Three United States' crews - the women's lightweight pair, women's lightweight single sculls, and the men's lightweight eight - won their opening heats Tuesday at the 2000 FISA Junior and Non-Olympic Senior World Rowing Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. The senior non-Olympic events began Tuesday, while the junior events get started on Wednesday.
The women's lightweight pair of Stacey Borgman (Homer, Alaska) and Catherine Humblet (Cambridge, Mass.) dominated its heat, clocking a time of 7:35.49 to defeat the German duo by 18.5 seconds. Borgman and Humblet, who are both competing at their first world championships, advanced directly to Sunday's final. Great Britain won the second heat in a time of 7:40.21. Borgman and Humblet are trying to follow in the footsteps of Linda Muri and Rachel Anderson by giving the U.S. its second consecutive world title in the event.
The men's lightweight eight also advanced directly to Sunday's final with a victory in its heat. The crew of coxswain Josh Fien-Helfman (Washington, D.C.), Chris Tevis (Brookfield, Wis.), Bill Fedyna (Maple Glen, Pa.), Gus Maclaurin (Peterborough, N.Y.), Steve Warner (Livonia, Mich.), Erik Miller (Renton, Wash.), Gabe Winkler (St. Johnsbury, Vt.), Martin Schwartz (Pottersville, N.J.), and John Cashman (Sausalito, Calif.) stroked a 5:44.74 to defeat Australia by 2.3 seconds. Great Britain won the second heat in a time of 5:44.30. Like the women's lightweight pair, the 2000 version of the U.S. men's lightweight eight is trying to duplicate last year's gold medal in the event.
In the women's lightweight single, Lisa Schlenker (Portland, Ore.), last year's silver medalist in the event, stroked a 7:55.05 to win her heat by 2.68 seconds. With the victory, Schlenker advanced directly to Friday's semifinals.
The men's four with coxswain and the women's lightweight quadruple sculls both finished second in their heats, advancing directly to Friday's semifinals. The men's four with coxswain clocked a 6:18.96 to finish less than one second behind the crew from the Czech Republic, while the women's light quad stroked a 6:45.63 to finish 1.07 seconds behind Austria. U.S. crews won gold medals in both events last year.
Five U.S. crews will have to compete in Wednesday afternoon's repechages, or second-chance races, for the right to advance to the semifinals or finals. The men's pair with coxswain finished second in its heat, finishing 0.59 seconds behind France and an automatic berth in the finals. The women's four finished third in its heat in a time of 6:56.31, as did men's lightweight single sculler Marcus Millard (Atlanta, Ga.). Millard clocked a 7:21.17. Both the men's lightweight pair and the men's lightweight quadruple sculls finished fifth in their heats.
The 2000 FISA Junior and Non-Olympic Senior World Rowing Championships continue Wednesday with opening heats in the junior events and repechages in the senior non-Olympic events. Repechages in the junior events take place Thursday, while semifinals in all events take place Friday. Finals in the junior events will be held Saturday, while finals in the senior events will be held Sunday. In the Olympic year, the Olympic Games serve as the world championships for all Olympic-class boats.