Guregian, Thoennes & Mooney Lead U.S. Eight To Olympics A Final
Day two of the 2020 Olympics regatta was a busy one for Washington rowers as 12 UW alumni saw action on the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.
Due to weather forecasts, the entire regatta schedule was changed, moving the men's and women's eights heats up by one day.
Highlights from the day included five Huskies moving through to A finals in the men's and women's eights, as two UW alumni in the Dutch men's eight and three more in the U.S. women's eight, won their heats.
Here's a recap of the day's races involving UW rowers, chronologically:
Veteran American rower Megan Kalmoe '06 opened her fourth Olympic Games in the first women's pair heat. She and her teammate Tracy Eisser finished in fourth place, one spot shy of direct advancement to the A/B semifinals. Instead, they'll row in a repechage tomorrow.
Canadian Conlin McCabe, rowing in his third Olympics, rowed in a men's pair heat, needing a top-three finish among four crews to move directly through to the A/B semifinals. Denmark's pair took the lead at the start, rowing ahead of the favored Croatian entry of Martin and Valent Sinkovic, with Canada in third early on.
The Sinkovic brothers moved in front by 500 meters, with the Danes in second and McCabe's pair in third, all of them safely in front of the Belarus pair. That order held up the rest of the way with the Croatians, Danish and Canadians each earning a place in the semifinal.
The next heat to feature a UW alum was the second of two men's four heats, where another Canadian – Will Crothers '09 – made his third Olympics appearance. In the heat, the British four took the lead from the start, with Canada in close fight for second alongside both Italy and Poland.
With only the top two finishers moving through to the A final, the fight for second was intense. In the third 500, Canada dropped back and the Italians took control of second place, with Poland running third. In the end, Crothers' four finished fifth, meaning they'll need to row in a repechage tomorrow at 9:10 p.m. PT.
With just seven crews entered in the competition for the men's and women's eights, only the winner of each of two heats in each event earned a direct berth in the A final. The men's eights heats were first, with multiple Huskies in each.
In the first heat, the U.S. men's eight featured Ben Davison '17 in the bow seat, rowing next to the Australian eight, coxed by Stuart Sim '16, along with crews from Romania and Germany.
The U.S. men took the lead at the start with the Germans nearly two-tenths of a second behind at 500 meters. In the second 500, the U.S. increased its advantage, though only slightly. In the final 500, the Germans caught the U.S. shell and earned the heat's only berth in the A final. The Americans, as well as the Aussies, will row in a repechage, currently scheduled for Tuesday (Seattle time).
The second men's eight heat featured two Huskies – Simon van Dorp '20 and Bram Schwarz '20 – in the Dutch crew and another – Jacob Dawson '16 – in the Great Britain eight, along with the New Zealand entry. In a close start, the Dutch moved in front, vying for the direct route to the A final. At 1,000 meters, the Dutch held a four-seat lead over the Brits, with the Kiwis very close behind.
The Netherlands eight held on for the win and will have six days to prepare for the A final next Thursday. The British crew finished in third and will join four other crews in the repechage.
In the first women's eight heat, the Huskies were represented by Fiona Gammond '15, the bow seat in the Great Britain eight. As with the men, only the winners of the two heats earned a berth in the A final, with all others moving on to the repechage.
New Zealand, the heat favorite, faced a tough challenge from both China and Canada before the Kiwis took over the race in the final 500, beating out the Canadians for first. Great Britain finished fourth and will move on to the repechage.
The final race of the day was the second women's eight heat, with the United States – a boat featuring three Huskies – vying with Romania and Australia for a spot in the final. The U.S. crew included second-time Olympic coxswain Katelin Guregian '09, along with newcomers Jessica Thoennes '18 and Brooke Mooney '18 in the bow and four seats, respectively.
The U.S. women, who have won gold in the last three Olympics, were challenged from the start, with Romania taking the lead early. But by 1,000 meters, the American had moved on top, though only very narrowly (0.06 seconds ahead). Shortly after the 1,000-meter mark, the U.S. took control, and gained a five-seat lead by 1,500 meters.
Romania took another shot at the Americans in the sprint, but the U.S. eight held on for a three-seat victory. They'll have six days to prepare to race for another medal next Thursday.
Also on Saturday, along with Crothers and the Canadian men's four and Kalmoe's U.S. pair, Washington's two Italians will return to the race course. Chiara Ondoli '18 and the Italian women's double will row in an A/B semifinal while Valentina Iseppi's ('20) quad will race in a repechage, needing a top-two finish (out of six in the rep) to earn a place in the A final.
Here is the full list of Washington rowers at the 2020 Olympics, including the day and time of their next race:
Washington Rowing Alumni in the 2020 Olympics & Paralympics
(schedule subject to change; tomorrow's events in italics)
Women's Pair – W2-
Megan Kalmoe '06, USA
Next: repechage Sat., July 24, 5:50 p.m. PT
Men's Pair – M2-
Conlin McCabe '12, Canada
Next: A/B semifinal Mon., July 26, 6:30 or 6:40 p.m. PT
Women's Double – W2x
Chiara Ondoli '18, Italy
Next: A/B semifinal Sat., July 24, 8:20 or 8:30 p.m. PT
Women's Quad – W4x
Valentina Iseppi '20, Italy
Next: repechage Sat., July 25, 6:50 p.m. PT
Men's Four – M4-
Will Crothers '09, Canada
Next: repechage Sat., July 24, 9:10 p.m. PT
Women's Eight – W8+
Fiona Gammond '15, Great Britain
Katelin Guregian '09, USA
Brooke Mooney '18, USA
Jessica Thoennes '18, USA
Next for GB: repechage Tue., July 27, 6:30 p.m. PT
Next for USA: A final Thu., July 29, 6:25 p.m. PT
Men's Eight – M8+
Jacob Dawson '16, Great Britain
Ben Davison '17, USA
Stuart Sim '16, Australia
Bram Schwarz '20, Netherlands
Simon van Dorp '20, Netherlands
Next for USA, GB & AUS: repechage Tue., July 27, 6:48 p.m. PT
Next for NED: A final Thu., July 29, 6:25 p.m. PT
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four – PR3Mix4+
Danielle Hansen '17, USA
First race: heats on Fri., Aug. 27
Michiel Mantel '19, Netherlands
Kirstyn Goodger '14, New Zealand
Phoebe Spoors '17, New Zealand
Yasmin Farooq, U.S. women's team support coach