November 18, 2011

Peszek and McEachern Conquer East Coast Speed Order

The selection process for the team that will represent the United States next summer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London is officially underway with the conclusion of this weekend’s fall speed orders.

At locations on both sides of the country, USRowing held events at the USRowing Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and at the USRowing Training Center in Princeton, N.J.

Speed orders have traditionally been held to establish ranking among athletes currently training with the national team and identify potential athletes. For the men’s side this year, the event results helped determine selection camp invitations.

In Chula Vista, Will Miller clocked the fastest time of the men’s single sculls, completing the six-kilometer course in a 22:48.75. Rounding out the top four finishers were Warren Anderson in a 22:50.07, Sam Stitt in a 22:50.72 and Oklahoma City lightweight - Tom Paradiso in a 23:04.11.

On the east coast, GMS Rowing Center’s Mike Sivigny clocked the fastest time of the men’s single sculls, completing the 4.25-kilometer course in 17.19.757. Penn A.C. Rowing Association’s Stephen Whelpley finished second in 17:42.956, followed by GMS’s Seth Weil in 17:49.814. Oklahoma City's Pat Close finished 4th in 17:52.536, Martin Etem finished 5th in 17:52.646, Max Goff was 6th in 17:59.726, Ryan Shelton was 11th in 18:20.584, and Aaron Marcovy finished 16th in 18:41.467.

In the men’s pair, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Tom Peszek and Deaglan McEachern finished first in a 16:31.148. Penn A.C.’s Steve Kasprzyk and Joe Spencer finished second in 16:40.761, while USRowing TC – OKC’s Ryan Monaghan and Andrew Melander finished third in a 16:52.656. OKC's Blaise Didier and Greg Ansolabehere finished 5th 16:54.791.

Andrew Campbell of Cambridge Boat Club clocked the fastest time of the lightweight men’s single sculls, crossing in 17:35.741. USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Will Daly finished second in 17:45.890, followed by Colorado Rowing’s Greg Ruckman in 17:48.656.

In the lightweight men’s pairs, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Will Newell and Jimmy Sopko posted the fastest time of the day for all open and light pairs, completing the course in 16:28.314. Nick LaCava and Anthony Fahden finished 2nd in 16:28.585, Robin Prendes and Kenny McMahon were 3rd in 16:48.356, and Ryan Fox and Greg Flood were 5th in 17:08.565.

USRowing Training Center – Princeton entries swept the top spots in the women’s pair. Eleanor Logan and Caroline Lind won in a 16:47.750, followed by Jamie Redman and Amanda Polk second in 16:55.083. Erin Cafaro and Kady Glessner rounded out the top three with a time of 17:00.049. OKC's Meg George and Megan Smith were 9th in 17:44.366.

November 12, 2011

OKC Athletes Begin Olympic Selection Today at the East Coast Fall Speed Order

The selection process for the team that will represent the United States next summer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London officially began this week.

At locations on both sides of the country, USRowing will hold two fall speed orders beginning Thursday at the USRowing Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and today at the USRowing Training Center in Princeton, N.J.

George and Smith
Speed orders have traditionally been held to establish ranking among athletes currently training with the national team and identify potential athletes. For the men’s side this year, the event results will help determine who will be invited to the selection camps where the crews that will compete in the eight, four and quadruple sculls will be chosen.

The top four finishers in the men’s single and top three men’s pairs at the Chula Vista event and the top two men’s singles and top two men’s pairs in Princeton will earn automatic qualification to the camps.

The majority of the Oklahoma High National Performance Center's athletes headed to the East Coast. In Princeton, indoor erg testing begins at 1:15 p.m. today. On-the-water racing will be held tomorrow on Carnegie Lake beginning at 8 a.m.

The east coast event features 106 crews rowing the men’s and women’s single sculls, men’s and women’s lightweight single sculls, men’s and women’s pairs and lightweight men’s pairs.

Participating in the women’s pair are 22 USRowing Training Center athletes. Among them, the women’s pair of Monica "Meg" George and Megan Smith will represent Oklahoma City. George and Smith recently captured a silver medal in the Women's Pair at the 2011 Pan American Games in October.
Peszek
In the men’s pair, eight OKC training center athletes are scheduled to compete including Tom Peszek, who rowed the event in Bled and qualified the boat for 2012. Peszek will be racing with Deaglan McEachern who was in the 2010 World Championship pair. A new combination of Greg Ansolabehere and Blaise Didier will be testing their speed. Didier placed 6th in the Men's Pair with Coxswain at the 2011 World Championships and won a gold medal at the Pan Am Games in the Men's Eight. Andrew Melander will be teaming up with Ryan Monaghan. Monaghan represented the US in the Men's pair in 2010.

Representing Oklahoma City in the Men's Single will be Pat Close, Martin Etem, Aaron Marcovy, Ryan Shelton, and Max Goff.

In the Lightweight Men's pair OKC training center athletes Will Newell and Jimmy Sopko, Nick LaCava and Anthony Fahden, Ryan Fox and Greg Flood, Kenny McMahon and Robin Prendes will compete for the top ranking going into winter training. Fahden, Prendes, and Fox represented US in Bled in the Lightweight Men's Four. Newell, Sopko, LaCava competed in the Lightweight Men's Eight.

OKC will have 2 representatives in the Lightweight Men's Single, Will Daly and Austin Meyer. Daly is a 2008 Olympian while Meyer raced in the 2010 World Championship Lightweight Men's Eight.

