UW Rowing Members See Key Roles At World Championships

Aug. 27, 2001

SEATTLE - Five current members of the Washington rowing team helped the United States finish fourth in the women's eight, fifth in the men's quadruple sculls and ninth in the men's lightweight four at the 2001 FISA Rowing World Championships Sunday in Lucrene, Switzerland.

Huskies Mary Whipple (Sacramento, Calif.), Anna Mickelson (Newport, Wash.) and Heidi Hurn (Redmond, Wash.) were each members of the women's eight crew which came in fourth, just 0.56 seconds behind third place Germany. Lucas Ahlstrand (Oakland, Calif.), meanwhile, helped the men's lightweight four to third place (ninth overall) in its 'B' final, and John Lorton (Seattle, Wash.) was a member of the U.S. men's quadruple sculls, which took fifth behind medal winners Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.

In the women's eight, the U.S. crew of coxswain Whipple, Kate Johnson (Portland, Ore.), Caroline Ingham (Seattle, Wash.), Mickelson, Hurn, Megan Dirkmaat (San Jose, Calif.), Maite Urtasun (Riverside, N.J.), Kate Ronkainen (Houston, Texas), and Wendy Wilbur (East Bridgewater, Mass.) finished fourth, barely missing a medal by 0.56 seconds. The young U.S. boat got off to a strong start and stayed with the leaders for the entire race. At the 1,000-meter mark, the crew sat in fifth place but slowly came back to pass Belarus and challenge Germany for the bronze medal. The American crew clocked the fastest final 500 meters of the race but came up just short of the medal stand. The U.S. finished in a time of 6:05.88. Australia won the gold medal in a time of 6:03.66, while Romania and Germany won the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In the men's lightweight four, the crew of Steve Warner (Livonia, Mich.), Gabe Winkler (St. Johnsbury, Vt.), Patrick Todd (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Ahlstrand finished third in its 'B' final to finish ninth overall. The U.S. sat in second position for the first 1,500 meters of the race before Australia was able to pass them in the final 500 meters. The U.S. clocked a 6:05.72 to finish 2.52 seconds behind the winning crew from Spain. Australia finished second in a time of 6:04.77.

The men's quad of Grant Nichols (Philadelphia, Pa.), Lorton, Henry Nuzum (Chapel Hill, N.C.), and Aquil Abdullah (Washington, D.C.) finished fifth in its final in a time of 5:46.01, 5.12 seconds behind the gold-medal crew from Germany. The quartet got off to a strong start and sat in second place after 500 meters but could not maintain its position in the second quarter of the race, dropping to fifth at the 1,000-meter mark. Germany clocked a 5:40.89 to win the race. The Netherlands took home the silver medal in a time of 5:42.64, while Italy won the bronze in a 5:42.87.

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