Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crash-Bs 2011: Some Familiar Surprises

This past Sunday marked the 30th annual Crash-B Indoor Rowing World Championships, and there were some very familiar faces mixed in with a host of new ones in Boston. The University of Washington men dominated the Open event, with two elite level finishes from Conlin McCabe (overall winner in 5:48.0) and Hans Struzyna (second place overall in 5:52.6 -- he managed this while standing only 6'2" tall and weighing in at 185 lbs, according to the UW website). Is it just me, or is this maybe a statement about UW's intentions after last year's narrow defeat at the IRA?

New York Athletic Club member and World Champion Jamie Koven showed that he still has much rowing ahead of him, crushing the Men's Masters (30-39) event in a time of 5:57 flat. This would be quite an achievement at any age, and is especially outstanding given the constraints his career places on his schedule. Outside of Koven, there was a noticeable lack of current men's US National Team members at the 'ergatta,' which is likely due to their recent move(s) to OKC and San Diego, though the lack of international representation in the Open event is difficult to understand.

Last year's Men's Collegiate Lightweight winner, Greg Flood, repeated as champion and was again the top American finisher in the Lightweight category. Perhaps the most impressive part of this accomplishment is the level of improvement. Last year, Flood won the event in a time of 6:19.2, just ahead of Harvard lightweight Austin Meyer, who crossed the line in 6:19.9. This year, however, Flood left no doubt. The Notre Dame lightweight improved his winning time from last season by nearly seven seconds, taking 4th overall, 2nd in the U23 category, and winning the collegiate event in a time of 6:12.8, ahead of current US National Team member Nick LaCava (6:13.1), and Italian Olympian Marcello Miani (6:13.5). Not only this, but 6:12.8 would have won the Oklahoma City Riversport Erg Race (home to the US NT lightweight men's program) by over six seconds. Harvard Freshman lightweight Andrew Campbell turned in a fantastic performance as well, coming across the line in 6:19.4, and Will Newell (also of Harvard) took second in the collegiate event, finishing in a very impressive 6:15 flat. All this ought to make this year's Princeton v. Harvard showdown one to watch this Spring.

Congrats to all who participated -- certainly a great showing and much to look forward to in the coming months! Now, we can anticipate seeing some of these same names at the NSRs, selection camps, and international regattas this summer.

Official Results from Crash-Bs, and the Oklahoma Riversport Erg Race.

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