Five Crews Named to U.S. National Teams at Junior and Para-Rowing World Championships Trials
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Six Para-rowing athletes punched their tickets to the 2015 World Rowing Championships, while one junior crew accepted its bid to the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships following the first round of finals Monday morning at the U.S. Junior and Para-Rowing World Championships Trials on Mercer Lake.
Winners of the four Para-rowing events were nominated to the team that will compete August 29-Sept. 6, in Aiguebelette, France.
In the legs, trunk and arms mixed double sculls, Community Rowing’s Natalie McCarthy (Seattle, Wash.) and 2008 Paralympic silver medalist Jesse Karmazin (Washington, D.C.) edged out Three Rivers Rowing Association’s Aidan Porter and Ellen Sheppard for the win. McCarthy and Karmazin crossed in a 4:41.07 to Porter and Sheppard’s 4:59.81.
“I had been on Jesse for a year and half to get him to come out and row,” said McCarthy, who won bronze in the event at the 2013 World Rowing Championships. “It just worked, things fell into place fairly quickly. I think our race was fine; we certainly have our work cut out for us in the coming weeks, but we came out and did what we had to do which was cross the finish line first.”
“It’s nice to be back,” said Karmazin. “I really missed rowing, really love the sport. I took a break and started training again in the last year. Our goal between now and worlds is to get fast. We have a few things to work on.”
In the men’s arms and shoulders single sculls, Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) completed the course in a time of 5:12.34. Haxton finished fourth in the event at the 2014 World Rowing Championships.
“My time was where I expected it to be,” said Haxton. “It was a little slower than worlds last year. The conditions turned into a little bit of a head wind, so I think that added a couple seconds.”
A former triathlon and curling national team member, this is Kapinowki’s sixth U.S. team, and second in the sport of rowing. She finished ninth in the trunk and arms double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. After being diagnosed with cancer last year, USRowing Director of Para-Rowing Tom Darling reached out and encouraged her to get re-classified into the arms and shoulders category.
“I feel really honored,” said Kapinowski. “I never thought I would be back in the boat following 2011. It’s a great pleasure to come back after four years and the progression of my disease. I didn’t have a very good row today, but it was great to get out there and cross the finish line.”
Also making a comeback after seven years is Beijing Paralympian Scott Brown (Collingdale, Pa.) of Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, rowing the trunk and arms mixed double with Sarasota County Rowing Club newcomer Betsy Irwin Mitchell (Sarasota, Fla.). Brown and Mitchell completed the course Monday morning in a 4:37.07.
“It’s been a lot of work,” said Brown. “I’m seven years older than I was when I competed in Beijing. Conditionally, I’m getting stronger, getting faster. I’m not quite happy with my time today, but hopefully we’ll get it together and get it rolling in France. Being a national team veteran, there are fewer surprises. Having those years behind me, I know what to expect at the starting line and I can help Betsy through that.”
Following Monday morning’s Para-rowing finals, six junior events were contested in a best two-of-three finals format, with winners earning bids to the 2015 World Junior Rowing Championships August 6-9, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The first junior crew accomplished that task Monday morning, as USRowing Sculling Selection Camp’s Elise Beuke (Sequim, Wash.) and Isabella Stricker (Detroit, Mich.) completed the course uncontested to earn their spot on the U.S. Junior National Team in the junior women’s double sculls. Beuke and Stricker finished with a time of 7:38.94.
In the junior men’s double sculls, the composite crew of Narragansett’s Jack Luby (Barrington, R.I.) and Culver Academies’ Joe Sterner (Chicago, Ill.) won the first final in a 6:46.20. Luby and Sterner recorded the top time of Sunday evening’s time trials and will look for a win in tonight’s second round of finals in order to secure their national team berth.
Also coming off of a win in Sunday evening’s time trials, junior women’s single sculler from USRowing Sculling Selection Camp, Eliza Kallfelz (Jamestown, R.I.), won Monday morning’s first final in an 8:13.64. On the men’s side, Andrew Morley (Seattle, Wash.), rowing unaffiliated, won the first final.
In the junior women’s pair USRowing Junior Women’s High Performance Camp’s Margaret Dawson (Annapolis, Md.) and Arianna Lee (Folsom, Calif.) won the first final in 7:50.90. On the men’s side, Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Oliver Bub (Westport, Conn.) and Lucas Manning (Westport, Conn.) won with a time of 7:10.60.
Monday’s second round of finals will begin at 6:10 p.m. and will be live-streamed on USRowing’s YouTube Channel. Third finals, if necessary, will be contested Tuesday morning. For complete results, click here.