 500, 750 — something like that — we started turning it up, turn the screw a little bit, and found a way to get through.”

The 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 finals thanks to a third-place finish in the second semifinal, also qualifying the boat for Tokyo. The crew rowed in fourth through the first 500 meters before pulling ahead of Great Britain as the boats reached the halfway mark. The U.S. continued to build its advantage during the third 500 meters, closing the gap on second-place Poland in the process. The Netherlands took the lead in the first 500 meters and rowed to a 2.44-second victory, crossing the line in a 6:22.78. Poland finished second in a 6:25.22, with the U.S. finishing in a 6:25.80. The crew now will race in the final on Saturday.

“We really wanted to improve on our heat,” Bruggeman said. “We feel like we had a lot of unfinished business. We just went out and had a really strong middle thousand and that was our game plan.”

“It’s kind of funny because I don’t think we ever said the words Olympic qualification at this regatta,” Wanamaker said. “It’s always just kind of been fulfill the first task of making it through the heat without going to the rep and then making the top three. I think we were low-key about it the whole time, but now that we know we’re in, it’s just a huge relief and weight off our shoulders.”

The women’s quadruple sculls crew of Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.), Emily Huelskamp (Sainte Genevieve, Mo.), Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis.) and Lauren Schmetterling (Moorestown, N.J.) missed the final by only a couple of feet, finishing third in its repechage. With two to advance, Poland took the early lead ahead of the U.S. and Great Britain. The Polish boat continued to maintain its advantage through the middle 1,000 meters, while the U.S. battled Great Britain for the other qualification spot. The British boat overtook the U.S. with 500 meters to go, but the American crew responded and began closing the margin in the final 200 meters. Unfortunately, the U.S. came up just short, finishing 0.18 seconds behind Great Britain. Poland won the race in a 6:12.10, with the British crew finishing in a 6:13.82. The U.S. crossed in a 6:14.00 and now will race in the B final on Saturday with Olympic qualification on the line.

In the lightweight women’s double sculls, Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Fla.) and Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.) were unable to hold off a late-charging Romanian crew and ended up dropping to fifth in their semifinal as the crews crossed the line. Cavallo and Sechser will race in the B final on Saturday with Olympic qualification on the line. In what was a tight race throughout, Cavallo and Sechser held the third and final qualifying spot as the crews came into the final 500 meters. However, Romania was able to break through with about 300 meters to go to finish third. After Great Britain grabbed the early lead, The Netherlands inched into the top spot as the crews reached the midway point of the race, with the remaining four boats sitting about a length off the pace and within a deck of each other. The Netherlands went on to win the race in a 6:50.91, with Great Britain taking second. Romania crossed in third, while the U.S. dropped back to fifth behind Italy. Cavallo and Sechser finished with a time of 6:55.69.

In the PR2 mixed double sculls, Laura Goodkind (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Russell Gernaat (Redwood City, Calif.) will race in the B final after finishing fifth in the second semifinal. The duo sat in fifth position the entire way down the course. Great Britain won the race in an 8:07.33, with the Ukraine taking second in an 8:21.73. Brazil finished third. Goodkind and Gernaat finished with a time of 8:41.30 and will race again on Saturday.

Tyler Nase (Phoenixville, Pa.) finished sixth in his semifinal of the lightweight men’s single sculls and will race in tomorrow’s B final for places 7-12. Nase took the race out hard and was in a virtual dead heat for the lead with Canada’s Aaron Lattimer through the 500-meter mark. Lattimer inched ahead in the second quarter of the race, with Nase still holding second position. Mexico’s Alexis Lopez Garcia and Great Britain’s Samuel Mottram began their push in the third 500, with Lopez Garcia taking the lead and Mottram pulling even with Lattimer. Nase began to fall off the pace in the third 500 and could not get back on terms with the leaders. At the line, Lopez Garcia won in a time of 6:51.03, followed by Mottram in a 6:51.44. Lattimer finished third. Nase ended up crossing the line in a 7:01.75. Nase will race against scullers from Austria, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland and Ireland in the B final.

In the lightweight women’s single sculls, Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.) also finished sixth in her semifinal and will race in Friday’s B final for places 7-12. Schmieg rowed in fifth position for much of the race before dropping to sixth over the final 500 meters. Japan’s Chiaki Tomita led for the first 1,000 meters before Canada’s Ellen Gleadow moved into the top position. Gleadow won the race in a 7:36.91, with Tomita crossing in second ahead of the Dutch sculler. Schmieg finished with a time of 7:47.94 and will face scullers from Australia, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Ireland in tomorrow’s B final.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Nick Trojan (Los Alamitos, Calif.) won their C/D semifinal and now will race in the C finals for places 13-18 on Saturday. Campbell and Trojan sat in third position through the 1,000-meter mark before passing Austria and then Great Britain to win the race in a 6:17.40. Austria also rowed through Great Britain, finishing second just 0.60 seconds behind the U.S.

