September 30, 2010

One Down One (Final) to go for Monaghan and McEachern

Nine boats are now one victory away from representing the United States at the 2010 World Rowing Championships after winning their first finals on Thursday at the 2010 World Championships Trials at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

Oklahoma City residents, Ryan Monaghan and Deaglan McEachern pulled away from teammates Grant and Ross James over the final 500 meters to win the first final of the men's pair. Monaghan and McEachern trailed the James brothers by just under two seconds at the midway point of the race before sprinting home in a 6:51.306 to win by more than eight seconds. The two crews will face off in tomorrow's second final. Regardless of the outcome, the United States will be represented by two Oklahoma City athletes in the men's pair at this years World Championships.

In the men's single sculls, Ken Jurkowski, a 2008 Olympian in the event, took control of the race in the first 1,000 meters and crossed the finish line in a 7:18.987. Craftsbury Sculling Center's Thomas Graves moved from fourth place to second over the final 1,000 meters. Graves held off Oklahoma City's Martin Etem by 0.19 seconds to earn the other spot in the second final. This result concluded an impressive run for Etem at this year's trials, proving he has an incredibly bright future in elite level sculling.

In the men's pair with coxswain, the crew of coxswain Marcus McElhenney, Steve Kasprzyk and Troy Kepper, won by a boat length, crossing the line in a 7:36.16. OKC's Steve Young, Nareg Guregian and Justin Stangel finished second, 2.6 second behind. Guregian, Stangel, and Young will have one more shot at earning a national term berth when they race in final two Friday.

Mike Nucci and Oklahoma City resident Evan Tsourtsoulas won the first final of the lightweight men's pair by just over two seconds. Nucci and Tsourtsoulas finished with a time of 7:20.461. Riverside Boat Club's Andrew Diebold and Greg McKallagat finished second and will race in the second final.

In the lightweight women's quad event, Michelle Sechser of OKC finished third in a time of 7:15.6.

The 2010 World Championships Trials are being contested in a best two-out-of-three format with second finals taking place Friday morning. Third finals will be held Saturday morning, if necessary. The winning crews will represent the United States at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, October 31-November 7, in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand.

The lightweight men's eight comprised of Oklahoma City's Kenny McMahon, Matt Muffleman, Michael Kerrigan, Julian Bowling and Robert Duff along with Matt Kochem, Jimmy Sopko, Skip Dise and Stephen Young will race uncontested in the event final tomorrow at 9:20 AM.

September 29, 2010

Etem, Stangel Cruise into A Finals

In cool weather and perfect conditions, the finals for the men's single sculls and men's pair with coxswain events were set this morning at the 2010 World Rowing Championship Trials.

In the men's single sculls, Oklahoma City's Martin Etem rowed a strong race to advance to the A final, finishing second in a time of 7:02.4. Ken Jurkowski, a 2008 Olympian in the event, clocked the fastest time of the semifinals. Jurkowski crossed the finish line in a 6:58.03.

Jurkowski and Etem will be joined in the final by Craftsbury Sculling Center's Tom Graves and GMS's Michael Sivigny.

In the men's pair with coxswain, OKC's Nareg Guregian, Justin Stangel and coxswain Steve Young won in a time of 7:09.988 followed by Alex Osborne, Matthew Wheeler and coxswain Rob O'Leary from the Princeton Training Center. Oklahoma City's Brandon Shald, Aaron Marcovy and Max Blumenthal finished third in 7:14.8. The top two finishers advanced to the A Final.

September 28, 2010

Etem Advances to Semi Final

Oklahoma City Resident Martin Etem advanced to the Semi Final of the Men's Single Event at the Senior World Rowing Championship Trials in West Windsor, New Jersey. Etem finished in first place of Repechage #4 in a time of 7:21.7 ahead of teammate Pat Close (7:28.6).

OKC's Ryan Shelton placed second in Repechage #1 behind Potomac Boat Club's William Cowles. The first place finisher from each repechage advanced to the Wednesday morning semi final.

OKC Athletes Move onto Repechage

Day one of racing for the 2010 Senior World Championship Trials is underway in West Windsor, New Jersey.

In the Men's Single, OKC's Pat Close placed third in heat one in a time of 7:51.9 while Martin Etem placed fourth in heat 2 (8:17.5) and Ryan Shelton finished third in heat four (8:03.3). Close, Etem, and Shelton will move onto the repechage this evening for a second opportunity to advance to the semi final.

