Stone. Campbell. Haxton. United States Olympic and Paralympic selection starts
So far, the United States has qualified ten boats for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and two for the Paralympic Games. Last weekend (17-24 April), the United States Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials were held to determine the athletes that will race in six of those boats as well as in two additional boats that are still in pursuit of Olympic qualification.
Racing was held in the women’s single sculls, women’s double sculls, lightweight men’s double sculls as well as in the AS men’s single sculls and AS women’s single sculls. USRowing has now also selected the athletes that will race for qualification in the men’s single and double sculls at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, from 22 to 24 May.
The trials were staged at the newly developed Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. In addition to its world-class rowing course, the park provides public access to a lake where families and visitors can engage in kayaking, rowing or paddling. In 2017 it will host the World Rowing Championships.
In the women’s single sculls, Genevra Stone was the frontrunner. She crossed the line with a dominating seven-second lead over Stesha Carle in second and Lindsay Meyer in third. Stone has come out of a successful 2015 regatta season during which she earned World Cup silver and bronze. She then qualified the women’s single for Rio at the World Rowing Championships thanks to a fourth-place finish. Stone, a medical doctor will now be heading to her second Olympic Games in the hope of doing even better than her seventh-place finish in London. She was World Rowing Athlete of the Month in March 2016.
The experienced combination of Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary secured Olympic selection in the women’s double sculls. Tomek has been racing internationally in the double since 2008, the year in which she finished fifth at the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2013 she was joined by O’Leary and together they claimed the 11th Olympic qualification spot for their boat at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
Andrew Campbell is a two-time under-23 World Champion in the lightweight men’s single sculls. In 2012 he was selected at the USRowing trials to represent the United States in the lightweight men’s double sculls for London. But disappointment ensued when Campbell just missed out on Olympic qualification at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta. This time around Campbell made no mistakes. With partner Joshua Konieczny they have qualified their boat through last year’s World Rowing Championships. Winning at these US selection trials means they are now both going to Rio.
In the lightweight women’s double sculls Devery Karz and Kathleen Bertko were the trial winners. Karz was part of the crew that qualified this boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from last year's World Rowing Championships. At these US trials, Karz rowed with a different partner to the one she raced with last season. Kathleen Bertko is a three-time world bronze medallist in the lightweight women’s single sculls and was also a 2013 world silver medallist in the lightweight double. Bertko and Karz now partner on the road to Rio.
The United States also selected the athletes that will represent their nation in two Paralympic boat classes. Blake Haxton qualified the AS men’s single sculls for Rio last year at the World Rowing Championships. Winning the US trials ahead of Robbie Blevins puts Haxton on the road to Rio.
Jacqui Kapinowski beat Katelynne Steinke in the AS women's single sculls to take the Paralympic qualification spot. Both Paralympic athletes will be racing at their first ever Paralympic Rowing Regatta.
The United States will seek to qualify two additional boats at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in May. Kenneth Jurkowski will race in the men’s single sculls, a boat class in which he already raced at two Olympic Games, while William Cowles and Stephen Welpley will attempt to qualify in the men’s double sculls.
For detailed results, please click here.