The U.S. women's eight, women's pair and lightweight men's four won their heats on Thursday to highlight the first day of competition at the 2009 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
The women's eight of Ariel Frost (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Jessica Leidecker (Westerville, Ohio), Taylor Ritzel (Larkspur, Colo.), Olivia Coffey (Watkins Glen, N.Y.), Ashley Kroll (Edmonds, Wash.), Grace Luczak (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Mary Jeghers (Sacramento, Calif.), Adrienne Martelli (University Place, Wash.) and Erika Roddy (San Francisco, Calif.) began the defense of the under 23 world title with a victory in its heat. The crew sat in second place at the 1,000-meter mark before using a strong third quarter of the race to row through Poland. The U.S. turned a 1.62-second deficit into a 2.35-second lead during the third 500 meters. The crew finished with a time of 6:33.68 to advance directly to Sunday's final, while Poland clocked a 6:41.85. Great Britain won the other heat in a 6:39.70.
Earlier in the day, Luczak and Jeghers won their heat of the women's pair to advance to Sunday's final. The duo sat in third position behind Ukraine and The Netherlands through the 1,000-meter mark before recording the fastest second half of the race. Luczak and Jeghers finished with a time of 7:39.42. The Netherlands took second in a 7:42.09, claiming the other spot in the final.
The lightweight men's four of Austin Meyer (Cohoes, N.Y.), Edward King (Ironton, Mo.), Julian Bowling (Shelby, N.C.) and Chad Healy (Ashland, Ore.) earned a victory in its heat, securing a spot in Saturday's semifinals. The crew got off the line in second place but took the lead from Denmark during the second quarter of the race. The U.S. continued to build on its advantage through the 1,500-meter mark before winning by 2.47 seconds. The crew finished with a time of 6:14.27, with Denmark crossing the line in a 6:16.74.
The men's four with coxswain of Steve Matyas (Turnersville, N.J.), Michael Rossidis (Garden City, N.Y.), Drew Baustian (Davenport, Iowa), Christopher Frendl (Southborough, Mass.) and Evan Cassidy (Westbury, N.Y.) finished second in its heat to advance directly to Sunday's final. The crew held second place the entire way down the course, clocking a 6:30.34 to finish 2.71 seconds behind New Zealand's winning time of 6:27.63.
In the lightweight women's quadruple sculls, Victoria Burke (Redding, Conn.), Katherine Robinson (Everett, Wash.), Summers Nelson (Kansas City, Mo.) and Devery Karz (Park City, Utah) took second place to advance directly to the final. With two to qualify for the final, the quartet got off the line in third position but moved into second place at the midway point of the race. The crew slowly pulled away from The Netherlands to secure a spot in the final, clocking a 6:52.85. Germany won the race in a 6:48.18.
The men's four of Mark Murphy (Madison, Wis.), James Long-Lerno (Seal Beach, Calif.), Nareg Guregian (North Hills, Calif.) and Michael Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) advanced to Saturday's semifinals with a second-place finish in its heat. The crew clocked a 6:13.03 to finish 2.60 seconds behind Canada's time of 6:10.43.
In the lightweight men's single sculls, Mike Orzolek (New Milford, Conn.) finished second in his heat to advance to tomorrow's quarterfinals. Orzolek, who sat in second position the entire race, finished with a time of 7:32.32. Romania's Florin Poienariu won in a 7:30.05.
The lightweight women's double sculls duo of Madeline Davis (West Chester, Pa.) and Lindsay McAlpine (Berkeley, Calif.) advanced to Saturday's semifinals with a third-place finish in its heat. The crew crossed the finish line with a time of 7:37.66. France won the race in a 7:22.39, followed by Russia.
The lightweight men's quadruple sculls crew of Bob Duff (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.), Michael Nucci (Blue Bell, Pa.), Pete Orlando (Pelham, N.Y.) and Will Kelly (New Canaan, Conn.) finished third in its heat, also earning a spot in Saturday's semifinals. The U.S. boat held third all the way down the course, clocking a 6:17.15. Germany won the race in a 6:08.83, with Hungary finishing second in a 6:14.40.
