U.S. Crews Win Four Medals at 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships

by Allison Frederick, | Jul 28, 2013
Of the twenty U.S. crews that came to compete among the best under 23 rowers in the world, four went home with medals following the conclusion of racing on Sunday in Linz, Austria. Following the men’s four bronze on Saturday, lightweight single sculler Andrew Campbell won the first U.S. gold medal in the event, the women’s eight defended its under 23 world title and the men’s eight won silver.
LINZ, Austria – Of the 20 U.S. crews that came to compete among the best under 23 rowers in the world, four went home with medals following the conclusion of racing on Sunday in Linz, Austria.

Following the men’s four bronze on Saturday, lightweight single sculler Andrew Campbell won the first U.S. gold medal in the event, the women’s eight defended its under 23 world title and the men’s eight won silver.

Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls – Gold

Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) has accomplished more than most in his 21 years, and now he can add under 23 gold to his résumé.

The Harvard University senior raced his way back into the history books, winning the first-ever gold medal in the event for the United States. It is also the first under 23 gold medal for the U.S. in any men’s sculling or lightweight event.

“This is my first gold – wow, that’s something else,” said Campbell. “I’ve trained a long time to be able to hear the national anthem at one of these. I think about all the hard work and training that’s gone into this. I’m so thankful to Yan and Olga Vengerovskiy, Charlie Butt, Lind Muri, my family – I’ve had such a great support network the whole way.”

In one of the largest fields of the champinoships with 27 entries, Campbell made it look easy, leading each of his preliminary races from start to finish.

“I always talk about taking these events one day at a time,” said Campbell “That’s all you can do. We see upsets all the time from people that are over-confident, so taking each race seriously is really important to me. Step by step, I was where I wanted to be.

“I knew, based on my training, that I could sustain right around a seven-minute pace, so I had the confidence to keep pushing throughout the whole race. Charlie and I had talked about this. We’ve trained hard enough that it was ready to happen.”

In the final, Campbell was lined up next to The Netherlands’ Franciscus Goutier, who had the fast time of the semifinals. The U.S. sculler maintained a boat-length lead on the field through the 1,500-meter mark and pushed through to win by 2.35 seconds in a 7:07.84. Goutier took silver with a time of 7:10.49 and Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan won bronze in a 7:11.67.

“I just thought about racing my own race, trying to stay technical, move with the hips first, really hang on the handle and not over-push it,” said Campbell. “I worked on a solid checklist of technical points that I just go through, over and over in my head, during the race. I’ve learned that with these things, you have to be the best technical sculler out there if you want to win.”

“He’s incredibly talented, but without the hard work, talent doesn’t get you there,” said his coach Linda Muri. “Andrew puts in the time, and he’s very coachable. He’s thoughtful and methodical about his training. He has the best boat-feel of anybody I’ve ever worked with.

“He’s gone under seven minutes before, and there aren’t too many guys in the U.S. who have done that. We had a couple scullers at under 23 trials. Since Steve Tucker, that’s been it. I think with some of the other athletes his age, we’re at a really good place with lightweight sculling in the U.S., and Andrew is certainly going to be part of a great future. It’s a real privilege to get to work with him.”

And now it’s right back to work for Campbell, who plans to return to West Windsor, N.J., next week to compete in the 2013 World Championships Trials for an opportunity to race in Chungju, South Korea in August.

Women’s Eight – Gold

The United States under 23 women’s eight had one goal going into the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships – defend its title and bring home a gold medal. With five new rowers in the lineup, the U.S. dominated in the heat, setting themselves up for Sunday’s final.

The U.S. crew, with coxswain Kendall Schmidt (Greenfield, Wis.), Kristine O'Brien (Massapequa, N.Y.), Madison Culp (Seattle, Wash.), Amanda Elmore (West Lafayette, Ind.), Courtney Diekema (Holland, Mich.), Corinne Schoeller (Palm Beach, Fla.), Erin Boxberger (Overland Park, Kans.), Anne Rauschert (Bushnell, Ill.) and Ruth Narode (Portland, Ore.) was first off the line, gaining three seconds on the field by the 1,000-meter mark.

Great Britain closed the gap slightly in the third 500, but the U.S. charged ahead, crossing the line in a 6:16.81. Great Britain took silver in a 6:19.15, with Germany bronze in a 6:21.61.

