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Race Report: Final Olympic Qualification Regatta Day 2

by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | May 23, 2016
Three U.S. men's crews advanced to Tuesday's finals, moving one step closer to their dreams of rowing in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Men's Double ScullsLUCERNE, Switzerland – Paddling past the dock after crossing the finish line on the Rotsee race course, Stephen Whelpley and Willy Cowles gave a satisfied nod to their supporters in the grandstands.

After being forced into the Monday afternoon repechage of the men's double sculls at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, Whelpley (Mequon, Wis.) and Cowles (Farmington, Conn.) finished second in 6:28.14 behind Argentina, which won in 6:26.53. The U.S. held off a late challenge from Ukraine, which finished third in 6:30.12, and advanced to Tuesday's finals to move one step closer to their dreams of rowing in the 2016 Olympic Games.

"We're where we should be," Whelpley said as they passed the dock. "Now we just have to find another gear tomorrow."

The Craftsbury Sculling Center crew was one of two that rowed Monday in the repechages on the second day of competition in the Olympic qualification event.

Following Whelpley and Cowles into the final was the U.S. quadruple sculls crew of Ben Davison (Inverness, Fla.), Ben Dann (Pound Ridge, N.Y.), John Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio) and 2012 Olympian Peter Graves (Cincinnati, Ohio).

Men's Quad ScullsThe U.S. finished second in 5:51.28 behind China, which won in 5:51.25. The U.S. led for all but the final meter of the race, when China met them at the line to win by an even slimmer margin than New Zealand's 0.14-second heat win on Sunday. Third-place Italy (5:51.54) and fourth-place Canada (5:51.83) also advanced.

"I think we're happy, I just thought that we could have done a little bit better in the last twenty strokes," said coach Larry Gluckman. "It's the second day in a row that we got caught at the line. Point-zero-three this time, point-one-four last time. But I'll take second tomorrow," he said.

"This was good," said Peter Graves. "We got to the final. That's what we wanted to do. Obviously, it heated up in the end, and I think we kept our cool and hung in there. So we were happy with it."   

Both crews will join the men's eight of coxswain Sam Ojserkis (Linwood, N.J.), Austin Hack (Old Lyme, Conn.), Rob Munn (Redmond, Wash.), Mike DiSanto (Boston, Mass.), Steve Kasprzyk (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, Pa.), Alex Karwoski (Hollis, N.H.), Hans Struzyna (Kirkland, Wash.) and Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif.) in the finals on Tuesday.

All three will need a top-two finish to qualify for Rio. Follow racing via live race tracker and audio commentary at www.worldrowing.com. Be a part of the conversation with #RowToRio and #FQR.

USRowing's event photo gallery is updated daily here.

The U.S. qualified 10 of 14 crews for Rio at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. For more information about the 2016 Olympic Games selection process, click here.

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About USRowing
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 has 85,000 individual members and 1,300 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners. For more information, contact: USRowing Communications, (609) 751-0710, media@usrowing.org.
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