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Four UW Men Move Through To Olympics A Finals

Jul 27, 2021

The fourth full day of action at the 2020 Olympics rowing regatta featured a number of highlights for former Washington rowers, and also saw the end of the competition for four of them.
Italian Valentina Iseppi '20 helped lead her women's quad sculls to a fourth-place finish in the A final. Her crew was in sixth place for the first 1,500 meters of the 2,000-meter race, but passed Germany and Netherlands in the final 500 to finish one spot out of the medals.
Later in the day, three men's eights with Huskies in their lineups made it through to the A final, where they'll join two other Huskies in the Netherlands eight, which qualified for the A final by winning one of the heats.
Here is a rundown of Tuesday's races, in chronological order:
In the first race of the day, UW alumna Chiara Ondoli '18 raced in the B final of the women's double sculls. The Czech double jumped out to the early lead, but the other few crews were tightly packed in pursuit. By 1,000 meters, Australia had taken second and were challenging the leaders. 
Ondoli's shell passed the 1,500-meter buoy in fourth, but the order of finish was still in doubt. In the final 500, Australia rowed through the Czechs and both France and Italy made a move. In the end, the Aussies won in a time of 6:47.71, less than one second in front of France (6:58.52). Ondoli's Italian double finished in third in 6:58.88, placing ninth overall in the Olympic regatta.
A bit later, Will Crothers '09 and his Canadian men's four also rowed in a B final. From the start, the favored Polish entry took the lead, but the other three crews were tightly bunched for second. At the 1,000-meter mark, Switzerland had taken over second with Canada third, ahead of South Africa.
Just before 1,500 meters, the Canadians moved into second place, and they held on, finishing just over one second back of Poland. The result was an eighth-place finish for the Canadians and Crothers, a third-time Olympic who won silver in the eight in 2012.
Iseppi was the first Husky to row for a medal in this Olympiad, and she and her Italian women's quad faced an uphill battle as they spent most of their race in sixth place. At the 1,500-meter mark, the Italians had were two seconds back of the Netherlands and five behind Germany. Remarkably, in the final 500, the Italian sprint managed to move them past both.
Iseppi's quad finished with a time of 6:13.33, a mere eight one-hundredths of a second ahead of the Germans (6:13.41) and more than two seconds in front of the Dutch (6:15.75). China, Poland and Australia won gold, silver and bronze.
Washington had rowers in both the men's and women's pairs A/B semifinals. In the second of the two men's semifinals, Canadian Conlin McCabe '12, in his third Olympics, was in search of a top-three finish and a place in the A final.
Up until the very end, it seems like he and his partner Kai Langerfeld would fall just short. The Canadian pair was in sixth at 500, in fifth place at 1,000 and in fourth at 1,500. Heading to the finish, they looked certain to take fourth place, but, just 10 meters from the finish, one of the Dutch pair caught a crab, dramatically slowing their shell, allowing the Canadians to beat them to the line by four-tenths of a second. 
McCabe, who won silver alongside Crothers in the 2012 games, will row in the A final on Wednesday.
In the women's pair finals, four-time U.S. Olympian Megan Kalmoe also needed a top-three finish in her semifinal to remain in medal contention. 
From the beginning of the race, New Zealand's pair, the gold-medal favorites, took charge, with pairs from Russian and Romania close behind. The U.S. pair remained in contention throughout, but couldn't every move beyond fifth position to contend for a qualifying finish.
In the latter stages of the race, Spain's pair took over third place, beating out Romania for the last qualifying spot. Kalmoe finished in fifth place and will row in the B final (for places 7-12) tomorrow.
The last two races of the day were the women's and men's eights repechages, with five entries each. With the two heats winners in each already through to the A final, the top four finishers in each repechage would also move on, while the fifth-place finisher would see their regatta come to an end, finishing seventh overall.
The U.S. women – with Huskies Katelin Guregian, Brooke Mooney and Jessica Thoennes – had already qualified with a win in a heat. In the repechage, UW alumna Fiona Gammond '15 hoped to join them with her Great Britain eight.
However, the Brits finished fifth, never quite overcoming fourth-place Australia for a qualifying spot. Gammond and Great Britain finished seventh overall.
Washington was represented in three crews in the men's eight repechage: Ben Davison '16 in the U.S. bow seat; Stuart Sim '17 as the Australian coxswain and Jacob Dawson in the Great Britain two seat.
At 500 meters, it was a close race with Great Britain in front and all five boats still in contention, but with Australia in fifth place. By 1,000 meters, Australia had closed the gap and had nearly caught Romania for the all important fourth spot. By 1,500, they'd moved into a qualifying position.
In the meantime, New Zealand moved past Great Britain to earn the win, with the U.S. and Brits rowing to a photo finish for second. In the end, the Brits took second and the U.S. third, with Australia moving through with a fourth-place result, comfortably in front of Romania in the end.
Washington will have alumni in four crews in the men's eight final as the Americans, Brits and Aussies will join Germany and the Netherlands in the A final. Huskies Simon van Dorp '20 and Bram Schwarz '20 both row in the Dutch eight.
Tomorrow, McCabe will row for a medal in the A final, while Kalmoe will contend for seventh place in the women's pair B final. On Thursday, three UW women and five men will row for medals in the eights finals.
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)
Women's Pair – W2-
Megan Kalmoe '06, USA
Next: B final, Wed., 4:40 p.m.
Men's Pair – M2-
Conlin McCabe '12, Canada
Next: A final, Wed., 5:18 p.m.
Women's Double – W2x
Chiara Ondoli '18, Italy – finished 9th overall
Women's Quad – W4x
Valentina Iseppi '20, Italy – finished 4th overall
Men's Four – M4-
Will Crothers '09, Canada – finished 8th overall
Women's Eight – W8+
Fiona Gammond '15, Great Britain – finished 7th overall
Katelin Guregian '09, USA
Brooke Mooney '18, USA
Jessica Thoennes '18, USA
Next for USA: A final Thu., 6:05 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: 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