Meet the U.S. Men's Eight, Headed to World Rowing Cup II in Varese
|Matt Miller (right) training with the U.S. men's eight (Screen capture)|
World Rowing Cup II is just around the corner, and the U.S. men's eight is gearing up to head over to Europe for their first international competition of this pre-Olympic year. And, thanks to the work of Mike Gennaro and Matt Miller, we've got an inside (read: banter-laden) look at just who these guys are donning the red, white, and blue in the big boat this season.
The video above, put together by UVa alum and U.S. men's eight six-seat Miller, features some behind-the-scenes shots of off-the-water competition (Nerf basketball chief among them), as well as some pretty epically cool time-lapse clips. The photos below come from a series that Gennaro put together—the first such series, as Gennaro will tell you—on each member of the crew. Enjoy.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next on the list: Sam Ojserkis Seat: Coxswain Nicknames: OJ; Sammy O College: University of Washington; University of Cambridge Fun Facts: Sammy O is the little guy in the group who sits up in the back of the boat steering and hollering at us. He's a part-time uber driver, cruising around the Princeton area in his mini van taxiing the locals around. He is a Jersey shore native, spending many of his youth summers selling umbrellas on the beach to shoobies. He's in charge of all of our data around here, crunching numbers every practice every day and organizing the results; his spreadsheets are legendary. OJ is like a bottom Jenga piece to our whole squad, this whole thing falls apart without him. He's also off the grid, I don't think he'll ever see this. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...nothing. And yes, those are his real sunglasses. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next up: Austin Hack @hackaustin Seat: Stroke Nickname: Big Baby College: Stanford University Fun Facts: In 2010, Austin won the coveted JUNIOR World Championships in the 8+. After stating that fun fact, any other information about Austin will just seem boring. For one season in middle school he led his basketball team in FT percentage, shooting 56% from the line. He's the youngest guy in the boat but also the tallest and can speak the most languages. I've been rowing with Austin since 2011 and I've never had a bad time being around the big guy, on or off the water. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next on the menu: Tom Peszek Seat: 7 Nickname: Tommy P; Pez College: University of Michigan Fun Facts: Tom is the oldest guy in the boat but nobody actually knows how old he is, I'm thinking either 27 or 31. It's better to be on his team than not because he's relentless, arrogant and always backs himself up; he's one of my favorite rowers of all-time to race with. Tom was in the 2012 Olympic 2- and was only one of two guys on the team that came from a college club program (Wes Piermarini; UMass). Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Second to last on the list: Matt Guy Miller @mattguymiller Seat: 6 Nickname: Milly College: University of Virginia Fun Facts: Matt was voted to have the best butt two years in a row by the UVA Women's rowing team. He puts WAY WAY WAY too much butter into his mac n cheese. He drives a crimson Hyundai Sinatra always stocked with post-practice animal crackers and he's happily engaged to the lovely @taylevine. Matt has great self control when shopping at Costco but not when he's eating Oreos. After starting the year off on a terrible, embarrassing losing streak in house wrestling matches against @akarwoski4, he's found his groove and he's on a serious hot streak; he hasn't lost a match vs. Al since April. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next up: Alex Karwoski @akarwoski4 Seat: 5 Nickname: Doesn't have one, doesn't need one. College: Cornell University Fun Facts: Al's brother @nickkarwoski trains with the U.S. Triathlon team. Their dad's name is actually 'Bear' and unfortunately happens to be cooler than the both of them. In his first ever at bat during Little League, his coach couldn't find him because he was at the snack bar. 6 days a week, Al suffers from undiagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder and undiagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, which forces him to do everything in his life at full press full speed. This guy finds the most efficient way from A to B and doesn't waste a second getting there. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next up: Tom Dethlefs @tomdethlefs Seat: 4 College: Yale University Nickname: Tommy Two Tracks; Dizzle Fun Facts: Every time Tom sits down in a boat, the first thing he does is move his tracks for an unnecessarily long time, even if he's been sitting in that same seat for months. Tommy is a small business owner; he runs a tutoring company in Princeton called Milestone Academic Counseling. He has a German passport and his most prized possession are his Nepalese party pants that his sister got him. He's also fluent in Chinese if the only word you need to say is "watermelon" (西瓜 - xīguā). He's one of the most reliable guys I know and he's had my back more times than I could ever count. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Next on the menu: Sam Dommer @samdommer Seat: 3 Nicknames: Sam; Dommer College: University of Washington Fun Facts: Sam was a four time National Champion at UW. I know nobody in this world that can fall asleep quicker than him and be more satisfied with a 7-9 minute power nap. You have to get a read on him in the morning before initiating conversation; he doesn't want to talk if he's not ready to talk. Confidence, composure, and execution is this dude's bread and butter, as well as bread and butter. He loves his bagels and butter. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. Last and least, narrated by some of my teammates 😑: Mike Gennaro Seat: 2 Nickname: Cherry Tree; Dumbo College: Syracuse University Fun Facts: Mike is the face of our squad and has a serious social media following. His goal in life is to become Twitter verified, so he can tweet official tweets to all his loving followers (note: if only he had as many friends in real life). On average, his guesses for "Guess How Many M&M's Are In The Jar" are off by about 300%. Mike takes his diet very seriously: he’ll only eat a cereal if it has a cartoon mascot on the box, and he always knows where to find the nearest McDonalds. He’s an avid ‘Cuse fan and loves Philly sports too, even though all those teams are consistently disappointing. Mike also prides himself on his collection of beer koozies, which he might let you borrow if you’re lucky enough to have a drink with a celebrity like him. We’re all #blessed to know Mike, if only he paid us as much attention as he does his phone. Note: the Meet the U.S. Men's WCII 8+© is in no way affiliated with any other fraudulent lists.
Meet the U.S. Men's 8+ heading to Italy for WCII next week. First on the menu: Rob Munn @bobcgunn Seat: Bow Nickname: Bobby Gunn College: University of Washington Fun Facts: You'll never find him without a piece of gum in his mouth. Living on the east coast in Princeton, NJ doesn't stop him from listening to Seattle sports talk radio every day. Nobody goes 0 to 100 any quicker because Bobby always starts at like 63-65 mph; guy never turns it off.
And there you have it—the U.S. men's eight on their way to #WRCVarese, coming up shortly. You can read more about the upcoming world cup via the official website of World Rowing.