The U.S. men's four with coxswain, men's eight and women's four advanced to the finals on Thursday, highlighting the second day of competition at the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The two men's crews won their heats, while the women's four advanced off of a second-place finish.
The men's four with coxswain of Sammy Houdaigui (McLean, Va./First Coast Rowing), William Thayer (New Orleans, La./St. Paul's School), Samuel Kleiner (Westport, Conn./Saugatuck Rowing Club), Liam White (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation), and Adam Pushner (Fairfield, Conn./Saugatuck Rowing Club) won its heat to advance directly to Sunday's final. After getting off the line in third position, the U.S. boat used its base power to take a comfortable lead at the 1,000-meter mark. With two to advance, the U.S. then walked away from the field during the third quarter of the race, locking down a qualification spot. France pulled away from Ukraine during the back half of the race to earn the other spot in the final. The U.S finished with a time of 6:18.68, nearly six seconds ahead of France. Italy won the other heat.
"Overall, I'm super happy with the race," Thayer said. "We knew that we'd be back off the start, which did show as we got through the first 250 meters. We know that our base is where we get them, so we just sat down and walked through the other crews from 250 meters to 250 meters to go. After that, it was just holding splits low enough that no one could walk back through us. The current goals are keeping the legs fresh, but ready to work. There's a lot of down time between the heat and the final for us, so the key is to keep the legs working hard and able to lay down the power without over-taxing them."
The men's eight of coxswain Adam Casler (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Aquatic Center), Tyler Horler (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Crew), Ryan Link (Burke, Va./Gonzaga College High School), Jordan Dykema (Seattle, Wash./Pocock Rowing Center), John Patton (Houston, Texas/Deerfield Academy), Miles Hudgins (Andover, Mass./Greater Lawrence Rowing Association), Julian Thomas (New Hope, Pa./Princeton National Rowing Association/Mercer), Aidan Murphy (Huntington Beach, Calif./Newport Aquatic Center) and Stephen Warming (Newton, Mass./Belmont Hill School) also won their heat on Thursday, advancing to Sunday's final. With two to advance, Russia and the U.S. took control in the first 500 meters and had secured the two qualification spots as the crews hit the midway point of the race. While Russia led by 0.10 seconds heading into the back half of the race, the Americans quickly took the lead and continued to pull away from the Russians over the final 500 meters. The U.S. finished with a time of 5:43.95, with Russia finishing second in a 5:46.20. Germany won the other heat in a 5:44.02.
The women's four of Paris Burbine (Alpharetta, Ga./St. Andrew Rowing Club), Meagan Goldsmith (Ocoee, Fla./Orlando Area Rowing Society), Cillian Mullen (Batavia, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation) and Maeve Heneghan (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation) finished second in their heat, as France was able to catch the U.S. at the line. With two to advance, the U.S. crew got off the line in second behind Romania before using its strong, base rhythm to take nearly a three-second advantage on France at the halfway point. The U.S. continued to lead by a comfortable margin coming into the final 500 meters, but France was able to overtake the American crew in the final few strokes. France finished with a time of 6:49.09, with the U.S. crossing in a 6:49.32. Both advanced to Sunday's final. Italy and Germany advanced out of the other heat.
"Our race today was good, but as always, there is still room for improvement for the next race," Goldsmith said. "We executed our race plan well and now we are able to adapt and make some changes since we have the racing experience. It was great getting to race next to other countries and be able to learn more about how they race. As we move into the finals, we are planning on working to hold the other boats off for longer. Taking what we did today, but just making every stroke and move a little bit better."
The women's pair of Bridget Galloway (Ridgefield, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) and Sophia Greco (Rowayton, Conn./Connecticut Boat Club) finished fourth in their heat and now will race in tomorrow's repechages for a second chance at the final. With two to advance, Galloway and Greco sat in second place, just 0.34 seconds behind the leaders from Russia as the crews hit the midway point of the race. However, a fast-moving Italian crew dominated the third 500 to take a commanding lead over what was becoming a tight, three-way race for second between Spain, Russia and the Americans. Spain and the U.S. were able to pass Russia as the crews came into the final quarter of the race, but the Russian pair responded and came back to secure the second qualification spot in the final. At the line, Italy had won in a 7:34.67. Russia edged out Spain for second, with the U.S. dropping to fourth in a 7:42.98. The pair will take on crews from Sweden, Romania, Spain and Germany in Friday's repechage, with the top two crews advancing to the final.
In the men's four, Troy Riesenberger (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Crew), Davis Kelly (Vashon Island, Wash./Burton Beach Rowing Club), JJ Dubois (Gainesville, Fla./Sarasota Crew) and Declan Fry (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation) finished fifth in their heat and now will race in tomorrow's repechages. With only the winner to advance to the finals, Ukraine took an early lead before Greece moved into the top position in the second quarter of the race. Greece held a comfortable margin the rest of the way down the course. The U.S. got off the line in sixth position and made a move into third during the third 500 meters, before falling back to fifth. At the line, Greece won the race in a 6:12.78, with Romania finishing just over three seconds behind. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:18.47. The U.S. will race against crews from Serbia, Germany, Italy, and Denmark in the second of two repechages tomorrow, with the top two finishers advancing to the final.
