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Fink, Jones, Masters Win 2012 Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials

by Allison Frederick | Mar 30, 2012
Racing at the 2012 Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials on Mercer Lake is complete following Friday’s finals. Two crews – the women’s arms-only single sculls and the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls – took the first step toward making the 2012 Paralympic team that will represent the United States at the Paralympic Games in London.
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Racing at the 2012 Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials on Mercer Lake is complete following Friday’s finals. Two crews – the women’s arms-only single sculls and the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls – took the first step toward making the 2012 Paralympic team that will represent the United States at the Paralympic Games in London.

Capital Adaptive Rowing Program’s Dana Fink (Washington, D.C.) won the women’s arms-only single, while the Athletes Without Limits/Louisville Rowing Club composite crew of Rob Jones (Lovettsville, Va.) and Oksana Masters (Khmelnitskyy, Ukraine) won the mixed double.

The winners earned the right to race at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta May 4-6 in Belgrade, Serbia. A top-two finish in each event then qualifies those athletes to the U.S. Paralympic team.

In the women’s arms-only single sculls, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Tricia Downing (Denver, Colo.) led for the first 300 meters of the 1,000-meter race course before Fink took the lead, posting a winning time of 6:46.8 to Downing’s 6:53.7.

“I tried to focus on me and what I can do to make this my best possible race,” said Fink. “I tried not to worry about the competition and it usually takes care of itself, essentially. I was actually behind (Downing) for about the first 300 (meters) and we went back and forth a little bit. Then I totally lost sight of her and didn’t really realize that I was winning until the very end.

“This is amazing to have this opportunity to go to Belgrade to try to qualify the boat. Hopefully the U.S. will have a (women’s arms–only single sculls) in the Paralympics this year,” she said.

In the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls, Jones and Masters crossed the finish line in 4:18.4, followed by USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Oz Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.) and Jacqui Kapinowski (Point Pleasant, N.J.) in 4:30.6.

“We are very excited,” said Masters, who finished second in the event at the 2011 World Championships Trials. “We came here with focus and tried to keep our heads in the boat. I’ve had this goal for five years, and I’m still taking it all in.”

“(Oksana and I) started rowing together in July of last year,” said Jones, a U.S. Marine Sergeant who became a bilateral above knee amputee in July of 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.

“We raced at the Bayada Regatta in Philadelphia in August, and for only having rowed two times together for about three hours total, we did pretty well against the current national team that was there. So we decided to have a go this year.”

For complete race results, visit www.usrowing.org. Click here to view race photo gallery.

USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Boathouse Sports, Vespoli, WinTech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, PowerHTV and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Voxer, EZ Dock, EMCVenues and The Perfect SNAQUE. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created compelling programs to engage sponsors leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, with proceeds going to help ensure the U.S. team’s success. Opportunities also exist to partner with America Rows – supporting diversity initiatives and adaptive programs. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at beth@usrowing.org.

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