October 24, 2011

Relive the Pan American Games

Click on the links below for videos of OKC athletes competing at the Pan American Games in Mexico:

Women's Pair Final (George/Smith)

Men's Eight Final (Gennaro/Otto/Didier/Johnson)

Women's Quad Final (Smith/Sechser)

Lightweight Women's Double Final (Sechser/Smith)

Men's Pair Final (Gennaro/Otto)

Lightweight Men's Double Final (Paradiso/Duff)

Men's Quad Final (Paradiso/Duff)

OKC Athletes Compete at the 47th Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston

Athletes representing USRowing Training Center - Oklahoma City traveled to Boston this weekend to compete in the 47th running of the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA.

OKC's Austin Meyer joined forces with Harvard University teammate, Andrew Campbell, in the Championship Men's Double. The crew finished second in a time of 16:42.9 behind first place Peter and Tom Graves in 16:26.8. The Graves brothers represented the United States in the Men's Double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Next up for OKC was Tom Paradiso in the Championship Men's Single. Paradiso, fresh off racing at the Pan American Games, finished 4th in a time of 18:36.7. Deaglan McEachern finished in 12th place in a time of 19:15.4 ahead of Max Goff in 14th place (19:18.2).

OKC's Hilary Cumbest finished 14th in the Championship Women's Single in a time of  21:24.9.

Tony Davis and Jacqui Kapinowski won the Mixed Trunk and Arms Double in a time of  24:32.5. Davis and Kapinowski competed in the TA Double at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Nicole Dinion, racing in the Lightweight Women's Single event, finished 10th in a time of 21:16.5.

USRowing Training Center - OKC finished 5th in the Championship Men's Four in a time of 16:32.3 and 2nd in the Championship Men's Eight in a time of 14:23.3.

In the Lightweight Men's Eight, OKC's entry posted an impressive 14:27.7 giving them first place over second place Harvard University (14:41.8).

October 21, 2011

Tulsa Alum Michelle Sechser Grabs Hardware at Pan Am Games

Link to Tulsa Sport's coverage of OKC's Michelle Sechser at the Pam Am Games:

http://www.tulsahurricane.com/sports/w-rowing/spec-rel/101911aaa.html

Former Drake rower Chelsea Smith wins two bronze medals at Pan American Games

Check out the link below for an article about OKC's Chelsea Smith:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20111020/SPORTS0204/111020019/0/SPORTS0204/?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Chelsea Smith and Michelle Sechser

OKC High Performance Athletes Return Home With 5 Medals from the XVI Pan Am Games

With the completion of the rowing events at the XVI Pan American Games, United States crews finished with eight total medals including four gold, two silver and two bronze. Oklahoma City High Performance Center athletes won five of the eight medals awarded to Team USA. Cuba won nine total medals (three gold), with Argentina (five gold) and Canada (no gold) also finishing with eight medals.


The U.S. men’s eight of coxswain Marcus McElhenney, Michael Gennaro, Matt Wheeler, Blaise Didier, Steve Kasprzyk, Joe Spencer, Ty Otto, Jason Read and Derek Johnson capped off the regatta with a wire-to-wire victory on Wednesday.

The crew took command off the start, building more than a one-second advantage during the first 500 meters of the race and increasing that lead to more than three seconds over Mexico at the midway point. Despite a late charge by Canada, the U.S. cruised to a 1.69-second victory. Canada won the silver medal, followed by Argentina.

“We just came out of the blocks faster than we’ve ever done,” said McElhenney. “The whole goal was to take the race; no one was going to give it to us. We took it from the very first stroke, and we just kept running with it. My hat’s off to these guys.”

With the victory in men’s eight race, Oklahoma City's Otto and Gennaro become double gold medalists at the XVI Pan American Games. The duo also won a gold medal in the men’s pair.

Michelle Sechser, Chelsea Smith, Catherine Reddick and Megan Walsh brought home a bronze medal in the women’s quadruple sculls.

The crew sat in fourth place behind Cuba, out of the medals, going into the final 500 meters but recorded the fastest final quarter of the race to win bronze with a time of 6:39.36. Argentina won gold in a 6:34.46, followed by Canada.

“It feels great,” said Sechser. “It was a tough race again in the quad, coming back from behind, sitting in fifth or sixth place in the second 500. We knew as a crew that we were going to grind in the middle of that base and came together as a boat. We had only practiced twice and gave it everything we had.”

With today’s medal, all four women became double medalists at the XVI Pan American Games. Oklahoma City's Sechser and Smith won bronze in the lightweight women’s double sculls, while Reddick and Walsh won silver in the women’s double sculls.

October 18, 2011

Representing Oklahoma City at the XVI Pan American Games

Left to Right: Derek Johnson (M8+), Megan Smith (W2-), Blaise Didier (M8+), Meg George (W2-), Michelle Sechser (LW2x, W4x), Michael Gennaro (M2-, M8+), Robert Duff (LM2x, M4x), Ty Otto (M2-, M8+), Tom Paradiso (LM2x, M4x),  Chelsea Smith (LW2x, W4x), Jeremy Ivey (Coach)

GOLD for Gennaro and Otto, BRONZE for Smith and Sechser at Pan American Games

Tuesday’s standout performances at the XVI Pan American Games 2011 brought the United States’ medal haul up to five. U.S. crews won two gold and one bronze on the second day of finals in Ciudad Guzman.
Men’s Pair

Oklahoma City's Ty Otto and Michael Gennaro won gold for the U.S. in the men’s pair.