The women's quadruple sculls crew of Meena Baher (Mountain View, Calif./Los Gatos Rowing Club), Heather Schmidt (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna Rowing), Jackie Oruci (Oyster Bay, N.Y./Oak Neck Rowing Academy) and Annie Herring (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School) also finished fifth in its heat and will now race in the repechages on Friday. With just the top crew advancing to the final, Switzerland took control of the race off the start and maintained a comfortable lead the entire way down the course. The U.S. rowed in fifth for the duration. Switzerland clocked a 6:32.60 to finish more than three seconds ahead of Italy. The U.S. finished with a time of 7:07.00. The U.S. will take on Hungary, Poland, Canada and Romania in the first of two repechages tomorrow, with the top two moving on to the final.
The men's quadruple sculls crew of Andrew Manns (Cherry Hill, N.J./South Jersey Rowing Club), Timothy Parsons (Eugene, Ore./South Eugene Rowing Club), Henry Ramstad (Seattle, Wash./Pocock Rowing Center) and Owen Rulyak (Seattle, Wash./Pocock Rowing Center) just missed a spot in the A/B semifinals, finishing third in their repechage. The crew now will race in the C/D semifinals. With two to advance, the U.S. sat in third position through the midway point before inching ahead of Belgium for second place as the crews entered the final 500 meters. The two crews battled it out during the final sprint, with Belgium pulling its bow-ball ahead in the final strokes. Romania won the race in a 5:58.80, with Belgium taking second in a 6:00.87. The U.S. finished just 0.13 seconds behind in a 6:01.02. The quartet will race against Canada, Croatia, Serbia and Estonia in the first C/D semifinal. The top three crews move on to the C final for overall places 13-18.
In the women's single sculls, Eva Harris (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Crew) also finished third in her repechage and will now race in the C/D semifinals. With two to advance, Harris and Portugal's Beatriz Varela battled each other for third for most of the race before Harris pulled away in the final 500 meters. The Netherlands' Marg van Der Wal won the race in an 8:02.80, followed by Romania's Ana-Maria Matran. Harris clocked an 8:19.64. Harris will take on scullers from Zimbabwe, Moldova, Denmark and Cyprus in the first C/D semifinal. The top three scullers will move on to the C final for overall places 13-18.
The men's double sculls duo of Clay Rybus (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Sea Base) and Sean Rybus (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Sea Base) finished fourth in their repechage and now will race in the C final for overall places 13-18. With three to advance, the Rybus brothers used a strong middle 1,000 meters to move into the third and final qualification spot as the crews hit the 1,500-meter mark, but South Africa was able to respond to the Americans' move and reclaim the last spot in the A/B semifinals. Ireland won the race in a 6:34.12, finishing ahead of Slovenia and South Africa. The U.S. clocked a 6:41.63.
The women's double sculls crew of Olivia Meskan (Aledo, Ill./Y Quad Cities) and Ella Saunders (North Liberty, Iowa/Y Quad Cities) also finished fourth in their repechage and will race in the C/D semifinals. With two to advance to the semifinals, Russia got off the line in first before The Netherlands walked away with the victory. Canada was able to overtake Russia in the third 500 meters to earn the second qualification spot. The Dutch boat finished with a time of 7:17.08. The U.S. sat in fourth position the entire way down the course, finishing with a time of 7:35.02. Meskan and Saunders will take on crews from Romania, Croatia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in the first C/D semifinal, with the top three finishers moving on to the C final for overall places 13-18.
Two U.S. crews will get the chance to race for the first time in Plovdiv during Friday's preliminary races for lanes.
The women's four with coxswain of Victoria Grieder (Windermere, Fla./Orlando Area Rowing Society), Julia Veith (Philadelphia, Pa./Whitemarsh Boat Club), Jane Cox (San Diego, Calif./San Diego Rowing Club), Imogen Cabot (Cambridge, Mass./The Winsor School) and Quincy Stone (San Francisco, Calif./Marin Rowing Association) will race against crews from Germany, Italy, Ukraine and South Africa in their race for lanes. The five crews will line up again on Sunday for the final.
The women's eight of Lauren Peters (Knoxville, Tenn./Atomic Rowing), Nora Goodwillie (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Rowing Foundation), Sofia Simone (Miami, Fla./Sarasota Crew), Julietta Camahort (San Francisco, Calif./Marin Rowing Association), Mia Levy (Des Moines, Iowa/Andover Crew), Sophia Klessel (Bronxville, N.Y./RowAmerica Rye), Paloma Sequeira (Cambridge, Mass./Community Rowing, Inc.), Cate Van Stone (Philadelphia, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) and Elsa Hartman (Roseville, Calif./Capital Crew) will race against boats from Spain, Romania, Germany and Italy in their race for lanes. The women's eight final also will be held on Sunday.
Nearly 600 rowers from 43 nations are competing in the five-day regatta. Racing continues on Friday with the remaining repechages, C/D semifinals and preliminary races. Saturday's schedule includes the A/B semifinals, as well as the C and D finals. The A and B finals are scheduled for Sunday.
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