The 2018 World Rowing Championships are only a few weeks away, but before the US squad that will compete in Plovdiv, Bulgaria is completely set and ready, there is one more selection event to go.
That will all be sorted out by next week when finals are held in the 2018 US Senior and Para II Trials, which begin Sunday on Mercer Lake, West Windsor, NJ. Nine remaining crews will be selected after racing in the men's single, men's and women's pairs, lightweight men's and women's pairs, men's quad, lightweight men's and women's quad.
Four more crews will be selected for the para rowing events including the PR3 (formerly called the Legs, Trunk and Arms) mixed double, PR3 men's and women's pair, and women's PR2 single, (formerly called the Trunk and Arms single.)
The trials come just days after USRowing announced the rosters of the camp crews, which include the men's and women's eights, men's and women's fours, and women's quad. Trials will mark the completion of months of work and preparation by the coaches and athletes that will compete in the World Rowing Championships, said Matt Imes, USRowing's Director of High Performance.
"This is the culmination of all these athletes' hard work," Imes said. "We're coming up to the midway point of the 2020 quadrennial, and we're looking forward for the opportunity to put the finishing touches on the selection of Team USA, and continuing to build toward a good world championships in Plovdiv."
Of the 13 boats classes being contested, the most subscribed will be the men's single. There are 13 athletes set to compete, and the field is essentially wide open. Last year's men's US single sculler, Michael Clougher is rowing in the men's four that was just named, and John Graves, who won the event in the first National Selection Regatta earlier in the year, is rowing the men's double with Ben Davison.
There were 40 men's singles in National Selection Regatta I, and of those that made the finals, Erik Frid (2nd) and Justin Keen (4th) and B finals winner, Gregory Ansolabehere, are all competing in one of the two men's quads entered by Penn AC.
Among athletes entered for trials are Tom Graves, who rowed in the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta and lost to Mahe Drysdale in the semifinal round, and Malta Boat Club's Leonard Futterman, 8th overall at NSR I, and Adam Randall from Community Rowing, who was 12th overall.
Tom Graves rowing in the Henley semifinal
In the men's pair, there are eight entries, including five crews of athletes from the men's national team selection camp that were not named to the camp boats announced by USRowing on Tuesday. Among them will be 2016 Olympian Anders Weiss and Michael Colella. Weiss and Colella represented the US in the event at last year's World Rowing Championships, finishing 11th overall.
The only other event on the schedule with more than three entries is the women's pair, which has six, all of them from the US senior women's selection camp. Three of those crews have already been named to the US team and will row in the women's eight in Plovdiv. Among them are Felice Mueller and Kristine O'Brien, who won bronze in the event at World Cup III in Lucenre last month.
The trials winners are automatically named to the team in the event, which means if any of the women already rowing in the 2018 eight win, they will be the first women's crew to double up at a World Rowing Championship since 2009, when Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro won two gold medals rowing in both the eight and pair in Poznan, Poland.
"We're excited for this week," said Imes. "We just had a very positive result with the Under 23 team, the junior team just touched down at the Junior Worlds Championship and we're expecting a good performance there, so we're looking to keep the momentum going."
Racing is set to begin Sunday evening with time trials and is scheduled to conclude with finals Wednesday. See the complete schedule here.
Anders Weiss and Michael Colella hope to repeat as the men's pair