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United States Wins Silver In Para Rowing

by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | Sep 03, 2015
Standing in the finish line tent, waiting to be called to the podium to be awarded the silver medal they had just won at the 2015 World Rowing Championships, the crew from the United States legs, trunk and arms coxed four was experiencing a mix of emotions.
DSC_1856LAC AIGUEBELETTE, France – Standing in the finish line tent, waiting to be called to the podium to be awarded the silver medal they had just won at the 2015 World Rowing Championships, the crew from the United States legs, trunk and arms coxed four was experiencing a mix of emotions.

They had won the sliver medal for the second year in a row, but had the gold medal lead more than once in the final today. They traded punches down the thousand-meter course with the defending world champions from Great Britain, and were within no more than 10 strokes from the line when the Brits nipped them.

So there was understandable disappointment among the composite crew of coxswain Jenny Sichel (Clifton, N.J.) of Community Rowing Inc., Ricky Vandegrift (Cincinnati, Ohio) of CRI and Cincinnati Juniors, Zachary Burns (Ann Arbor. Mich.) of Skyline High School, Dani Hansen (Patterson, Calif.) of University of Washington and Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y.) of Sacred Heart University. But there was also pride and a determination to come back and win on the world stage next year at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

DSC_1725“Don’t take your eye off of us,” said Hansen. “The British are making us faster every year. And if we keep rowing personal best times like this, we should be even faster next year. We’ve trained hard, and I know that everyone has, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done.

“I know this isn’t what we came for, but just keep an eye on us, because this is not it. We’re coming back.”

Great Britain won in 3:19.56. The U.S. crossed in 3:19.82, and Canada was third in 3:27.38. It was that close.

“I think we just went out there and did the best we could,” said Burns. “We all poured everything we had out there into that race. Obviously, we wish it had gone the other way, but it was neck-at-neck the whole time. It’s kind of heartbreaking that we lost, but we’ll be back next year in Rio and do our best.”

DSC_1669The crew was one of four para rowing boats that rowed in either an A or B final Thursday. Two of the crews, the LTA four and the men’s arms and shoulders single sculls had already qualified their boats for the Paralympic Games just by making the final on Wednesday.

A top-eight finish was needed for a Paralympic qualification. U.S. arms and shoulders women’s single sculler Jacqui Kapinowski (Tequesta, Florida) of North Palm Beach Rowing added a third boat to that list by finishing second in the B final.
 
In the men’s arms and shoulders single sculls, Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) of Upper Arlington Crew finished fifth in his race in 4:50.51. He suffered a rib injury earlier in the regatta and has been battling the pain all week. Australia’s Erik Horrie won gold in 4:45.55. Britain’s Tom Aggar was second in 4:51.09 and Igor Bondar of the Ukraine was third in 4:51.70.

Also rowing in the B final was the U.S. composite trunk and arms mixed double sculls crew of Betsy Irwin Mitchell (Sarasota, Fla.) of Sarasota Adaptive Rowing Program and Scott Brown (Collingdale, Pa.) of Brooks Adaptive Rowing. They finished fourth in their race.

For complete start list, results and photos, visit usrow.us/2015WorldChamps.
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