In the closest race of the morning, Nareg Guregian and Justin Stangle finished second place in heat one of the Men's Coxed Pair in a time of 7:40.3, just two tenths of a second behind first place Penn AC (7:40.1). USRowing Training Center - Princeton finish third in a time of 7:40.5. In heat two, Brandon Shald, Aaron Marcovy and Max Blumenthal placed second in a time of 7:40.0. Both OKC crews will move onto the repechage scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9:00 AM.

September 24, 2010

OKC Residents Compete for US National Berth at 2010 World Championship Trials

Fourteen Oklahoma City National High Performance Center athletes will compete at the 2010 World Championship Trials, September 27 to October 2, in West Windsor, New Jersey. Winners of each trial event will earn the right to represent the United States at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, October 31-November 7, in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand.

OKC residents Ryan Monaghan and Deaglan McEachern have entered the Men's pair event, competing against teammates Grant and Ross James.

Ryan Shelton, Martin Etem, and Pat Close will represent Oklahoma City in the men's single among a very deep field which includes 2008 Bejiing Olympic Men's Single, Ken Jurkowski.

Brandon Shald and Aaron Marcovy will race for a berth in the Men's Coxed Pair with 17 year old Chesapeake Junior Crew coxswain Max Blumenthal. OKC's Justin Stangel will compete in the same event with Nareg Guregian.

Michelle Sechser will be racing in the Lightweight Women's Quad with Hannah Godfrey, Jenne Daley and Jill Austin.

OKC's Kenny McMahon, Matt Muffleman and Bob Duff will compete in the Lightweight Men's Eight event.

September 23, 2010

Oklahoma City Residents Peszek and Fox Named to 2010 US National Team

The six camp-selected boats that will represent the United States at the 2010 World Rowing Championships October 31-November 7 in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, have been named, USRowing announced on Tuesday. It was an incredible day for the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center as two of it's resident athletes were selected for Olympic class events. Tom Peszek will be the stroke of the men's eight, while Ryan Fox will be competing in the lightweight men's four.

Joining Peszek in the men’s eight will be coxswain Ned DelGuercio (Media, Pa.), Jason Read (Ringoes, N.J.), Charlie Cole (New Canaan, Conn.), Jake Cornelius (Brooktondale, N.Y.), Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), Dan Walsh (Norwalk, Conn.), Mark Murphy (Madison, Wis.) and David Banks (Potomac, Md.). Read won gold in the eight at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, while Walsh won bronze in the eight at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. DelGuercio, Cole, Cornelius, Newlin and Banks return from last year’s world championship squad.

Fox, along with Will Daly (Vail, Colo.), Nick LaCava (Weston, Conn.) and Anthony Fahden (Lafayette, Calif.) will compete in the lightweight men’s four. Daly, a 2008 Olympian, and LaCava return to the boat from last year’s world championships’ squad, while Fox and Fahden won silver in the 2009 lightweight eight.

September 22, 2010

Rowing Science Seminar Update

The Oklahoma City National High Performance Center and the Kossev Consortium will present a one-day Rowing Science seminar in conjunction with the OCU Head of the Oklahoma regatta. The seminar will be held Friday, October 8, 8a to 4p. Complete presentation descriptions are now available:

Dr. Valery Kleshnev: Introduction and basic principles of Rowing Biomechanics
Dr. Kleshnev will do an in-depth scientific presentation about the definition and components of rowing efficiency including propulsive forces, blade forces, and boat velocity. He will further discuss the factors limiting and affecting efficiency and the ways technique, body type, and rigging interact to impact speed and effectiveness.

Dr. Valery Kleshnev: Practical Applications of Rowing BiomechanicsIn this session Dr. Kleshnev will look carefully at each micro-phase of the rowing stroke, examining with participants the ways in which different types of technique affect boat speed. This includes a careful look at feedback from Dr. Kleshnev’s telemetry system and a discussion of effective drills to improve technique.

Andrew Carter: Enhancing Performance Through Accessible Technology
Rowing is a technology-rich sport. From boats to cox boxes to heart rate monitors, basic tools of the trade are designed to optimize performance. But most of these products give us performance feedback that we either do not know how to use or do not have the time to access. Mr. Carter is going to talk about some the performance technology equipment that we come into contact every day as coaches and athletes and discuss how to optimize our use of them to improve training, efficiency, and ultimately performance.

Sam Blades: Advanced Applications in Performance Technology
Using case studies from the Canadian national team coaches with whom he works, Mr. Blades will describe how he supports coaches to find and utilize technological solutions to coaching dilemmas and performance goals.