Singen Elliott (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Hans Struzyna (Seattle, Wash.), Martin Etem (Long Beach, Calif.) and Sean Engel (Greenbrae, Calif.) finished third in their heat of the men's quadruple sculls and will now race in a repechage, or second-chance race, on Friday. The quartet sat in fourth position at the midway point of the race before moving into third. France won the race in a 6:04.99, followed by Switzerland. The U.S. clocked a 6:18.84.
The men's eight of Daniel Connolly (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Nick Lucey (San Francisco, Calif.), Brad Bertoldo (San Jose, Calif.), Max Goff (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Matthew Wheeler (Eugene, Ore.), Blaise Didier (San Francisco, Calif.), Sebastian Peterlin (San Francisco, Calif.), Scott Morgan (Portola Valley, Calif.) and Neil McPeak (Linwood, N.J.) also finished third in its heat and will now race in tomorrow's repechage. The crew sat in third position all the way down the course. Germany won the race in a 5:46.51, with Poland finishing second in a 5:47.15. The U.S. clocked a 5:52.56.
The lightweight men's pair of Thomas Davidson (Seattle, Wash.) and Nick Donald (Seattle, Wash.) also finished fourth in its heat and will now race in tomorrow's repechages. The duo finished with a time of 7:14.22. Italy won the race in a 6:52.65.
In the women's four, Sarah Gribler (Marysville, Wash.), Theresa Shields (Grosse Ile, Mich.), Laura Nicholson (Newton, Mass.) and Sarah Zelenka (Itasca, Ill.) finished fifth in their heat and will now race in tomorrow's repechage. The crew clocked a 7:11.29, with New Zealand winning the race in a 7:03.50.
Likewise, the women's double sculls duo of Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif.) and Emily Eiffert (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) finished fifth in its heat. Felix and Eiffert dropped to fifth in the first 500 meters and were never able to challenge for a top two position and a place in the final. They will now race in the repechages tomorrow. Belarus won the race in a 7:11.54, while the U.S. clocked a 7:45.85.
The men's double sculls tandem of Sebastian Kirwan (Wilton, Conn.) and Nate Kelly (New Canaan, Conn.) also finished fifth, stroking a 7:00.29. Kirwan and Kelly will race in tomorrow's repechages. Germany won the race in a 6:19.58.
Stephen Lambers (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) also finished fifth in his heat of the men's single sculls, clocking a time of 7:37.05. He will race in the repechages on Friday. Germany's Lauritz Schoof won the heat in a 7:14.24, recording the fastest time of the day.
Andrew Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) and Alec Buckenheimer (New Canaan, Conn.) finished fifth in their heat of the lightweight men's double sculls, crossing the line with a time of 7:09.53. The duo will race in a repechage tomorrow. Germany won the race in a 6:34.95.
Eli Roxby (Paoli, Pa.) and John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished fifth in their heat of the men's pair after being relegated to last place for their boat being underweight. The duo, which sat in fourth with 500 meters to go, will now race in tomorrow's repechage. Hungary won the race in a 6:51.33, followed by Belarus and France.
The women's quadruple sculls crew of Amanda Chase (Alexandria, Va.), Desiree Burns (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) and Michelle Nance (Simpsonville, S.C.) will race in a repechage after finishing fifth in its heat on Thursday. With two to advance to the final, the crew sat in third place at the midway point of the race but was unable to mount a challenge for second, finishing with a time of 6:53.58. Ukraine won the race in a 6:36.09, followed by Belarus.
Dani Dewitt (Parkersburg, W.Va.) finished sixth in her heat of the lightweight women's single sculls and will race in a repechage tomorrow. After starting off in fourth place, Dewitt clocked an 8:39.87 to finish more than 25 seconds behind Germany's Heike Nieschlag, who won the race in an 8:14.02.
Women's single sculler Helen Tompkins (Friendswood, Texas) also finished sixth in her heat, clocking an 8:18.97. Tompkins now will race in a repechage on Friday. The Czech Republic's Jitka Antosova won the race in a 7:50.47.
Racing continues on Friday with repechages and quarterfinals, while semifinals and several placement finals will be held on Saturday. The grand finals will be held Sunday. Racing begins each day at 9:30 a.m. local time