U.S. crews went three-for-three on the first day of finals at the 2012 Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. The women’s double sculls, lightweight men’s four and men’s eight won their respective finals in picture-perfect conditions on the Rotsee race course.
In total, fifteen athletes earned the right to race in London as members of the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team, pending final approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS
Sarah Trowbridge (Guilford, Conn.) and Margot Shumway (Westlake, Ohio) won Sunday’s heat en route to the women’s double sculls final on Tuesday. The U.S. dominated the race from the start, leading the field at each of the 500-meter marks. The Netherlands remained in second, crossing the finish line more than a second back.
“It was pretty solid, from start to finish,” said Shumway, who represented the U.S. in Beijing. “I felt very focused on what Trow was doing. It felt very internal, although we were responsive to the other crews. What we did was set a goal for ourselves, and then we marched down the course to accomplish that goal.”
The U.S. posted a time of 7:03.96 to The Netherlands’ 7:05.25, with both crews earning Olympic qualification.
“I’m very excited,” said Trowbridge. “It’s been a long year. We know where we’re going and what we have to do for the first time in a while.”
“First, we take a deep breath, then we go home and get back to work,” said Shumway.
LIGHTWEIGHT MEN’S FOUR
Next up, the U.S. lightweight men’s four of Robin Prendes (Miami, Fla.), Nick LaCava (Weston, Conn.), Will Newell (Weston, Mass.) and Anthony Fahden (Lafayette, Calif.), fresh off its win in yesterday’s repechage, pushed through the field to win the final by 0.14 seconds over the Dutch.
“It was unbelievable,” said Prendes. “We knew our base was strong. When we were able to get out with the pack, I had confidence in that, and confidence in the guys in the boat.”
The U.S. was in third behind The Netherlands and Serbia crossing the 500-meter mark, and moved into second by the halfway point.
“The plan was basically to get out – not a crazy start or anything. We relied on the base, and executed. That’s what we’ve been working on,” said Fahden.
The U.S. took the lead in the third quarter of the race, and held on to win with a time of 6:01.85. The Netherlands clocked a 6:01.99 to grab the second qualifying spot.
The U.S. men’s eight followed suit, crossing the line more than four seconds ahead of New Zealand to win the final and punch its ticket to London.
Coxswain Zach Vlahos (Piedmont, Calif.), Grant James (DeKalb, Ill.), David Banks (Potomac, Md.), Steve Kasprzyk (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Jake Cornelius (Brooktondale, N.Y.), Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), Ross James (DeKalb, Ill.), Will Miller (Duxbury, Mass.) and Giuseppe Lanzone (Annandale, Va.) were the top seed going into Tuesday’s race. The U.S. crew led from the start, putting more 2.28 seconds between it and New Zealand by the 500-meter mark.
“New Zealand and France put up quite a fight and we were fortunate to cross the line first,” said Vlahos. “We are thrilled.”
The U.S. eight posted a time of 5:36.11, with New Zealand second in 5:40.02. France crossed third with a time of 5:46.35.
“From the second the boat was named, it’s been 100 percent focus on this race today,” said Vlahos. “To have it pay off this afternoon was exciting. Phase one, done. Now it’s time to move on to phase two – go home, train hard and try to get faster.”
Racing continues Wednesday at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta with the finals of the women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s double sculls and men’s double sculls.
U.S. Results for Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Women’s Double Sculls Final
1. United States, 7:03.96; 2. The Netherlands, 7:05.25; 3. Spain, 7:07.33; 4. Italy, 7:09.46; 5. Denmark, 7:16.62; 6. Greece, 7:19.92.
Lightweight Men’s Four Final
1. United States, 6:01.85; 2. The Netherlands, 6:01.99; 3. New Zealand, 6:03.31; 4. Serbia, 6:05.25; 5. Spain, 6:11.68; 6. Brazil, 6:22.91.
Men’s Eight Final
1. United States, 5:36.11; 2. New Zealand, 5:40.02; 3. France, 5:46.35.
Men’s Double Sculls Semifinal 2
1t. Azerbaijan, 6:21.03; 1t. United States, 6:21.03; 3. China, 6:22.26; 4. Czech Republic, 6:24.46; 5. Poland, 6:29.67; 6. Israel, 6:35.11.
Women’s Single Sculls Semifinal 2
1. Denmark, 7:36.13; 2. United States, 7:39.48; 3. Estonia, 7:42.79; 4. France, 7:48.85; 5. Latvia, 8:02.96; 6. Bulgaria, 8:03.05.
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Semifinal 1
1. Hungary, 6:31.46; 2. United States, 6:33.77; 3. Switzerland, 6:38.01; 4. Poland, 6:41.29; 5. Sweden, 6:44.72; 6. Slovenia, 6:45.28.
Wednesday Start List
Tuesday a.m. press release
USRowing photo gallery