On Friday last week, I wrote to Megan Kalmoe asking her a number of questions regarding the changes made to the US Rowing program. Despite her busy schedule, she took the time to write back with some clear answers. The information is summarized below:
First, all selection regattas will continue to be held at Mercer Lake, West Windsor, NJ. US Rowing's view is that fewer athletes from US Rowing Training Centers will attend these regattas in the future -- boats will more commonly be selected via the camp system, prior to the NSRs. Given this, they will send only a limited amount of athletes to these events, to finalize selection.
Regarding the separation of the men's heavyweight and lightweight teams, Kalmoe said that her feeling is that there is currently insufficient space to run two programs out of the Arco facility. Apparently, many of the heavyweight men will already have to seek offsite housing, as the their number exceeds that of the available residency spots. By making use of both facilities, US Rowing will ease the pressure on the athletes with regard to accommodations, as room and board can be subsidized for a greater number of athletes. Also, OKC is the permanent residence of John Parker, who leads the lightweight program.
Finally, having spoken with the athletes themselves, Kalmoe feels that the US men are optimistic about the changes, despite the challenges that those changes present. Kalmoe says that they are willing to make the sacrifices necessary with regards to moving and sorting out travel, and are eager to put the advantages that each of the training centers afford them to good use.
Thanks very much to Megan Kalmoe, and as more information becomes available I will continue to spread the word.