May 02, 2013

National Selection Regatta #1: Fast Times in Red Socks


Most of the OKC High Performance group arrived in Princeton early and got a few solid days of training in on Carnegie Lake before heading to Mercer Lake for the first National Selection Regatta of 2013. The regatta is the first stage of the selection process for the US National Team that will compete at the World Rowing Championships August 25-September 1 in Chungju, South Korea.

OKCNHPC faired well over the three days of racing and took the opportunity to show their support for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy by wearing red socks.

The final of the men’s single was won by Craftsbury Sculling Center’s John Graves in 7:05.67 and Stephen Whelpley finished second with a time of 7:06.92. Potomac Boat Club’s Willie Cowles edged out teammate Matt Miller by just 0.17 seconds for third place, 7:13.68 to 7:13.85. Lake Samish Training Center’s Nick Trojan and Potomac’s Sam Stitt rounded out the final.

OKC’s Greg Ansolabehere finished the regatta in 12th place overall with a 6th place finish in the B final while teammate Jameson Harper ranked 15th overall.

For the men’s pair and the lightweight women’s single sculls – National Selection Regatta #1 serves as a speed order opportunity.

USRowing Training Center’s Seth Weil and London bronze medalist Henrik Rummel, who posted the fastest time trial and won Friday’s exhibition race, returned Saturday to win the men’s pair final in a 6:36.11. Weil and Rummel crossed 1.5 seconds ahead of OKC’s Mike Gennaro and Grant James, who finished in 6:37.62. In third, Steve Kasprzyk and Max Goff crossed in a 6:38.25.

The next three USRowing TC men’s pairs finished less than a second apart. Ian Silveira and Mike DiSanto crossed in a 6:40.00 to OKC’s Nareg Guregian and Ross James, who clocked a 6:40.32. Tom Dethlefs and Rob Munn posted a time of 6:40.69.

After posting impressive results this week in the lightweight women’s single sculls, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Kate Bertko did not disappoint on finals day. The 2011 world championship double sculler turned lightweight found her rhythm early and completed the course in an 8:02.90. California Rowing Club’s Kristin Hedstrom , who competed in the event last summer in London, finished second in an 8:16.19.

Riverside’s Hillary Saeger finished third in an 8:20.80, followed by Potomac’s Devery Karz, 8:24.73; Vesper’s Mary Jones, 8:31.24; and USRowing TC – OKC’s Nicole Dinion in an 8:32.62.
USRowing Training Center – OKC’s Kat Schiro and Chelsea Smith finished first and second respectively in the B Final for places 7th and 8th overall.

OKC athletes will be back in action in two weeks at National Selection Regatta #2.


Racing for Bill

Bill's friend and teammate Greg Ansolabehere

Oklahoma City National High Performance center athletes traveled to New Jersey last week to take part in the first selection regatta in the four-year cycle that will eventually lead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The race took on a greater meaning for OKC rowers who took the time to remember their teammate Bill Schnittman who passed away in December.

Schnittman, a former University of Michigan standout rower, who had aspirations of competing in the Olympics, was tragically gunned down and killed in a murder-suicide on December 21st, 2012. He was 25 years old.

Bill was a member of Michigan's national champion rowing squad from 2008 to 2010. Soon after that time, he made the move to Oklahoma City upon graduating in order to train at the OKC National High Performance Center.

OKC Rowers Grant James and Mike Gennaro
The rowers decided to dedicate this first race of the year to Bill by wearing a unisuit created by JL Design with Bill’s own signature on the chest.  Special thanks go to Dre Gutierrez at JL for helping us make this uni to honor Bill.


To learn more about the William A. “Bill” Schnittman Memorial Scholarship, including 
how to make a contribution, visit okc-nhpc.org, email okcbf@okcbf.org or call (405) 552-4040.

April 25, 2013

On to the Semis: Bertko and Dinion First in Heats

The first day of racing at the 2013 National Selection Regatta #1 is complete and semifinals are set for tomorrow morning on Mercer Lake with the top four crews of each heat advancing this evening.

