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 Finals will be streamed live on

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