“We are super pumped,” said Gennaro. “We’re really happy and excited to have the opportunity to race for the United States.”

“We got a lot of momentum going into the summer,” said Otto, who, along with Gennaro, won gold in the men’s eight at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Amsterdam. “It was fun trying to make the jump to represent the U.S. at the senior level. Coming down here is our first big multi-sport competition, and it’s just fun.”

Otto and Gennaro dominated Sunday’s preliminary heat en route to today’s final, where they crossed ahead of Brazil (6:48.74) and Canada (6:50.80) for the gold medal in 6:47.07.

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls

In the lightweight women’s double, OKC High Performance Center athletes and first-time national team members Michelle Sechser and Chelsea Smith won a bronze medal. The U.S. crew was the top seed going into the final after winning the preliminary race for lanes.

In the final, Sechser and Smith were in third position throughout much of the race. Mexico crossed first for the gold medal in 7:16.04, followed by Cuba (7:17.77) and the U.S. (7:18.88).

A bronze medal in a considerly deep field is a promising performance for the young duo of Smith and Sechser. The Cuban boat featured 2008 Olympian Yaima Velazguez in stroke seat. The Mexican double had half of their most recent 2011 World Championship combo, Lila Perez Rul, at stroke, while Argentina's double was comprised of two athletes from the light quad at Worlds. Brazil consisted of Camila Carhalho and Luciana Granato, Beijing Olympians in this event.
Men’s Quadruple Sculls

The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Tom Paradiso, Bob Duff, Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg and Andrew Quinn finished sixth in the final, posting a time of 6:10.88. Argentina edged out Cuba by 0.49 seconds for the gold medal.

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls

Paradiso and Duff returned a little over an hour later to race in the final of the lightweight men’s double. The U.S. was in fifth place at the 500-meter mark before overtaking Brazil in the second quarter of the race and finishing fourth in 6:30.85. Mexico won gold (6:24.52), followed by Cuba (6:27.07) and Canada (6:29.27).

Four U.S. crews go to the line Wednesday to race for medals in the lightweight women’s single, women’s quadruple sculls, men’s single sculls and men’s eight.

October 17, 2011

Former Texas Rower George Wins Silver at Pan Am Games

Link to Texas Athletics Article:

Former Texas Rower George Wins Silver at Pan Am Games

Meg George and Megan Smith Capture Silver for USA at Pan American Games

Team USA won two silver medals to highlight the first day of finals on Lake Zapotlan at the XVI Pan American Games 2011. Argentina leads the current medal count with three gold.


In the women’s pair, Oklahoma City National High Performance Center athletes Megan Smith and Meg George held second place the entire length of the course before making a big push to the line. The U.S. crew finished in a 7:29.05 to Argentina’s Maria Best and Maria Abalo, who won in a 7:24.57.

With the Argentine pair that raced at Worlds, three World Cup medals in the Canadian pair (in the eight, no less), a second place finish is a promising result for the new USA combination of George and Smith. The field consisted of 2008 Canadian W8 Olympian Sarah Boninkowsky - Argentina' s pair has been the focus for Beijing single sculler Maria Best since 2009, and she and partner Maria Abalo are fresh from Bled's C Final at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.
“Going into the final, Megan and I knew we had a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said George. “Argentina and Canada are smart racers and we expect(ed) to have to fight for every inch.”

"It was a push right from the beginning," said Smith. "We went out wanting to get ahead, and stay there. We were able to maintain that for quite a while and went at it as hard as we could. It was the best race we could have rowed today."

On deck for Tuesday are the finals for the lightweight men’s double sculls (9:08 a.m. CST), women’s single sculls (9:25 a.m. CST), lightweight women’s double sculls (9:49 a.m. CST), men’s pair (10:12 a.m. CST) and men’s quadruple sculls (10:35 a.m. CST).

October 16, 2011

Finals Set in Mexico - Gennaro, Otto Advance

Finals are set at the Pan American Games, with the completion of a gusty second day of preliminary racing on Lake Zapotlan in Ciudad Guzman. Despite a short break in the race schedule due to high winds, seven U.S. crews saw action on Sunday including the lightweight men’s four, women’s single sculls, men’s pair, lightweight women’s single sculls, men’s eight and men’s and women’s quadruple sculls.
Mike Gennaro
Oklahoma City's Ty Otto and Michael Gennaro won the second heat of the men’s pair by more than five seconds to highlight racing. Otto and Gennaro clocked a 6:45.85 to Cuba’s 6:51.00.

For the men’s eight and men’s and women’s quads, Sunday’s races served as a “race for lanes” to determine placement in the finals next week. The U.S. won the eight in 6:02.21 with a crew comprised of OKC's Gennaro, Otto, Blaise Didier, and Derek Johnson with teammates Marcus McElhenney, Joe Spencer, Jason Read, Matt Wheeler, and Steve Kasprzyk. The men's quad with OKC's Tom Paradiso and Robert Duff with teammates Andy Quinn and Dan Urevick Ackelsberg finished fifth (6:31.46). The women's quad with OKC athletes, Chelsea Smith and Michelle Sechser, with teammates Megan Walsh and Catherine Reddick finished third (7:02.71).

OKC Athletes Come Out Swingin' at the XVI Pan American Games 2011

A trio of preliminary wins set the stage for the U.S. team as it started its XVI Pan American Games 2011 campaign Saturday in Ciudad Guzman. With the conclusion of today’s program, seven crews advanced to the medal rounds.