After posting the fastest time of the morning time trials, Craftsbury Sculling Center’s John Graves won the first heat of the men’s single sculls with a time of 7:12.924. Potomac Boat Club took the second and third-place slots with Matt Miller in a 7:16.334 and Beijing Olympian Sam Stitt in a 7:18.322. Penn A.C. Rowing Association’s Justin Keen rounded out the top four with a time of 7:19.728. USRowing Training Center - OKC's Jameson Harper finished in 5th place, failing to advance and will race in the C Final tomorrow morning.

In the second race, Potomac’s Willie Cowles clocked the fastest time with a 7:15.401, finishing 2.6 seconds ahead of USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Glenn Ochal, who finished in a 7:18.058. Craftsbury’s Ben Dann came third in a 7:19.293, with Potomac’s Joe Ledvina fourth in a 7:22.348.

Heat three saw Lake Samish Training Center’s Nick Trojan win with the fastest time of the men’s singles. Trojan posted a 7:08.330 to Craftsbury’s Stephen Whelpley, who clocked a 7:10.680. GMS Rowing Center’s Ricky Holak finished in a 7:12.963, with USRowing TC – OKC’s Greg Ansolabehere fourth in a 7:13.626. Greg will race tomorrow morning for a spot in Saturday's Final A.

USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Kate Bertko won the time trial of the lightweight women’s single sculls Thursday morning, and then returned to post the fastest time of the afternoon heats. Bertko, won represented the U.S. in the women’s double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, won the first of three heats in a 7:52.509. Vesper’s Mary Jones, Riverside’s Mary Foster and Riverside’s Laurissa Gulich rounded out the top four.

CRC’s Kristin Hedstrom won the second heat in an 8:02.716, followed by Potomac’s Devery Karz  in an 8:04.617. USRowing TC – OKC’s Kathryn Schiro crossed third in an 8:20.678, with Riverside’s Cornelia Willis fourth in an 8:23.696.

In the last race of the evening, USRowing TC – OKC’s Nicole Dinion won in an 8:03.993. Riverside’s Hillary Saeger posted an 8:05.264, followed by USRowing TC – OKC’s Chelsea Smith in an 8:08.747 and CRC’s Michaela Copenhaver in an 8:14.259. All four OKC lightweight women will race tomorrow morning in the semi-finals.

The winners of the men’s and women’s single will earn the right to compete at one or both of the scheduled World Rowing Cup events and, if he or she finishes in the top four or top half of the field, earn a berth on the team that will compete at the World Rowing Championships August 25-September 1 in Chungju, South Korea.

Time Trials Breeze by at National Selection Regatta

Glenn Ochal
Time trials are complete following this morning's racing at the first National Selection Regatta of 2013. OKC High Performance athletes were faced with some familiar windy conditions when they arrived to complete the 1,900-meter course on Lake Mercer. The top 18 crews in each boat class advanced to the evening heats.

In the men’s single, John Graves posted the fastest time of the 28 entries with a 6:46.565. Rowing under Craftsbury Sculling Center, Graves competed in the lightweight men’s single at the 2009 and 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. USRowing Training Center- OKC's Glenn Ochal finished second in 6:47.024. Teammates Jameson Harper and Greg Ansolabehere finished in 12th and 16th place respectively, both advancing to this evening's heats. Blaise Didier failed to advance by placing 20th and will race in the D Final tomorrow morning.

Competing in a field of 19 entries, USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Eleanor Logan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) won the time trial of the women’s single with a time of 7:23.393. The two-time Olympic women’s eight gold medalist won bronze in the women’s single last month at the 2013 Samsung World Cup I in Australia.

The winners of the two selection events will earn the right to compete at one or both of the scheduled World Rowing Cup events and, if he or she finishes in the top four or top half of the field, earn a berth on the team that will compete at the World Rowing Championships August 25-September 1 in Chungju, South Korea.

