July 29, 2007
Strathclyde, Scotland -
Incoming freshman Lindsay Meyer and the U.S. women's quad won the gold medal at the 2007 World Rowing Under 23 Championships on Sunday. The U.S. quad victory marked the first sculling gold medal ever for the United States open women at a World Championship event. Senior Kerry Birk and sophomore Elle Logan contributed to the bronze medal performance of the U.S. women's eight, and senior Steph Morrison rowed 4-seat in the Canadian women's eight that finished fourth. Nate Rooks ('07), senior Silas Stafford and juniors Mark Murphy and Alex Osborne competed in the U.S. men's eight that finished fourth in a nailbiting race for the medals.
The weather started nicely for the final day of racing, with a mild cross tailwind. The conditions worsened by the end of the day, however, and the quad and eight events battled the wind and waves for the fourth day in a row.
The U.S. women's quad showed persistence again in handling the tough conditions. Meyer, who last year won a bronze medal in the women's single scull at the Junior World Championships, rowed two-seat in the victorious boat. The race was as dramatic as the conditions. The Netherlands was first off the line, followed by Australia and Romania, crossing the first 500m mark nearly a boatlength ahead of the U.S. But the Dutch caught a boat stopping crab in the second 500 and Romania pushed into the lead. Germany and the U.S. worked their way into the field and crossed the 1500m mark alongside Australia. The American crew sprinted best, and charged through the field, winning in 6:32.6. Australia was second. Germany caught a crab in the push for the line and Great Britain edged them for the bronze. The Dutch never recovered from their early misfortune and finished fifth. Romania faded in the last 500 and finished sixth.
It was a three-way battle for gold in the women's eight. Germany was first off the line, followed by Belarus and the United States. The Germans capitalized on the start and pushed out to a half a boatlength lead over Belarus at the 1000 meter mark, with the U.S. just a few feet back from Belarus in third. The U.S. then unleashed a massive attack that powered their boat into second, overtaking Belarus by the 1500. But the Belarussians countered with a blistering sprint that pushed ahead of the Americans and eradicated their two-second deficit to the Germans. Belarus edged Germany by .23 seconds at the line in 6:15.20. The U.S. time was 6:17.85. Morrison's Canadian eight was fifth off the line but passed Poland in the final 500 meters to finish fourth. Birk was a member of the 2006 U23 World Champion women's eight.
The men's eight race was no less exciting. Australia and Estonia went for the early lead and had a three-seat lead over Poland and Germany, with only another three seats back to Great Britain and the United States. All six boats overlapped for the next 1000 meters. The U.S. gradually clawed its way from sixth to fourth by the 1500 meter mark, and then the sprint began. The Estonians felt their boatlength lead shrink away under pressure from the Germans and Americans, but held on for the victory in 5:33.90. Germany caught Australia in the final strokes for silver, and the Aussies just held off the surging American boat for the bronze. The top four boats were separated by just over a second. Poland was fifth. The British eight that posted the fastest time in the semifinal finished sixth.
The four Stanford men in the boat were members of the crew that won the silver medal at the IRA National Championship in June.
2007 World Rowing Under 23 Champions
(events featuring Stanford rowers only)
Race 159: Women's Quad Final A
1. USA 06:32.6
2. Australia 06:33.4
3. Great Britain 06:34.1
4. Germany 06:34.5
5. Netherlands 06:41.3
6. Romania 06:51.7
Race 161: Women's Eight Final A
1. Belarus 06:15.2
2. Germany 06:15.4
3. USA 06:17.9
4. Canada 06:22.4
5. Poland 06:23.4
Race 162: Men's Eight Final A
1. Estonia 05:33.9
2. Germany 05:34.3
3. Australia 05:34.7
4. USA 05:35.1
5. Poland 05:38.4
6. Great Britain 05:42.4
For daily results and the schedule, visit worldrowing.com.
U.S. Team information can be found at usrowing.org.
Canadian Team information can be found at rowingcanada.org.