Oklahoma City's Meg George and Megan Smith in the women’s pair, started the day by winning its race for lanes with a time of 7:31:72.
OKC's Michelle Sechser and Chelsea Smith came back from fourth place after the first 500 meters in lightweight women’s double sculls race for lanes to grab a first-place finish and top seed in the finals on Oct. 18.

“This was first time I’ve ever competed for U.S.,” Sechser said. “For how young we are as athletes, we were composed. We clawed our way back into first place and are in position for the finals on Tuesday.”

The lightweight men’s double sculls crew of  Oklahoma City High Performance athletes, Tom Paradiso and Bob Duff finished second in the heat (6:45:14), but came back to win the rep to advance.

More than 6,000 athletes from 42 countries will compete in this year’s Games, held every four years, a year out from the Summer Olympic Games. Rowing has been a part of the Pan American Games since 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the last Pan American Games, held in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the United States brought home seven medals on the men's side and three medals on the women's side, for a total of ten.

The 2011 Pan American Games are the third Pan American Games hosted by Mexico and the first held in the state of Jalisco. Previously, Mexico hosted the 1955 Pan American Games and the 1975 Pan American Games, both in Mexico City.

Texas Native Ready for Finals at XVI Pan American Games 2011

Check out this article about OKC's Meg George:

Texas Native Ready for Finals at XVI Pan American Games 2011

August 20, 2011

Golden Hurricane Alum Michelle Sechser Earns Spot on Pan American Games Team


 Check out the link below for the University of Tulsa's write up on Oklahoma City High Performance athlete Michelle Sechser:

http://www.tulsahurricane.com/sports/w-rowing/spec-rel/081811aaa.html

Former Rowing walk-on Meg George will compete in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 15-19

Meg George



Check out the link for below for the Texas Sports write-up on OKC's Meg George:

Former Rowing walk-on Meg George will compete in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 15-19

Eight Oklahoma City High Performance Athletes Named to the 2011 Pan American Games Team

The 2011 Pan American Games will feature a lot of familiar faces, including five Olympians that earned berths on Thursday at the conclusion of trials.

Finals got underway Thursday morning on Mercer Lake with volatile weather that delayed racing for more than an hour mid-way through the morning program. The trials determined 11 of the 14 crews that will represent the United States at the Pan American Games October 15-19 in Guzman City, Mexico.

In the final of the men’s four, the Penn A.C. crew of Matt Wheeler, Joe Spencer, Steve Kasprzyk and Jason Read posted a winning time of 6:05.43 over USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s 6:08.24 with the crew of Ryan Monaghan, Andrew Melander, Hans Struzyna and Brad Bertoldo.
Michelle Sechser
USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Tom Paradiso and Bob Duff won the lightweight men’s double sculls with a time of 6:35.61. Paradiso is 2008 Olympian in the lightweight four, while Duff is two-time national team member. Riverside Boat Club crossed second in a 6:47.44, followed by Undine Barge Club’s 6:49.63.

USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Mike Gennaro and Ty Otto, two members of the winning men’s eight at the 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, crossed the line in 6:37.49 to win the final of the men’s pair. Gennaro and Otto crossed 5.26 seconds ahead of USTC – OKC’s Blaise Didier and Derek Johnson’s 6:42.75. The 2nd place finish in the men's pair event qualifies Didier and Johnson for the men's eight which will compete at the Pan American Games, comprised of the men's four and top two pairs.

Megan Smith
In the men’s double sculls, Undine’s Andy Quinn and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg took first with a time of 6:21.94. USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City with Ryan Shelton and Martin Etem crossed second in a 6:24.04, followed by Durham Boat Club’s 6:25.91.

In the lightweight women’s double sculls, the USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City crew of Chelsea Smith and Michelle Sechser crossed the line first with a time of 7:14.11. Smith and Sechser were more than seven seconds ahead of Undine/Penn A.C.’s 7:21.85.

Megan Smith and Monica George, also racing for USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City, won the women’s pair with a time of 7:31.38 over Potomac Boat Club/Seattle Rowing Center’s 7:39.48. Vesper Boat Club finished third with a time of 7:42.84.

August 08, 2011

Guest Blogger: Nicole Dinion Recaps Her World Championship Trials Experience

Nicole Dinion
Nicole Dinion of Falls Church, VA is the first female Oklahoma City National High Performance athlete to represent the United States at the World Rowing Championships.

Below Nicole reflects on her preparation and perfromance at the 2011 World Championship Trials in West Windsor, NJ:

"It was desolate. After training in the bustle of Washington D.C. for 3 weeks, where the 7:00am jets, 7:15 news helicopters, and 7:30 EVAC practice team render hearing your coach near impossible, we were pretty excited to transition our training up to Mercer Lake in NJ. The hustle and bustle of the city was energizing; but, after a series of mornings where our boat was double booked and I tried to take out a few innocent kayakers from bow seat, we thought pieces on the empty course at Mercer County, in our own boat, would offering a refreshing change.

The change was drastic. We went from no parking and tripping over Crocs on the dock to a completely empty boat house. There was no one. We couldn’t even get into the facility because all the administrators were out of town. Thankfully we got an addition to our team - head coach of Pocock, Steve Dani, arrived from Seattle. Having a coach “watch your every stroke” can add, well, some integrity to your practice.

