The first of the A finals began today, June 17, at the 2017 World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland.
Cambridge Boat Club's Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.; University of Tennessee, Knoxville '08) backed onto the start alongside New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland for the first U.S. appearance in an A final this weekend.
The first 500 meters of the race had all six crews fighting with close margins. At the 1000 meter mark, the spread between scullers increased, and Jones settled into fourth place. In the final 500 meters, Sweden's Emma Fredh pushed Jones into fifth place, crossing the line with a time of 7:43.07.
In the semifinal, Jones followed on the heels of Fredh and Ireland's Denise Walsh throughout the first 1,500 meters. In a final push at the end, Jones overtook Walsh for a second place finish time of 7:41.38, only 0.7 seconds off of first place.
As a result of the women's eight having only five entries at World Cup II, the U.S. raced in an exhibition event today to determine lane placements for the A final.
The boat from the USTC held a consistent third place against the crews from New Zealand, Great Britain, China 1 and China 2, and crossed the line in 6:08.15. All boats progressed into the A final out of the exhibition.
The crew of is made up of coxswain Katelin (Snyder) Guregian (Detroit, Mich.; University of Washington '09), 2016 women's eight Olympic gold medalist Emily Regan (Buffalo, N.Y.; Michigan State University '10), 2016 Olympic alternate Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.; University of Wisconsin '11), Kendall Chase (Evergreen, Co.; University of California '16), Meghan Wheeler (McLean, Va.; Princeton University '16), Erin Boxberger (Overland Park, Kan.; University of Notre Dame '17), Kristine O'Brien (Massapequa Park, N.Y.; University of Virginia '13), Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio; University of Notre Dame '14) and 2016 women's quad Olympian Grace Latz (Jackson, Mich.; University of Wisconsin '11)
The United States will have the opportunity to medal in three events tomorrow: the women's four, women's pair and women's eight. All three finals are to be live streamed at www.worldrowing.com.
Beginning Sunday's A finals will be the women's four. The U.S. has two entries in this event representing the USTC.
The first USA four line up includes Coco Schoeller (Palm Beach, Fla.; Brown University '15), Kelly Pierce (Oakton, Va.; Princeton University '12), Sarah Dougherty (Kent, Wash.; University of Washington '16) and Erin Reelick (Brookfield, Conn.; Princeton University '16). The second USA boat line up will be Regan, Opitz, Bruggeman and Latz.
They will be racing against China, Ukraine, Austria and Poland at 4:35 a.m. EST.
Three-time Olympian Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.; University of Washington '06) will rejoin 2016 Olympian Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.; Cornell '12) in the women's pair tomorrow for the A final.
The pair will line up against Chile, Austria, New Zealand 1, New Zealand 2 and Great Britain at 6:18 a.m. EST.
The last A final for the U.S. will be the women's eight. The U.S. has been undefeated in this event at the World Championship and Olympic level since 2006. World Cup II will be their first shot at the podium since the 2016 Olympics.
The women will take lane three, between China and Great Britain, in hopes of a gold medal finish at 7:03 a.m. EST.
Saturday's Finals, Semifinals and Repechages
Rain and wind covered Lake Malta as the first U.S. event of the day, the lightweight men's single C Final, began. Craftsbury Sculling Center's Hugh McAdam (Hollis, N.H.; Washington College '08) raced down the course against Germany, Hong Kong, Japan 1, Norway and Japan 2.
McAdam, 31, put up a strong fight against Japan's Fukui Yasushi. Ultimately, the U.S. sculler finished in fifth place, 17th overall in the event, with a time of 7:14.69.
In the semifinal for the women's single sculls, two United States boats bookended the starting platform with Vesper Boat Club/New York Athletic Club sculler Meghan O'Leary (Baton Rouge, La.; University of Virginia '07) in lane one and USTC's Lauren Schmetterling (Moorestown, N.J.; Colgate University '10) in lane six.
Schmetterling finished the race in fifth in 7:38.05 with O'Leary behind her in sixth at 7:42.84. Both U.S. crews will now compete in Sunday's B final at 4:10 a.m. EST, against Ireland 2, Ireland 1, Austria 2 and Germany 2.
The first repechage of the day was the women's pair. With USA 1 directly qualified to the A final from yesterday's racing, it was USA 2 of Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis.; University of Wisconsin '16) and Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.; Cornell University '16) from the USTC that took the course today.
The two women began the race head-to-head with Ireland's Aifric Keogh and Aileen Crowley, but pulled away at the 1,000 meter mark, earning a fifth place finish and a spot in Sunday's B Final. Vitas and Roach will be the first crew to race in the morning at 3:30 a.m. EST in a two-boat race against Ireland.
The lightweight double from Riverside Boat Club of Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.; Drexel University '12) and Christopher Lambert-Rogers (Ithaca, N.Y.; Cornell University '15) will also be racing in the B final of their event.
Following a race for third place with China's double in the first 1000 meters of their repechage, Schmidt and Lambert-Rogers came up short in the final 500 meters, finishing in fourth place with a time of 6:36.91.
The B final of the event will take place at 3:40 a.m. EST against Hong Kong, Japan, China 2, Slovenia and Peru.