In a morning that had not gone particularly well for the U.S. crews before it at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, the U.S. men’s eight rowed a stunning repechage, pulling through Canada in the final 500 meters and holding off a late charge by New Zealand to win its race and return the U.S. to the final again.
After finishing third in the heat on Tuesday, there was trepidation among the U.S. contingent that the crew, which has been rebuilding throughout the year, could finish in the first two spots and make a return to the top.
The belief in the talent was there, it was just that it would take an incredible performance to beat the Canadians and the home favorite Kiwis.
As expected, Canada jumped into the lead off the line and the crew of DelGuercio (Media, Pa.), Tom Peszek (Farmington Hills, Mich.), 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.) went after them.
Canada led right into the third quarter of the course, with the U.S. trading seats beside them. But when New Zealand started to challenge, the Canadians faded and the U.S. went high and hard, finishing a hair ahead of the Kiwi boat in a time of 5:38.48 to 5:39.08.
Now the eight will race the final Sunday in the last race of the regatta and face New Zealand, Australia and The Netherlands, which finished first and second in the second rep, in addition to heat winners Germany and Great Britain.
Seven U.S. crews raced today. In addition to the men’s eight, the lightweight men’s four, the men’s and women’s single sculls, men’s pair, arms-only men’s single sculls and the legs, trunk and arms mixed four with coxswain also saw action.
The lightweight men’s four crew of Will Daly (Vail, Colo.), Oklahoma City's Ryan Fox (Edgerton, Wis.), Nick LaCava (Weston, Conn.) and Anthony Fahden (Lafayette, Calif.), topped the day’s card, racing in the second semifinal, but the crew could not find its way into the top three.
Falling behind off the line, the U.S. made a push in the middle and seemed prepared to threaten the lead boats, but the attack fell apart in the third quarter of the race. They fell back into fifth, finishing in a time of 6:30. Great Britain won with a time of 6:20.48.
Following the lightweight four in the first semifinal of the men’s pair, the Oklahoma City crew of Ryan Monaghan (Rochester, N.Y.) and Deaglan McEachern (Portsmouth, N.H.) also missed the opportunity to race in the final, finishing fifth in a time of 7:20.64.
From the 500-meter mark, the top three crews – New Zealand, Great Britain and Italy – separated from the pack and pushed into a lead of several boat lengths of open water. New Zealand won with a time of 6:50.88.