Olympics: Rowing

Watch: Serena wins, women's eight repeat

August, 2, 2012

ESPN.com's Prim Siripipat and Bonnie D. Ford discuss Serena Williams advancing to the semifinals, the women's eight winning its second straight gold medal and London's mayor getting stuck on a zip line:


U.S. women's eight to sport familiar roster

June, 23, 2012

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The United States' women's eight for the London Olympics will feature six members from the crew that won the same event at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Coxswain Mary Whipple and rowers Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro will all be bidding for their second straight gold medal.

Also in the lineup announced Friday are Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel and Esther Lofgren. The crew heads to London defending a six-year unbeaten record and will be favored for the gold medal.

Logan and Cafaro have been racing in the women's pair this year, qualifying the boat for the Olympics at the first World Cup regatta. They declined the chance to row in the pair in London.

The United States started strongly on the opening day of the rowing competition at the Pan American Games, finishing with two silver medals.

Megan Smith and Meg George finished just behind the Argentine duo of Maria Best and Maria Abalo, who won in a 7:24.57.

“Going into the final, Megan and I knew we had a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said George. “Argentina and Canada are smart racers and we expect[ed] to have to fight for every inch.”

"It was a push right from the beginning," said Smith. "We went out wanting to get ahead, and stay there. We were able to maintain that for quite a while and went at it as hard as we could. It was the best race we could have rowed today."

The women’s double sculls crew of Catherine Reddick and Megan Walsh also won silver for the U.S., crossing the line just after Cuba.

"I think our race was really solid," said Walsh. "It's been our most solid 2k, all out, put together performance. I think it was a good way to end. We just put our heads down and went for it."

The men’s team of Andrew Quinn and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg finished fourth in the final of the men’s double sculls.

Jason Read named flag bearer for Pan Ams

October, 12, 2011

Olympic rower Jason Read was selected as the flag bearer for Team USA for the opening ceremony for the Pan Am Games, set to begin Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico.

"I've been fortunate as an athlete to achieve a great deal, but this is something entirely different," Read said in a statement released by the USOC on Wednesday. "To lead our team into the stadium, carrying the flag of the United States of America, is humbling, to say the least. I'm thrilled by this honor and grateful to my teammates for selecting me."

Teresa Edwards, a five-time Olympian in basketball, will also be one of eight athletes to carry the Pan American Sports Organization flag into the opening ceremony.

U.S. rowing looks to London after worlds

September, 7, 2011
The United States rowing team closed a chapter at the 2011 World Rowing Championships with nine boats qualified for the London Olympics and four medals.

In the first chance for nations to qualify boats for the 2012 Games, the U.S. locked in the men's single sculls, the men's and women's quadruple sculls, women's lightweight double sculls, women's eight, the men's four, and the men's and women's pair.

[+] EnlargeUS Women's Rowing
Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesSarah Zelenka, Kara Kohler, Emily Regan and Sara Hendershot pose with their gold medals after winning the women's four final at the world rowing championships.
"We're really happy to have qualified the boats we did, when you look at who did not qualify in certain events," women's head coach Tom Terhaar said in a statement released by U.S. Rowing. "We're relieved and excited that we can just focus on the Olympics now."

The remaining boats including the men's eight, the men's and women's double sculls, the women's single sculls, lightweight men's double sculls and the lightweight men's four will now race at the Olympic Qualification Regatta scheduled for May 20-23, 2012, in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The women's eight and four took home gold, the women's quadruples sculls took silver and the lightweight women's quad took bronze.

Men's coach Tim McLaren was happy with his team's accomplishments, despite the fact that the men's four was the only Olympic-class boat that reached a final and did not have to qualify from the B final.

"It's a credit to the guys," McLaren said. "You have new people in crews every year and we're up against some very established combinations and systems. I think the guys have performed really credibly -- the men and the women.

"We're improving in some areas. Unfortunately, the eight will be the real kicker. That is our biggest concern. But it's good for the pair to get through, the quad to get though, and the four. We've had some impressive racing. That next step is a big one."


Women's quad wins silver medal at worlds

September, 1, 2011
Charging from fourth to second place, the U.S. women's quad won a silver medal on Thursday to give the United States its first medal at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

The crew finished with a time of 6:19.90, just 1.53 seconds behind first-place finisher Germany.

"I just couldn't even believe it," Adrienne Martelli said, according to a release by US Rowing. "I was just so, so happy and so proud of everybody. It was a great race and I can't even believe it. I'm so excited I'm pretty speechless, really.

