The final day of racing at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland saw the United States bring home medals in all three A finals entered on Sunday, June 18.
The first medal for the United States came early on Sunday morning, as the first of two USRowing Training Center crews in the women's four raced to a silver medal finish.
One week ago, the International Olympic Committee announced that the women's four would race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, making the field at World Cup II even more competitive. The new Olympic boat class was the first final to race on the Sunday of World Cup II, and the bar was set high by the Australian crew who pulled off a World Rowing Cup Best Time of 6:22.65.
The medal-winning U.S. crew crossed the line shortly behind them in second place. The line-up featured 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) who finished in a time of 6:25.53.
"It was a good race and a great opportunity to race in another country. It's awesome," said stroke seat Reelick."Today we had a good start, and we hope to improve in the next few months."
Finishing in fourth place was the USA 2 crew of 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), Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio; University of Notre Dame '14) and 2016 women's quad Olympian Grace Latz (Jackson, Mich.; University of Wisconsin '11) in a time of 6:30.51.
The second boat to appear on the podium today was the women's pair, earning a silver medal in the event.
The U.S. crew of 2016 Olympian Tracy Eisser (Fair Lawn, N.J.; Cornell '12) and three-time Olympian Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.; University of Washington '06) came into this race off of back-to-back wins at the 2017 Spring Speed Order 1 and National Selection Regatta in the women's pair in Princeton, New Jersey.
Right off the line, the pair of Eisser and Kalmoe surged into a second place position and maintained their spacing between the leading New Zealand crew and third place Australia. The pair crossed the line in 6:54.61, earning the U.S. their second medal of the day.
"We are really excited to race together. It's my first international competition in the pair, and I am looking to start building this crew," said stroke seat, Eisser. "We are seeing where we are now and where we can go."
Another World Cup Best Time was set in this event by the first place New Zealand crew with their time of 6:49.08.
The final U.S. boat on Lake Malta this morning was the women's eight USTC crew of 2016 women's eight gold medalist 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 exhibition race yesterday saw New Zealand winning with Great Britain in second and the Olympic Champions, the United States, in third. Today those crews went after the medals. The women from New Zealand remained out in front of the pack as the U.S. and Great Britain raced closely behind. Ultimately, the U.S. crossed the line in third place with a time of 6:04.05, 2.78 seconds off of the winning New Zealand boat.
"We are very proud. It's a real stepping stone. We are looking forward to the future and ultimately Tokyo," said stroke seat Regan. "We are pretty excited about the World Championships in our country. We are hoping to have a strong supporting crowd and to show the world rowing in the U.S. It has been a long time."
The second of two USTC women's pairs took the course early Sunday morning for the B final. The pair of Sophia Vitas (Franklin, Wis.; University of Wisconsin '16) and Kate Roach (North Oaks, Minn.; Cornell University '16) crossed the line first in their B final with a time of 7:22.54, leading them to a seventh place finish overall.
In the lightweight men's double sculls, the U.S. entry of Peter Schmidt (Providence, R.I.; Drexel University '12) and Christopher Lambert-Rogers (Ithaca, N.Y.; Cornell University '15) raced against crews from Japan, Slovenia, China 2, Peru and Hong Kong. The duo from Riverside Boat Club finished fourth in a time of 6:26.85, placing them in tenth overall.
The B final of the women's single featured two U.S. crews returning to World Cup from Olympic appearances:Meghan O'Leary (Baton Rouge, La.; University of Virginia '07) representing Vesper Boat Club/New York Athletic Club and Lauren Schmetterling (Moorestown, N.J.; Colgate University '10) representing the USTC.
In 2016, O'Leary sat bow seat in the women's double that finished sixth at the Rio Olympic Games. Returning to racing alone for the single, O'Leary put up a strong race in the B final, crossing the line in second place with a time of 7:29.35, putting her in eighth place overall in the event.
Olympic gold medalist in the 2016 women's eight, Schmetterling, raced across the line in fourth place, eleventh overall, with a time of 7:37.43.
Overall, out of the ten U.S. crews entered, five finished in the top six of their event: the lightweight women's single, women's pair, two women's fours and the women's eight. Four crews finished in the B finals, placing seventh through eleventh overall, and one crew finished in the C final.
"The post Olympic year has a lot of turnover and changes. While all athletes want to win every time they race, it was good to experience international racing for the first time in 10+ months, and see where we are at and what adjustments can be made," said USRowing Director of High Performance, Matt Imes.
"It's good that several of the U.S. boats figured things out over the short racing period and showed signs of improved racing in their finals. We still have more work to do, but we have a competitive group that can make the changes necessary as they prepare for the World Championships."
The next international appearance for the United States will be the 2017 World Rowing Cup III, July 7-9 in Lucerne, Switzerland.