It was a catch 22. The flat water, buoyed race course, and lack of obstructions made training a lot easier and we made technical improvements. But without anyone around, and with no other women’s lightweight quads registered for trials, it was hard to keep that “kick” in our stroke. Finally, though, my fellow OKCers arrived. Having my team around after being apart for almost two months put the vigor back into my training. The energy, charisma, and work ethic of the athletes in Oklahoma never ceases to inspire me. It probably also helped that another quad registered.

We were geared up. I liken it to a race horse that’s all warmed up to a lather and can hear the crowd cheering. We were chomping at our bits. On finals Thursday morning we finally got to do our first, all-out, throw in the kitchen sink, 2K. I swear to you, that headwind picked up every stroke as we went down that course. I didn’t know a 2K could take a quad so long to finish. But finish, we did: securing 1st place and our spot to the 2011 World Championship. One of the most exciting parts was realizing that we had posted up a competitive time with the Women’s Open Four, who is also training in Princeton between now and the World Championship. Hopefully, they won’t be too intimidated to do pieces with us ;) "

To contribute the fundraising efforts of Nicole and the USA Lightweight Women's Quad, please visit the following link:

SUPPORT THE USA LW4X

August 04, 2011

12 More of OKC's Own Named to 2011 US National Rowing Team

Thirteen crews earned nominations to the national team after winning their respective events today at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey. Racing was decided in five Olympic events, including the women’s single sculls, men’s double sculls, men’s pair, women’s pair and lightweight men’s double sculls and seven non-Olympic events including the lightweight men’s single sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s pair, men’s pair with coxswain, lightweight men’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s quadruple sculls and the women’s four, and the lightweight men’s eight.
Some had an easier time than others, but most of the racing was tight.

In the men’s pair, USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City’s Silas Stafford and Ryan Monaghan took an early lead and held that position going into the last 750 meters. In the sprint, USTC-Oklahoma City’s Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel made a huge push and took the race for their own.

Peszek and Stangel won with a time of 6:39.16 over Stafford and Monaghan’s 6:46.29.

“We had a pretty good start, but Silas and Monaghan came out faster,” said Peszek. “We stayed calm and collected as we rowed. But when push comes to shove, only one boat wins.”

Next up in the lightweight men’s double sculls, the three-boat final featured GMS Rowing Center’s NSR #2 winners Brian de Regt and Jon Winter. de Regt and Winter raced in Europe over the summer but did not qualify for a nomination to the team.

This time, they did not let the chance slip.

The GMS crew won with a time of 6:34.04 over the composite entry from USTC-Oklahoma City/New York Athletic Club’s Robert Duff and Tom Paradiso that finished in 6:37.01.

“That was probably the toughest field we have ever faced in the U.S.,” said de Regt. “It was really tight through 750 meters to go, and then we were able to open up just a little bit and get more comfortable in the last 250 meters.”


Blaise Didier
In the men’s pair with coxswain the USTC-Oklahoma City entry of coxswain Anthony Altimari, Blaise Didier and Derek Johnson registered a first-place finish in 7:14.15 over three other crews from USTC-Oklahoma City, Penn AC and a composite crew from Vesper/Penn AC/USTC-Oklahoma City.
The lightweight eight USTC-Oklahoma City/Hanover Training Camp composite crew of coxswain John Carlson, Jimmy Sopko, Kenny McMahon, Christian Klein, Will Newell, Edward King, Matt Kochem Hills, and Austin Meyer rowed uncontested to earn a spot on the team, posting a time of 5:57.57.

Nicole Dinion
In the next race, the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls of Nicole Dinion, Hillary Saeger, Lindsey Hochman and Katherine Robinson, the composite entry from USTC-Oklahoma City/Pocock Rowing Center/Riverside Boat Club, finished in 7:10.92, defeating the Vesper entry.

Wrapping up the racing was the women’s four, a two-boat race won by USTC-Princeton’s Sarah Hendershot, Emily Regan, Kara Kohler and Sara Zelenka in 7:14.06 over the entry from USTC-Oklahoma City of Mary Jeghers, Meg George, Megan Smith and Hilary Cumbest.

For complete results of the 2011 Senior World Championships Trials, visit http://www.usrowing.org/.

August 03, 2011

OKC Athletes Set for Mercer Lake Showdown

It’s anyone’s game now.

Following two days of heats and repechages on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. this week, the final four boats in 12 of 13 events at the 2011 Senior World Championship Trials in West Windsor, N.J., have been sorted out.

In contention to represent the United States at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia are five Olympic events including the women’s single sculls, men’s double sculls, men’s pair, women’s pair and lightweight men’s double sculls and seven non-Olympic events including the lightweight men’s single sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s pair, men’s pair with coxswain, lightweight men’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s quadruple sculls and the women’s four. The lightweight men’s eight is rowing uncontested.

Today’s racing featured repechages in the men’s pair and the men’s double sculls, and semifinals in the women single sculls and the lightweight men’s single sculls.

Advancing to the final in the first repechage of the of the men’s pair was USRowing Training Center-Chula Vista’s Matthew Wheeler and David Banks with a time of 6:59.12 ahead of Oklahoma City athletes Andrew Melander and Henry Cole. Advancing from the second race in a time of 7:00.48 was Penn A.C. Rowing Association’s Stephen Kasprzyk and Joseph Spencer.