"We had a really aggressive start and I think at one point, Stesha [Carle] called that we were in two seat [of the German boat]. Everyone could just feel the boat pick up right from there. We knew we were right in it and just had to keep pushing. It was hard fought and we finished pretty close to the Germans. So that's something to look forward to next year."

Earlier in the day, the U.S. men's eight crew was disappointed with a second place finish in the B final, which prevented them from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. Their only other chance to qualify is the second-chance qualifying regatta in May.

"No excuses," Nareg Guregian said. "We lost. I feel like we let down our country."

Falling behind from the start, the men rowed from fifth place into second but never challenged Ukraine for the win.

"It's disappointing," Henrik Rummel said. "We don't know what happened. We were fast at Lucerne and we lost speed in the last week. I don't know where it went. I don't know what's wrong, but we lost speed."

The women's pair crew of Kady Glessner and Caryn Davies secured a spot in London with second place finish in the B final, which earned them the final qualifying spot.


No room for error for U.S. men's eight crew

August, 31, 2011
The U.S. men's eight crew left itself little room for error after it failed to advance to the finals at the 2011 World Rowing Championships on Wednesday.

The crew must win Friday's B final or wait for the second-chance qualifying regatta in May to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.

"We've got to win the small final to salvage something out of this," men's head coach Tim McLaren said, according to a release from US Rowing. "Sometimes you work twice as hard and go slow. We'll see what they have to say."

McLaren held a 30-minute team meeting in the United States' tent after the race. The athletes emerged from the tent with grim looks on their faces afterwards.

"This regatta is not over," 10-year national team veteran Dan Walsh said. "We have to qualify this boat for the Olympics and that's the most important thing right now. So everyone is going to have to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and go out and race as hard as they can tomorrow. We've got to step it up. Next year is the one that really counts. We have to qualify this boat for the USA."


U.S. crew close to locking up Olympic spot

August, 30, 2011
The United States women's quadruple sculls crew set itself up to become the first U.S. boat to qualify for the London Olympics.

In a furious race through choppy water on Tuesday, the U.S. crew overcame an early lead by Great Britain, then exchanged leads with China through the final 50 meters of the race before crossing the finish line 0.12 seconds ahead of China for the win.

They will race in the finals at the 2011 World Rowing Championships on Thursday. The only way the crew does not qualify for the Olympics is if it does not finish Thursday's race. The world championships are the first opportunity for nations to qualify crews for the 2012 Games. But, specific athletes won't be selected until next spring.

"Obviously, it's an honor to qualify the boat, but there is still a lot of work to be done Thursday and a lot of work to be done in the next year," Natalie Dell said in a statement released by US Rowing. "[Great Britain] was up for probably the first half of the race and then China came up in the last 500 [meters]. I don't know what happened after that.

"It was crazy out there. I thought, if it's this bad and we're leading, we must be doing something right."

Crews that fail to qualify for the Olympics at worlds will have another opportunity at the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, from May 20-23, 2012.

Also qualifying for the semifinals on Tuesday was the arms and shoulders men single sculls, the legs/trunk/arms mixed four with coxswain, the men's pair and the women's double sculls.


U.S. women's eight crew stays on course

August, 29, 2011
After falling behind Great Britain in the first few strokes, the U.S. women's eight crew took control and opened up a commanding lead to finish first at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

The U.S. beat Great Britain by almost six seconds with a time of 6:12.42. The victory puts the U.S. crew in Friday's finals and ensures a repeat showdown with Canada, which won the first heat in a time of 6:07.20.

The U.S. women's eight crew is trying to extend a five-year undefeated streak under coach Tom Terhaar that began at the 2006 World Rowing Championships.

"It was really exciting," Jamie Redman said of their race in Bled, Slovenia. "We've been waiting all summer to go to the line and it was just an absolutely brilliant experience. I think, as a crew, it was a really solid experience. There's a lot we can work on, but there's a lot of things we did really, really well. I'm really excited for Friday."

Redman added that they need to work on their start, but the patience and confidence of coxswain Mary Whipple helped them overcome.

"There are so many things going on at the start, that you just want to focus on your own boat and make sure we're doing everything we can to make our boat as fast as possible and stay as internal as possible. So we've got things to keep us moving and sticking together and we really trust and believe in that," Redman said.

"It was good because it was our heat and the first race with our lineup. We got some cob webs out and we're excited to race again on Friday."

(Read full post)



Women's crew looking for sixth straight title

August, 19, 2011
The U.S. women's eight with attempt to win its sixth consecutive title when the 2011 World Rowing Championships begin on Aug. 28.

While Great Britain, Romania, The Netherlands and Canada are expected to be top competitors in the event, the women's eight has dominated this summer with wins at the World Rowing Cup stop in Lucerne, Switzerland, and the Royal Henley Regatta in England.

