BOSTON – USRowing will have several boats competing this weekend at the 2003 Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. Now in its 39th year, the Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing event. The regatta consists of 48 races, 24 for women and 24 for men, and includes races for athletes of all ages and skill levels.
Last year, USRowing’s men’s and women’s eights won the championship event in their respective categories. For the men, it was their eighth consecutive Head of the Charles title. This year, the men’s eight is coming off of a silver-medal performance at the 2003 FISA World Rowing Championships in Milan, Italy. The crew of coxswain Pete Cipollone (Ardmore, Pa.), Jon Watling (Greenwich, Conn.), Joey Hansen (Bakersfield, Calif.), Jeff Klepacki (Kearny, N.J.), Bryan Volpenhein (Cincinnati, Ohio), Wolf Moser (Moultonboro, N.H.), Mike Wherley (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Jason Read (Ringoes, N.J.), and Ryan Torgerson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), which finished just 1.02 seconds behind Canada in Milan, will be looking to make it nine victories in a row in Boston.
As always, the USRowing boat will face some stiff competition, this year from two crews of national team teammates. USRowing’s Princeton Training Center entry of coxswain Marcus McElhenney (Lansdowne, Pa.), Dan Walsh (Norwalk, Conn.), Brian McDonough (Spring, Texas), Steve Warner (Livonia, Mich.), Jamie Schroeder (Wilmette, Ill.), Matt Deakin (San Francisco, Calif.), Chris Liwski (Sarasota, Fla.), Garrett Klugh (Los Angeles, Calif.), and Paul Teti (Upper Darby, Pa.) includes eight members of the 2003 World Championships squad. McElhenney, McDonough and Deakin won gold medals as part of the four with coxswain, while Walsh, Schroeder, and Klugh were members of the four. Teti and Warner made up the stern pair of the lightweight four. Only Liwski, who helped the U.S. win a gold medal in the eight at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic, did not compete in Milan. USRowing’s San Diego Training Center entry also includes several national team members. Chris Ahrens (Whitefish Bay, Wis.), a 2000 Olympian and the stroke of the three-time world champion U.S. men’s eight from 1997-99, will begin his comeback by stroking the San Diego Training Center crew. His boatmates include Justin Bosley (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.), Eric Mueller (Cedarburg, Wis.), Mark Flickinger (Big Flats, N.Y.), Beau Hoopman (Plymouth, Wis.), Wyatt Allen (Portland, Maine), John Cranston (San Francisco, Calif.), and Paul Daniels (Burlington, Wis.). Bosley, Hoopman, Cranston, and Daniels all won gold in the eight at the Pan American Games, while Flickinger and Allen raced at the world championships in the four and quadruple sculls, respectively. Mueller, a five-time national team member and 1996 Olympic silver medalist, did not race internationally this summer due to illness.
In the women’s championship eight race, USRowing is looking for its third consecutive victory. The USRowing entry of Mary Whipple (Sacramento, Calif.), Anna Mickelson (Bellevue, Wash.), Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.), Jen Dore-Terhaar (Kearny, N.J.), Ali Cox (Turlock, Calif.), Megan Dirkmaat (San Jose, Calif.), Maite Urtasun (Riverside, N.J.), Katie Hammes (La Crosse, Wis.), and Sam Magee (Simsbury, Conn.) includes seven members of the women’s eight that finished fifth at the 2003 World Championships. Davies won a gold medal in the four in Milan, while Hammes raced in the pair. The duo joins the crew for Sunday’s race. In addition to the Canadian National Team, USRowing’s toughest challenge will come from its Princeton Training Center teammates. The PTC boat of Sarah Whipple (Sacramento, Calif.), Liane Malcos (Carlisle, Mass.), Lianne Nelson (Seattle, Wash.), Kara Nykreim (Kirkland, Wash.), Whitney Webber (Sacramento, Calif.), Michelle Guerette (Bristol, Conn.), Wendy Wilbur (East Bridgewater, Mass.), Kate MacKenzie (Novi, Mich.), and Dana Peirce (Richmond, Va.) includes seven 2003 National Team members. Malcos, Wilbur, and Webber won gold medals in the four in Milan, while Guerette raced in the eight, Nelson raced in the pair, and Nykreim and Peirce served as alternates. MacKenzie, the 2002 USRowing Female Athlete of the Year, returns to competition after missing the 2003 season with an injury, while Sarah Whipple, the sister of national team coxswain Mary Whipple, makes her first appearance for a PTC boat.