Justin Stangel
 They will be joined in the final by USTC-Oklahoma City’s entries of Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel and Silas Stafford and Ryan Monaghan.
In the men’s double sculls repechage, the composite crew of Stephen Whelpley and William Cowles and Durham Boat Club’s Michael Sivigny and Deaglan McEachern advanced to the final. Oklahoma City's Martin Etem and Ryan Shelton finished in third place.

Whelpley and Cowles, and Sivigny and McEachern, held the top two positions for what appeared to be most of the race. They were pushed hard by the USTC-Oklahoma City entry until the Durham crew dug in, ensuring them a spot in the final.

They will face Craftsbury Sculling Center brothers Tom and Peter Graves and USTC-Chula Vista’s Wes Piermarini and Jamie Koven tomorrow morning.

“We stayed long; we probably could have shortened up the stroke a little bit in the sprint,” said Sivigny. “But we just held our ground and stayed ahead of the OKC boat. They moved into us a little bit but we stayed in front, if I remember right,”

“It looks pretty good,” he said of the upcoming final. “Now there are four of us. We’re just focused on more rhythm and more run. We’ll work on our finish tonight and hopefully we’re coming out on top. That’s the goal.”

Racing resumes tomorrow with finals in all events beginning at 7:30 a.m. Heat sheets and results are available at www.usrowing.org. Finals will be streamed live on http://rowing.teamusa.org/live.

World Championship Trials - OKC Pairs Charge into Final

The quest for a trip to the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia for 13 crews began this morning on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

In contention at the 2011 Senior World Championship Trials are five Olympic events, including the women's single sculls, men's double sculls, men's pair, women's pair and lightweight men's double sculls and seven non-Olympic events including the lightweight men's single sculls, lightweight women's single sculls, lightweight men's pair, men's pair with coxswain, lightweight men's quadruple sculls, lightweight women's quadruple sculls and the women's four. The lightweight men's eight is rowing uncontested.

The men's pair has seven entries. Advancing out of the heats to the final were the USRowing Training Center-Oklahoma City's entries of Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel, and Silas Stafford and Ryan Monaghan. Peszek and Stangel had the best time of the morning, finishing in 6:33.01.

With only four entries, the men's pair with coxswain event was also a race for lanes. Rowing the best time of the morning with a 7:17.96 was the USRTC-Oklahoma City's crew of Marcus McElhenney, Brandon Shald and Brad Bertoldo.

With only one entry, the lightweight men's eight USTC-Oklahoma City/Hanover Training Camp composite crew of coxswain John Carlson, Jimmy Sopko, Kenny McMahon, Christian Klein, Will Newell, Edward King, Matt Kochem and Austin Meyer rowed the course and clocked in with a time of 5:55.86.

The lightweight women's quadruple sculls had two entries with the USTC-Oklahoma City/Pocock Rowing Center/Riverside composite crew of Nicole Dinion, Hillary Saeger, Lindsey Hochman and Katherine Robinson had the best time with a 6:39.43.

Finals in all events are scheduled for Thursday morning. Heat sheets and results are available at www.usrowing.org. Finals will be streamed live on http://rowing.teamusa.org/live.

August 01, 2011

Five OKC Athletes Named to 2011 US Adaptive World Championship Team

Four adaptive crews have been named to the U.S. National Team that will compete at the 2011 World Rowing Championships to be held August 28-September 4 in Bled, Slovenia.

Three crews – the men’s and women’s single sculls and mixed trunk and arms double sculls – earned berths by winning their respective finals at the 2011 Adaptive World Championships Trials, held in conjunction with the Junior and Under 23 World Championships Trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J in June.

 Final-only racing was contested over 1,000-meters. In the double, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Anthony Davis and Jacqui Kapinowski crossed the finish line 15.1 seconds ahead of Louisville Rowing Club/Greater Louisville Rowing Foundation’s Oksana Masters and Augusto Perez for the win.

Davis and Kapinowski posted a time of 4:17.16 to Masters and Perez’s 4:32.17.

“We had a really good start,” said Davis. “When we got past the red buoys, we kicked it up and brought our stroke rate up to 35 (strokes per minute) and we just held that.

“It seemed like we were just flying. The 250-meter mark came, then the 500, and then the 750. With 250 left, I remember looking at (Masters and Perez) and thinking, there’s no way that they can beat us; this is our race. We just kept going and it felt good.”

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Kapinowski, a 2010 Paralympic curler. “I’m very excited. It’s a phenomenal feeling. Tony and I have worked our butts off since April on the water and it paid off today. We believed in each other. The water was quite rough, but we’re very used to rowing every day in strong winds in Oklahoma.”

In the women’s single, USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Tricia Downing also raced unopposed to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team. Downing, a Denver-native and first-time national team member in rowing, clocked a 7:04.40 at the line.

“It was a really good experience for my first time racing,” said Downing. “I think I got exactly the time I was hoping for. I think I gave it a good effort and was pretty psyched with my finish. It was a little bit nerve-wracking, not because there were all these people competing around me, but because I wanted to make sure I did the proper procedures and knew what was going on. It was nice to have Ron sitting next to me as a good role model.”

Downing is a multi-sport athlete, having competed for the U.S. National Triathlon Team prior to taking up rowing just a few short months ago.

“I was a little burnt out on triathlon and wanted to try something new,” said Downing. “I had some shoulder issues and over-use issues with being in a hand cycle and pushing the racing chair. I was looking for the ways to strengthen my shoulder muscles. I came to rowing to kind of balance out my body, but I’m always a competitor and I’m always looking for competition.”