Keith Jefferson: The Science of Level 5 Leadership in Sport
Rowing programs, like all organizations, are heavy with the requirement of leadership, both within the team and from the coaching staff. The often qualitative aspects of organizational research however can be daunting to the layman in search of answers to the question: how am I to lead my team. Based on the sport application of groundbreaking organizational research by best-selling author Jim Collins (Good to Great), Coach Jefferson discusses two of these fundamental aspects from his own research.

Dr. Kate Ackerman: Nutrition and Optimal Performance
Navigating the limitless possibilities of diets, supplements, and performance products can be daunting. Should I try the Paleo diet? What about gels? Should I take iron supplements? Dr. Ackerman uses her own research, as well as the most current information about nutrition and performance, to debunk myths and clarify the needs of athletes during the different stages of training and competition.

Dr. Kate Ackerman: Addressing the health concerns/needs of female athletes
With rowing’s rapid expansion amongst junior and collegiate women, the health issues of girls and women have become an important topic in the sport. Dr. Ackerman is one of the country’s leading clinician/researchers in young female athletes and their bodies’ particular needs as they mature and as they seek to improve performance. She will discuss her research and provide practical information for those who work closely with these athletes about how to support their training and development.

Dr. Peter Davis: Taking your program to the next level: Performance Planning, services integration, and gap analysisEvery rowing program – club, junior, college, and elite – strives to take its overall performance to the next level. Bringing his 28 years of experience working with sports teams and national sports organizations from the US to Jordan, Dr. Davis will help participants understand how to identify performance gaps, set achievement benchmarks, and collect necessary objective data to create a strategic performance plan. He will also discuss how to integrate resources and services to achieve the goals of that plan.

September 13, 2010

Rowing Science Seminar in OKC

The Oklahoma City National High Performance Center and the Kossev Consortium will present a one-day Rowing Science Seminar in conjunction with the OCU Head of the Oklahoma Regatta. The seminar will be held Friday, October 8, 8 AM to 4 PM, with an optional early morning on-the-water session.

During the seminar, national and international sport science experts will discuss their research and the practical applications of science and technology to the art of rowing. The speakers will share best practices and explore how the sport of rowing can be enhanced through available performance technology. Topics appropriate for coaches at all levels as well as masters and elite athletes, will include:

  • the physics of the stroke cycle
  • rowing biomechanics
  • nutrition and optimal performance
  • how to maximize use of readily accessible performance technology
  • additional topics tailored for junior and collegiate coaches

Speakers currently slated include sports medicine specialist Katherine Ackerman, MD/MPH, world renowned biomechnical expert Valery Kleshnev, PhD; and University of Miami Head coach Andrew Carter, a collegiate rowing coach with international experience in applied sports science.

Registration for the seminar is $75; the optional on-the-water session is $25.

Please register here:

For more information, email Julie McCleery at

September 10, 2010

Three-time Olympian Bryan Volpenhein named Assistant Coach for Oklahoma City National High Performance Center

One of Team USA’s most decorated rowers will help develop the country’s next Olympic rowers in Oklahoma City. Bryan Volpenhein, a three-time Olympian who stroked the men’s eight to a gold medal in Athens and a bronze in Beijing, has been named assistant coach for the OKC National High Performance Center.

Volpenhein began his rowing career at Ohio State in 1994 at the age of 18 and brings twelve years of international rowing experience to Oklahoma City. He made his first national team in 1998 where he won his first gold medal at the World Championships in Cologne, Germany. He is a 10-time national team member, winning four gold, a silver, and a bronze medal at the World Championships.

Volpenhein began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Washington in 2004-2005 before going to culinary school at the Art Institute of Seattle. He has spent the last two years coaching at the Pocock Rowing Center in Seattle, Wa, where he coached the team to solid performances at all National Selection Regattas and put five athletes on the National Team. He helped coach the men’s lightweight 8+, women’s lightweight 4x, who won a silver and bronze at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan, Poland. 2010. He also coached the men’s lightweight four and women’s lightweight double.
In addition to his role as assistant coach at the OKCNHPC, Volpenhein will also be a lightweight men’s coach for USRowing.

In addition to coaching, he will work as a chef for the restaurants of A Good Egg Dining Group in Oklahoma City.

September 06, 2010

Head of the Oklahoma in 4 weeks!

The Oklahoma City University, Head of the Oklahoma will be held in its original location, Regatta Park, with two days of racing October 9-10, 2010.

The weekend of racing will again feature all the attractions you've come to expect from this annual event - including the 500m OG&E Night Sprints - against the backdrop of improvements to the Oklahoma River racing venue: the new $10 million Devon Boathouse, home of OCU rowing, and the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, a four level tower meeting both FISA and ICF standards.

OKC National High Performance Center TV

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