The championships are the primary Olympic qualification regatta for the London Games and will feature more than 1,200 athletes from 68 nations. The event will be held on Lake Bled in Bled, Slovenia.

The United States is looking for a solid performance in all events with 58 past national team members and 15 Olympians on the 85-person roster.

The men's four is coming off of a bronze medal win in Lucerne, and the women's pair also won bronze in Lucerne and at the 2010 World Rowing Championships.

The women's eight crew includes four gold medalists from Beijing and seven members of last year's crew, which won the 2010 World Rowing Championships.


Familiar faces to represent U.S. rowing team

August, 18, 2011
After volatile weather delayed the start of the finals for more than an hour, five rowing Olympians earned berths in the 2011 Pan American Games on Thursday.

The trials determined 11 of the 14 crews that will represent the United States at the Pan American Games Oct. 15-19 in Guzman City, Mexico.

2008 Olympian Ken Jurkowski lead the men's single sculls from wire-to-wire on Mercer Lake and finished with a time of 6:57.56.

"Pan American Games are a good chance to get race experience against good competition," said Jurkowski in a statement released by USRowing.

His teammate in Beijing, Margot Shumway, won the women's single sculls in 7:41.09 at the West Windsor, N.J., event.

In the final of the men's four, the Penn A.C. crew beat USRowing Training Center -- Oklahoma City's.

"Everything I do as an athlete and everything that we do at the training center is to win an Olympic gold medal," said Jason Read, a member of the Penn A.C. crew. "This is one of many steps to try to get on the medal stand in London. There is no greater honor than representing your country in an international sporting event."

Read won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and is a 12-time national team member.


Rowing finals set for Pan Am Games Trials

August, 17, 2011
After two full days of rowing, the finals are set for the 2011 Pan American Games Trials.

In the first semifinal on Wednesday, Potomac Boat Club's William Cowles won the men's single sculls with a time of 7:05.40. Beijing Olympian Ken Jurkowski easily won the second semifinal with a time of 7:03.28. Jim Dietz II and Jonathon Greer also advanced to the finals.

Emily Huelskamp won the first repechage of the women's single in 8:01.20. Second-place finisher Meghan O'Leary advanced with a time of 8:06.44.

In one of the closest races of the day, Michael Sivigny and Deaglan McEachern won the repechage of the men's double with a time of 6:34.36, beating out Martin Etern and Ryan Shelton's time of 6:35.36.

The finals are scheduled for Thursday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

The trials determine the 11 teams that will represent the United States at the Pan American Games Oct. 15-19 in Guzman City, Mexico.

Rowing, Rowing

U.S. roster set for rowing worlds

August, 5, 2011
The U.S. national team roster for the World Rowing Championships was announced Friday.

The 90-person roster is made up of 58 past senior national team members, 15 Olympians and two Paralympians.

The world championships are the first opportunity for nations to qualify crews for the 2012 Olympic Games, but specific athletes won't be selected until next spring.

The U.S. has 26 crews competing at the tournament in Bled, Slovenia, scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 4.

At the 2010 world championships, the U.S. won four medals, including gold in the women's eight, silver in the lightweight women's quad and bronze in both the women's pair and women's four.

(Read full post)


Rowing, Rowing

The women's eight is the fastest event in women's rowing. It's also arguably the most prestigious and nuanced, and the United States has planted its flag there on the elite level, winning five straight World Championships through last year, an Olympic silver medal in 2004 and the gold in 2008 -- the first in the event (also known as the coxed eight) in 24 years. Power is obviously part of the criteria for selection to the crew, but successful combinations also have a hard-to-define alchemy. Winning in that charged team atmosphere, it turns out, can be habit-forming.

Two past U.S. Olympic medalists who thought they were through with the sport have found the lure too powerful to resist -- one after three months and one after almost six years. With 14 months to go before the London Games, veterans Susan Francia and Alison Cox are in residence with the national team in Princeton, N.J., preparing for the lead-up to World Championships, a team qualifying event for the Olympics. Both have upended their lives to compete for one of those elite eight spots next year.

"I was done after Beijing,'' Francia said, smiling at her own past certainty. A Hungarian-born former self-described awkward athlete from Abington, Pa., who was recruited for rowing in her sophomore year at the University of Pennsylvania, she wanted to put her sociology degree to good use. Francia moved to San Diego, where her boyfriend was serving in the Navy, and applied for dozens of jobs in public policy research and analysis. But her search coincided with the economic implosion of late 2008 and she got little response.

(Read full post)