Preuschl

In addition to the trials crews, the camp-selected adaptive mixed four with coxswain crew has been named. The lineup of Alex Stein, Eric McDaniel, Eleni Englert and Oklahoma City's Emma Preuschl and Andrew Johnson will represent the U.S. at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Four of the athletes – McDaniel, Paralympic silver-medalist Preuschl, Englert and Johnson – finished sixth in the event at the 2010 World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.






July 31, 2011

Senior World Championship Trials Preview - OKC athletes poised to compete

Meg George

Racing for the final spots on the 2011 U.S. National Team begins this week at the 2011 World Rowing Championships Trials August 1-4 at the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center. The winning crews will represent the United States at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Racing will be held in the women’s single sculls, lightweight men’s single sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, men’s pair, women’s pair, lightweight men’s pair, lightweight women's double, men’s pair with coxswain, men’s double sculls, lightweight men’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, women’s four and lightweight men’s eight.

Racing begins on Tuesday with 25 OKC High Performance athletes in action:

Men's 2x
Tom Peszek
Martin Etem, Ryan Shelton

Men's 2-
Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel
Andrew Melander and Henry Cole
Ryan Monaghan (with Chula Vista Training Center's Silas Stafford)

Men's 2+
Blaise Didier and Derek Johnson (coxswain Anthony Altimari)
Brandon Shald and Brad Bertoldo (coxswain Marcus McElhenney)

Lightweight Men's 8+
Kenny McMahon, Christian Klein, Austin Meyer, Nick LaCava, Jimmy Sopko, Will Newell, Ed Mix King

Lightweight Women's 4x
Nicole Dinion (with K Robinson, L Hochman and H Saeger)

Women's 4-
Mary Jeghers, Meg George, Megan Smith, Hilary Cumbest

Lightweight Men's 2x
Bob Duff and Tom Paradiso

OKC's James Twins Named to 2011 US National Rowing Team


Ross James

PRINCETON, N.J. – The six camp-selected boats that will represent the United States at the 2011 World Rowing Championships August 28-September 4 in Bled, Slovenia, have been named, USRowing announced on Tuesday. The include the women's eight, men's eight, men's quad, women's quad, men's four, and the lightweight men's four.

Competing in the men’s eight will be coxswain Ned DelGuercio, Nareg Guregian, Josh Inman, Steven Coppola, Dan Walsh, Henrik Rummel, Alex Osborne, and Oklahoma City High Performance Center athletes, Grant James and Ross James.

Inman, Coppola and Walsh won bronze in the eight at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. DelGuercio, Guregian, Walsh and Rummel return from last year’s world championship squad.
Grant James

Under the direction of OKC's Head Coach, Bryan Volpenhein, four OKC athletes will represent the United States in the lightweight men’s four. The boat will consist of 2010 under 23 bronze-medalist Robin Prendes, Beijing Olympian Will Daly, Ryan Fox and Anthony Fahden. Daly, Fox and Fahden were members of the boat that finished 10th in New Zealand.

The rest of the senior national team squad will be named at the conclusion of the 2011 World Rowing Championships Trials August 1-4, 2011.

May 16, 2011

OKC Athletes Outstanding at National Selection Regatta

The 2nd National Selection Regatta held on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ is the first step to earning selection to the national team that will compete in Bled, Slovenia at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

With impressive results in the semi finals, athletes representing the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center showed they were ready to compete against the best in the country.
In the women’s double sculls event - advancing with a win in the first semifinal were USRowing TC – Princeton’s team of Kate Bertko and Sarah Trowbridge in a 7:11.97. In second with a time of 7:13.99 was USRowing TC – Princeton’s Natalie Dell and Stesha Carle followed in third by USRowing TC – Oklahoma City’s Meg George and Potomac Boat Club’s Stefanie Kozuszek with a time of 7:18.18.

In the men’s pair, USRowing TC – OKC’s Andrew Melander and Ryan Monaghan won the first semifinal with a time of 6:42.38. In second was the USRowing TC – OKC's pair of Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel with a time of 6:42.59, followed in third by USRowing TC – Chula Vista’s Charlie Cole and Scott Gault in 6:42.78.

In the second semifinal of the men's pair, Brett Newlin and Giuseppe Lanzone won with a time of 6:48.70. In second was the pair of USRowing Training Center – OKC’s brothers Grant and Ross James with a time of 6:49.92, followed in third by USRowing TC – Chula Vista’s Alex Osborne and Steven Coppola with a time of 6:50.02.

Racing next were the lightweight women’s double sculls. Advancing in the first semifinal was USRowing TC – OKC’s Abby Broughton and Ursula Grobler with a time of 7:17.14. In second was the crew of USRowing TC – OKC Chelsea Smith and Michelle Sechser in a time of 7:25.79, followed in third with a time of 7:29.81 by the Vesper Boat Club’s Victoria Burke and GMS Rowing Center’s Jeannette Daley.

In the second semifinal, University of California, Berkley – Women’s Alumni’s Julie Nichols and University of Wisconsin’s Kristin Hedstrom won in a 7:20.95, followed in second by USRowing TC – OKC’s Hillary Saeger and Nicole Dinion with a time of 7:25.86. In third were Pocock Rowing Center’s Katherine Robinson and Lindsay Hochman with a time of 7:28.65.