The men’s double sculls duo of Justin Keen (Hatfield, Pa.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) finished fourth in its C/D semifinals and will race in a D final for places 19-24 on Saturday. Keen and Frid led off the line before jockeying for second and third place with Ukraine over the middle 1,000 meters. However, South Africa was able to chase down both crews in the final sprint to finish second behind Argentina. At the line, Argentina won in a 6:14.05. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:18.29.

Men’s single sculler Kevin Meador (Berkeley, Calif.) finished sixth in his C/D semifinal and will race in the D final for places 19-24 on Sunday. Bulgaria’s Kristian Vasilev won the race in a 6:45.92. Meador finished in a 7:00.98.

Finals kick off Friday, and the U.S. will have seven crews racing for medals.

In the PR2 women’s single sculls, Madison Eberhard (Getzville, N.Y.) finished fourth in her race for lanes on Wednesday. Eberhard will race scullers from Australia, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Latvia in the final. Australia’s Kathryn Ross easily won the race for lanes, setting a world’s best time in the process.

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. French will take on scullers from The Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Spain and New Zealand in the race for medals. The Dutch and Canadian scullers won the heats and enter the final as the the top seeds.

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.

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. The U.S. will take on heat winners Canada and Australia, as well as France, Ukraine, and Austria, in the final.

In the lightweight women’s pair, the U.S. crew of Cara Stawicki (Wall, N.J.) and Margaret Bertasi (London, England) won their race for lanes on Monday. The U.S. will be looking to repeat that performance in the final against Italy, Germany and Latvia.

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. China, Israel and Italy round out the six-boat field in the final.

The lightweight women’s quadruple sculls crew of Mary Reckford (Short Hills, N.J.), Rosa Kemp (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), Michaela Copenhaver (Berkeley, Calif.) and Jessica Hyne-Dolan (Verdi, Nev.) finished third in their race for lanes on Monday behind China and Italy. Germany and Vietnam round out the five-boat final.

The U.S. also will have four boats racing in semifinals on Friday, with Olympic and Paralympic qualification on the line. The top three finishers in each semifinal will advance to the finals and qualify the boat for the 2020 Olympic or Paralympic Games in the process.

In the women’s single sculls, Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif.) advanced to the semifinals by winning the first of four quarterfinals on Wednesday. Kohler will take on scullers from Great Britain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Denmark in the first of two semifinals. Swiss sculler Jeannine Gmelin won silver in the event last year, while Great Britain’s Victoria Thornley is the other quarterfinal winner in the Kohler’s semifinal.

Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) easily won his repechage in the PR1 men’s single sculls to advance to Friday’s semifinals. Haxton will race scullers from Australia, Ukraine, Russia, China and France in the first of two semifinals. Australia’s Erik Horrie and Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi are the two heat winners in the race, as well as the 2018 gold and silver medalists in the event, respectively.

Gevvie Stone (Newton, Mass.) and Cicely Madden (Weston, Mass.) put down the fastest time of the heats in the women’s double sculls, en route to winning their race and advancing directly to the semifinals. The duo will take on crews from Australia, Italy, Romania, Belarus and France in the second of two semifinals. Australia is the other heat winner in the second semifinal.

Hallie Smith (Washington, D.C.), who won bronze in the event last year, advanced to the semifinals of the PR1 women’s single sculls thanks to a second-place finish in her heat behind defending world champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway. Smith will take on scullers from France, Israel, Argentina, Korea and Sweden in the first of two semifinals. France and Israel both won their heats.

The U.S. also will race in two B finals on Friday, as well as a C/D semifinal.

The lightweight men’s pair of Alex Twist (Seattle, Wash.) and James Nelson (Austin, Texas) finished fifth in its repechage on Wednesday. Twist and Nelson will race against Armenia in the B final for places 7-8.

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.) finished sixth in its repechage and will race Ireland in the B final for places 7-8.

The men’s pair of Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) and Ezra Carlson (Eureka, Calif.) came up about two feet short of advancing to the A/B semifinals on Wednesday and now will race in the C/D semifinals on Friday. Weiss and Carlson will take on the Czech Republic, Denmark, Argentina, Chile and China in the second C/D semifinal. The top three will advance to the C final, which determines overall places 13-18.

The 2019 World Rowing Championships run August 25-September 1 and feature nearly 1,200 athletes from 80 nations including the largest number of para-rowers ever. Finals continue on Saturday and Sunday.

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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