In addition to the eights, USRowing will have one entry in the men’s championship four and two entries in the women’s championship double sculls. The men’s four entry is made up almost entirely of world champions. The four rowers – Luke McGee (Madison, Conn.), Jason Flickinger (Big Flats, N.Y.), Dan Beery (Oaktown, Ind.), and Matt Rich (Duluth, Minn.) – all won gold in Milan, with McGee and Flickinger winning the four with coxswain and Beery and Rich winning the pair with coxswain. The crew will face top boats from Canada and Germany.
In the women’s championship double sculls, PTC’s Hilary Gehman (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and Kelly Salchow (Cincinnati, Ohio) are the two-time defending champions in the event. Gehman raced in the quadruple sculls at the 2003 World Championships, while Salchow raced in the double sculls. Both are 2000 Olympians. Their toughest competition in Boston should come from the PTC lightweight tandem of Lisa Schlenker (Lake Oswego, Ore.) and Rachel Anderson (Darien, Conn.). The duo finished fourth in the lightweight double sculls at the 2003 World Championships, just missing a medal. Several other past national team members, including 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Garner (Madison, Wis.), are scheduled to compete in the event.
In addition to the PTC boats, several current and former national team members are racing in other events. In the men’s championship single sculls, Mike Perry (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the 2003 National Team representative in the single, is the No. 1 seed. Perry finished third in the event at last year’s Head of the Charles. Other past U.S. National Team members competing include Aquil Abdullah (Washington, D.C.), Kent Smack (Clinton, N.J.), J. Sloan DuRoss (Old Orchard Beach, Maine), Grant Nichols (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dave Friedericks (Port Townsend, Wash.), Luke Walton (Poway, Calif.), Henry Nuzum (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Adam Holland (Philadelphia, Pa.), Don Smith (North Tonawanda, N.Y.), Conal Groom (Northford, Conn.), and Cyrus Beasley (Newburyport, Mass.). In addition, Estonia’s Juri Jaansen, a former world championships medalist in the event, is scheduled to compete. In the women’s championship single sculls, 2003 National Team member Kristin Goodrich (Portola Valley, Calif.) is the No. 2 seed. She will be starting right behind 2003 World Champion Rumyana Neykova from Bulgaria. Other past national team members competing in the event include Carol Skricki (Norwood, Mass.), Catherine Humblet (Cambridge, Mass.), Cindy Bishop (Atlanta, Ga.), Stacey Borgman (Homer, Alaska), Katie Madigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Mary Obidinski (Oneonta, N.Y.), and Jennifer Devine (Portland, Ore.).
In the lightweight championship single sculls, seven former national team members are scheduled to compete. Michael Aller (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stephen Arthur-Wong (Orlando, Fla.) were members of the 2003 World Championships squad, while Gavin Frase (Orinda, Calif.), John Kennel (Rochester, N.Y.) and Judah Rome (Somerville, Mass.) all raced at the 2003 Pan American Games. Eric Wilhelm (Essex, Mass.) and Sean Wolf (New Haven, Conn.) were national team members in previous years. In the lightweight women’s single sculls, 2003 National Team member Julia Nichols (Livermore, Calif.) is the fifth seed, while former national team member Grace Royalty is the fourth seed. Canadians Fiona Milne, Gen Meredith, and Shona McLaren are the top three seeds.
While there are no PTC entries in the men’s double sculls, three national team members are scheduled to race. Lightweights Tom Paradiso (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Andrew Liverman (Oakton, Va.) will be racing together starting in the ninth position, while 2002 World Championships silver medalist Dana Schmunk (Chelsea, Mich.) will be racing with Jack Nunn (Rolling Hills, Calif.) from the No. 3 slot.