Advancing out of the second semifinal of the lightweight men's double sculls, in first place with a time of 6:44.82 was GMS’s Richard Klein and Todd Mickleson. In second was USRowing Training Center – OKC’s Bob Duff and Vesper’s John Kapteyn with a time of 6:46.98. Advancing third in 6:50.37 were Vesper’s Mike Vukich and Dan Scholz.
Next came the finals...

In the women’s double sculls, the USRowing TC – Princeton duo of Kate Bertko and Sarah Trowbridge won with a time of 7:11.96. USRowing TC - Princeton’s Megan Kalmoe and Cambridge Boat Club’s Gevvie Stone were second in a time of 7:12.66. In third were USRowing TC – Princeton’s Natalie Dell and Stesha Carle in 7:12.92. USRowing TC – Oklahoma City’s Meg George and Potomac Boat Club’s Stefanie Kozuszek finished 6th with a time of 7:29.64.

The men’s pair final was next with the USRowing TC – Chula Vista crew of Charlie Cole and Scott Gault winning in a time of 6:44.56. Cole and Gault took the lead early and held through to the finish. The USRowing TC – Oklahoma City crew of Tom Peszek and Justin Stangel finished second in 6:46.15 and USRowing TC – OKC’s Andrew Melander and Ryan Monaghan were third in 6:47.09. In fifht was the pair of USRowing Training Center – OKC’s brothers Grant and Ross James with a time of 6:50.49.

“The race was great,” said Cole. “We had a tough path. There were a lot of good crews here. Those Oklahoma City guys are doing really well. We got out and we just wanted to have a better race than the semi and take control.”

The final two events were the lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls.

In the lightweight men’s final, GMS Rowing Center’s Brian de Regt and Jon Winter led the entire race and finished in a time of 6:38.77. Undine Barge Club’s Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg and Vesper’s Matt Bokermann was second in 6:43.89. USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City’s Bob Duff and Vesper’s John Kapteyn finished third in 6:45.54.

In the lightweight women’s final, University of California – Berkley Women’s Alumni’s Julie Nichols and University of Wisconsin’s Kristin Hedstrom won with a time of 7:14.12. USRowing TC – OKC’s Abby Broughton and Ursula Grobler were second in 7:16.14. USRowing TC – OKC’s Hillary Saeger and Nicole Dinion followed in third with a time of 7:20.98. In 5th place was the crew of USRowing TC – OKC Chelsea Smith and Michelle Sechser in a time of 7:25.12.

May 01, 2011

Volpenhein Named Interim Head Coach of Oklahoma City National High Performance Center

Bryan Volpenhein has been named the interim head coach of the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center, USRowing announced on Saturday.

Volpenhein, who joined the coaching staff in August of 2010, had been serving as the lightweight men’s coach at the OKC National High Performance Center since December. A three-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the men’s eight, Volpenhein helped coach the U.S. to a silver medal in the lightweight men’s eight and a bronze medal in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

Volpenhein replaces John Parker, who has left USRowing.

March 21, 2011

Meet the Olympic hopefuls who now live and train in Oklahoma City and discover how you can get involved!

OKC National High Performance Center athletes are focused on being ready for London 2010.

Their Olympic Dreams are fueled by a desire to compete at the highest level of sport for themselves, for the United States and now for their new home, Oklahoma City.

Please join us for a 2012 Friends of the Oklahoma River reception to learn how you can become part of the Oklahoma Ciyt's community effort to support these US Olympic hopefuls in both rowing and sprint kayaking.

Tuesday, March 22, 5 to 7 PM - Wine - Hors d'oeuvres

Oklahoma City National High Perfromance Center at the Devon Boathouse, Boathouse District
725 South Lincoln Blvd.


More Empachers Arrive in OKC !!

March 18, 2011

February 21, 2011

OMRF's Olympic Hopeful - Ryan Fox


Check out a recent article about Oklahoma City National High Performance Center athlete, Ryan Fox, featured on the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation website:

OMRF's Olympic Hopeful

February 17, 2011

Meet the USRowing Senior Women's Team Tonight


Join us at the Devon Boathouse tonight for a reception with the USRowing Senior Women's Team and meet gold medal winners from the 2010 World Championships and their Olympic gold medal winning coxswain, Mary Whipple. The women will be in OKC for a two-week training camp at the OKC National High Performance Center located in the new Devon Boathouse.

During the come-and-go reception from 5-8p, tour the state-of-the-art fitness facilities at the Devon Boathouse. Amenities include extensive strength and cardio training equipment, an endless pool, a high altitude training chamber, and an indoor rowing tank.

January 30, 2011

Volpenhein Throws Down 1172 Watts in Street Clothes



In street clothes, with no warm up, OKC coach and Olympic Gold medallist - Bryan Volpenhein, pulls 1172 watts during a max wattage test on a stationary Concept II ergometer. Could this be a come back ?!

January 25, 2011

OKC Residents Participate in US Men's National Team Winter Camp

Eleven Oklahoma City athletes were invited to attend the US Men's National Team Winter Camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California:

Aaron Marcovy
Tom Peszek
Ryan Monaghan
Deaglan McEachern
Martin Etem
Max Goff
Scott Morgan
Robert Duff
Matt Muffleman
Kenny McMahon
Ryan Fox

Invitees also included future OKC residents Nick LaCava, Jimmy Sopko, Anthony Fahden, Robin Prendes, and 2008 Olympian Will Daly.

The three week camp, which brought together the top open weight and lightweight male rowers in the country, began January 2nd and concluded on Saturday.


OKC National High Performance Center TV

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