In the first speed order event of the morning, the USRowing Training Center men’s pair entry of Seth Weil and London bronze medalist Henrik Rummel posted the fastest time of 6:14.336. They were followed by USRowing Training Center - OKC's entry of Mike Gennaro and Grant James in 6:16.113. OKC's Nareg Guregian and Ross James finished in 6th place while London Olympians Tom Peszek and David Banks finished in 7th place.

USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Kate Bertko won the time trial of the lightweight women’s single sculls. Bertko, won represented the U.S. in the women’s double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, finished with a time of 7:30.362. Nicole Dinion finished 4th in 7:51.379, Kat Schiro finished in 8th place in 8:01.306 followed closely by Chelsea Smith in 9th position in 8:01.811. All four women will race in this evening's heats for a spot in the semi finals.

On the men’s side, Craftsbury Sculling Center’s Hugh McAdam (Philadelphia, Pa.) won the lightweight men’s single with a 6:56.913.

Racing continues tonight at 5:30 p.m. with heats. Semifinals will take place Friday morning beginning at 7:30 a.m., with A and B finals scheduled for Saturday morning. For more information including race schedule and results visit www.usrowing.org.

April 24, 2013

OKC Rowers Head to New Jersey: NSR 1 Preview

Rowers from the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center are in West Windsor, New Jersey this week for the first senior team selection regatta for the 2013 season.

More than 100 athletes from 22 clubs across the country are registered to participate in two selection events – the men’s and women’s single sculls, and four speed order events – the lightweight men’s and women’s single sculls, men’s double sculls and men’s pair. 

The winners of the two selection events will earn the right to compete at one or both of the scheduled World Rowing Cup events and, if he or she finishes in the top four or top half of the field, earn a berth on the team that will compete at the World Rowing Championships August 25-September 1 in Chungju, South Korea.

Among the entries in the men’s single event are USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Glenn Ochal who won bronze medals in the men’s four in London last summer. He'll be joined by OKC teammate's Greg Ansolabehere and Jameson Harper. Harper, a 2012 graduate of University of Massachusetts - Amherst will be competing in his first National Selection Regatta. In addition, the men’s single will see USRowing TC – OKC’s Blaise Didier, who finished sixth in the men’s pair with coxswain at the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships in Bulgaria.

Eight men’s pairs are entered including USRowing Training Center - Oklahoma City's David BanksRoss James and Grant James – all members of the London men’s eight. Also rowing in the event is USRowing TC – Oklahoma City’s Nareg Guregian who finished eighth in the men’s eight at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, USRowing TC – Oklahoma City’s Tom Peszek, who finished eighth in the men’s pair in London, and 2012 Olympic alternate from USRowing TC – Oklahoma City Mike Gennaro, who won gold in the 2011 under 23 men’s eight and gold in the men’s eight and pair at the 2011 Pan American Games.

There are 17 women entered in the lightweight women’s single sculls event. Four of the entries are currently training at the USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City including Nicole Dinion, who won bronze in the lightweight women’s quad at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, Chelsea Smith, who finished fourth at the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships and Kate Bertko, who finished ninth in the women’s double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. Bertko, who also competed at the 2009 and 2010 World Rowing Championships in open events, will be competing for the first time as a lightweight. She recently set the Indoor World Record for Lightweight Women's 6K on the Concept 2 ergometer in March in a time of 22:06.3. Also competing for USRowing Training Center - OKC will be Kat Schiro who competed in the Lightweight Women's Quad at the 2011 Under 23 World Rowing Championships.

Racing begins tomorrow morning with time trials and continues with heats on Thursday evening. Semifinals will take place Friday morning, with A and B finals scheduled for Saturday morning. For more information including tentative race schedule and directions to Mercer Lake in West Windsor, visit www.usrowing.org. For a complete list of entries, visit https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/entries/index.jsp?job_id=2980

April 10, 2013

OKC's David Banks: World Rowing Athlete of the Month


OKC National High Performance Center athlete David Banks was recently named the Athlete of the Month by World Rowing. David spoke with World Rowing about how he became involved in the sport and transitioned to the US National Team - check out the interview HERE .

OKC National High Performance Center TV

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