Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Day of Finals Golden for Team USA at Final Olympic Qualification Regatta

Not only did the U.S. national team go three-for-three on Tuesday with respect to qualifying for the Games in London, the squad did so in style, winning the W2x, LM4- and M8+ in convincing fashion. Women's double combination Sarah Trowbridge (Michigan) and Margot Shumway (The Ohio State University) led from wire to wire, edging out to what became a 1.5 second advantage as they crossed the line in a time of 7:03.96. Not do be outdone, the new-look U.S. lightweight men's four, made up of Robin Prendes (Princeton), Will Newell (Harvard), Nick LaCava (Columbia), and Anthony Fahden (Dartmouth)–'The Ivy Four,' as Susan Francia dubbed the crew via Twitter–made the most of the second 1000m and won the final following an outstanding sprint, coming from third to win by just over one tenth of a second ahead of The Netherlands (6:01.85 to 6:01.99 for the Dutch). While these athletes are experienced, with LaCava and Newell having raced in the LM8+, and Prendes and Fahden in the LM4- in Bled last year, this was a very impressive performance given the fact that this lineup was untested prior to racing in Lucerne.

Another untested but very competitive lineup was that of the U.S. men's eight. The crew of Giuseppe Lanzone (Washington), Will Miller (Northeastern), Ross James (Wisconsin), Brett Newlin (Washington), Jake Cornelius (Stanford), Steve Kasprzyk (Drexel), David Banks (Stanford), and Grant James (Wisconsin), and coxed by Zach Vlahos (California), won a walk-away victory in the race for lanes on Sunday, moving out to an eight-second margin over the field. The final today saw the U.S. move out to a significant lead early, though the crew from New Zealand fought very well to hang on, chasing the U.S. throughout and this time finishing roughly a length off the U.S. crew. USA crossed the line in 5:36.11, with New Zealand across in 5:40.02, and France trailing in 5:46.35. With the victory, the men's eight (pictured here via Twitter thanks to Laura Fell of FISA) has punched its ticket for London, and will likely already be shifting its focus for the upcoming Games.

Tomorrow, three more U.S. crews will look to qualify. The lightweight men's double of Andrew Campbell (Harvard) and Will Daly (Boston University) has been impressive from the start, and took second in their semi behind former world champions Hungary to advance to the final. Gevvie Stone  (Princeton) has looked very strong throughout the regatta in the W1x, and the combination of Warren Anderson (Loyola Marymount University) and Sam Stitt (Rutgers) looks to be extremely competitive as well, tying a crew from Azerbaijan for first place in their semi this morning–the Azerbaijani entry includes World Cup I A Finalist Aleksandar Aleksandrov, who took fifth in the M1x in Belgrade.

More to come as it becomes available.

-RR

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