“It feels good,” said Schmidt, who coxed the U.S. to gold at last year’s under 23 championships. “It was definitely a very different race (from last year). We had a lot of courage out there, and that’s what it took to finish ahead.

“I think when we crossed into the 1,500 (meters), we just focused on breathing, relaxing and trusting in our base rhythm and our base fitness. Over the course of the summer, we’ve really just come together and trusted our boat. That’s what it took.”

“It was amazing,” said Schoeller. “I don’t have words to describe what this feels like. Kendall did a phenomenal job. We put in so many meters and we, as a boat, trust each other so much. Right off the line, we knew to believe in our base.”

“I think it’s the purest feeling to know that you wouldn’t want to race with any other combination of rowers,” said bow-seat Narode, who at 18 years old, was the youngest competitor in the women’s eight final. “I think now we set a standard and we’ll have to continue it the next few years.”

Men’s Eight – Silver

It was a coming-of-age regatta for a young U.S. men’s eight. Shouldered with defending a two-time under 23 world title, the crew finished third in its heat, and then won its repechage en route to the final.

“I think we matured, and really found our race identity from the heat, to the rep, to the final,” said coxswain Paul Farber (Santa Ana, Calif.). “We went out in the heats, and lost some steam pretty quickly through that race. In the reps, we decided we were going to do a different race plan, and then here in the finals, we built on that. I think this crew made big changes and developed.”

In the final, Farber and his crew of stroke-seat Hunter Leeming (Sarasota, Fla.), Anders Weiss (Barrington, R.I.), Ted Baumgardner (Longport, N.J.), Brendon Stoner (Sudbury, Mass.), Carter Crowe (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Daren Frankel (Cleveland, Ohio), James Hamp (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) and Max Meyer-Bosse (Westport, Conn.) was in last place at the 500-meter mark, but worked back through the field and into second by the 1,500-meter mark. New Zealand was third off the line, but gained three seconds on the United States going into the sprint.

New Zealand charged across the line in 5:28.63, with the U.S. taking silver in 5:31.79. Poland crossed third for the bronze medal in 5:33.16.

“(The medal) feels great,” said Farber. “I think we found out who we were as a crew and how to race. We have a really young crew this year, and a lot of guys are going to be coming back next year.

“They definitely know what it takes to win a silver – to win a medal at all. We’re pretty excited. Obviously, we weren’t fast enough for the gold today, but this crew has a lot of promise.”

Lightweight Men’s Four – Sixth

The U.S. lightweight men’s four of Matthew O’Donoghue (Haddonfield, N.J.), Joshua Konieczny (Milbury, Ohio), Michael Lindberg (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Joseph Hanlon (Washington D.C.) finished sixth in the final.

It is only the fifth time in the history of the regatta that a United States lightweight four has reached the final. The highest-ever finish was in 2010, when the U.S. won bronze.

The U.S. crew advanced through the reps with a second-place finish to Great Britain, and was in third crossing over the 500-meter mark. With Italy and Great Britain out in the lead, it was a four-boat race for the bronze medal with only a second separating the rest of the field at the 1,000 and 1,500-meter marks.

“We were working on keeping our boat speed and keeping our rhythm,” said O’Donoghue. “I thought our first shift was really good.”

“It’s tough competition; the field of lightweight fours is incredible,” said Lindberg. “We knew there was going to be no slowing down and that we may have to sprint early. We didn’t leave anything on the water.”

It was France that pushed through for third-place in a 6:01.18. Italy won gold in 5:58.53 and Great Britain took silver in 5:59.92. The United States crossed 0.37 seconds behind Germany in sixth, clocking a 6:05.95.

B Finals

U.S. women’s double scullers Leigh Archer (Jamestown, R. I.) and Elizabeth Youngling (Westport, Conn.) won the B final to end the regatta in seventh place overall. The U.S. crew was in third after the first 500 meters, but took the lead and held on through the line, crossing 1.25 seconds ahead of The Netherlands.

U.S. women’s single sculler Madison Lips (Parker, Colo.) finished fifth in her race for 11th place overall. Lips, who will be senior captain of the Yale University women’s rowing team next year, represented the U.S. in the event at the 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, finishing 15th.

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