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.

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