World cup berths in the men's and women's single sculls are on the line starting Tuesday as USRowing's 2022 National Selection Regatta 1 and Senior/Para Speed Order gets underway at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.
While the regatta features racing across nine boat classes, the men's and women's singles are the only two with world cup spots up for grabs. The winners of those two events will earn the right to race at World Rowing Cup 2 in Poznan, Poland, where a top-six finish, or top 50 percent finish if there are fewer than 12 entries, would earn the athletes the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the event at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
In the women's single, 37 scullers are scheduled to race including Texas Rowing Center's Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), a two-time Olympian who finished ninth in the event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. ARION's Kristi Wagner (Weston, Mass./Yale University), who finished fifth in the double sculls in Tokyo, also returns to the field, as do fellow Olympians Cicely Madden (Weston, Mass./Brown University) and Alie Rusher (West Bend, Wis./Stanford University), who raced in the quadruple sculls at last year's Games. Madden and Rusher's Cambridge Boat Club teammate, Emily Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I./Princeton University), is back after missing last year due to injury. Kallfelz is a three-time World Rowing Under 23 Championships medalist in the event. Boston Rowing Federation's Maggie Fellows (Warwick, Mass./St. Lawrence University) reached the final in the single at last year U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Rowing.
The men's single sculls field includes 31 athletes. California Rowing Club's Ben Davison (Inverness, Fla./University of Washington), who finished fourth as part of the men's eight at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will be jumping back into the single for NSR1. Davison raced the single at four World Rowing Under 23 Championships and has competed in the double sculls at the senior level at two World Rowing Championships. Ten-time national team member and 2012 Olympian Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich./University of Michigan) will be in action representing San Diego Rowing Club. Peszek just missed making the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after finishing third in the pair at the World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta (FOQR). Texas Rowing Center's Kevin Cardno (Huntsville, Ala./ University of Alabama, Huntsville) and Jonathan Kirkegaard (Philadelphia, Pa./Purdue University) won the double sculls at last year's U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Rowing before racing at last year's FOQR, while California Rowing Club's Sorin Koszyk (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./Cornell University) and Penn AC's Eliot Putnam (Littleton, Mass./Cornell University) were part of the quadruple sculls that raced at the FOQR.
'21 Olympian Ben Davison
While world cup selection is taking place in the two NSR events, the remaining speed order events provide rowers the opportunity to test their speed early in the season.
Twelve athletes are scheduled to race in the lightweight men's single sculls. Texas Rowing Center's Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y./University of Virginia) and Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz./University of Pennsylvania) teamed up to win the lightweight men's double sculls at last year's U.S. Olympic Team Trials before racing at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. Both are scheduled to race in Sarasota. New York Athletic Club's Sam Melvin (Huntington Beach, Calif./Columbia University), who won a gold medal in the lightweight single at the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, is also entered in the event, as is two-time national team member Hugh McAdam (Hollis, N.H./Washington College).
In the lightweight women's single sculls, Olympian Molly Reckford (Short Hills, N.J./Dartmouth College) headlines a field of nine rowers. Rowing out of Sarasota Crew, Reckford finished fifth in the lightweight double sculls at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, missing a medal by less than one second. The field also includes Reckford's Sarasota Crew teammate, Sarah Maietta (Wayland, Mass./Boston University), who is a two-time medalist at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Vesper Boat Club's Solveig Imsdahl (Scheelholz, Germany/Cornell University) is a two-time Under 23 National Team member and was a member of the 2019 Pan American Games squad.
In the PR3 women's pair, Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart University) and Molly Moore (Indianapolis, Ind./Harvard College) are the lone boat scheduled to race. The duo will earn an automatic berth to the PR3 mixed four with coxswain selection camp later this year. Smith is a seven-time national team member, having won a silver medal in the PR3 (formerly legs, trunk, and arms) mixed four with coxswain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Smith has won two gold medals at the world championships in the PR3 women's pair including in 2019 with Moore.
Moore is also scheduled to race in the PR3 women's single sculls. The 2019 National Team member will race against Pearl Outlaw (Charlottesville, Va./Ithaca College), a two-time national team member and 2019 bronze medalist in the PR3 mixed double sculls.
Outlaw is also racing in the PR3 mixed double event with Todd Vogt (Rochester, N.Y./University of Buffalo). The duo will be racing Smith and Andrew Wigren (Providence, R.I./Hobart College) in the two-boat field. Wigren and Vogt are doubling up in the PR3 men's single sculls event as well. The two raced together in the PR3 men's pair at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.
Lake Casitas Rowing Association's Russell Gernaat (Redwood City, Calif.) is the lone entry in the PR2 men's single sculls. Gernaat finished 10th in the PR2 mixed double sculls at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games last summer.
Racing runs from Tuesday through Friday and will follow a new, six-lane progression system. Tuesday's racing features finals in all of the Para rowing boat categories and the time trials in all remaining events. Wednesday features repechage racing in the men's and women's single sculls, with Thursday's schedule featuring semifinals and C, D, E, and F-level placement finals in the open weight singles. Friday's schedule includes A and B finals in the men's and women's open and lightweight single sculls.
The 2022 World Rowing Championships are scheduled for September 18-25 in Racice, Czech Republic.