May 02, 2012

Crunch Time: OKC Rowers Head to Olympic Qualifier

Will Newell

The selection process has come to an end for the men’s eight and the lightweight men’s four crews that will represent the U.S. at the Final Qualification Regatta May 20-23 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Representing the U.S. in the lightweight men’s four are Oklahoma City residents Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden. Prendes and Fahden return from the boat that finished 13th at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. LaCava and Newell won the lightweight men’s pair event at the first National Selection Regatta and were members of the lightweight eight that finished fifth in Bled.

The men’s eight lineup consists of coxswain Zach Vlahos, Grant James, David Banks, Steve Kasprzyk, Jake Cornelius, Brett Newlin, Ross James, Will Miller and Giuseppe Lanzone. Banks, Newlin and Lanzone were members of the men’s four that finished ninth at the 2008 Olympic Games. Grant and Ross James trained in Oklahoma City for a year before being selected to the men's eight at the 2011 World Championships. Kasprzyk joins the lineup from the men’s eight that won gold at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Selection for the men’s eight was determined based on lineup evaluations and training camp performance in Berkeley, Calif., under U.S. men’s eight coach Mike Teti. The U.S. will need to win the event in order to qualify the boat for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Selection for the lightweight four was based on training camp performance and results of the first National Selection Regatta lightweight men’s pair racing. The crew coached by, Oklahoma City National High Performance Center Head Coach and three-time Olympian Bryan Volpenhein, will need to place in the top two at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta to qualify for London.

OKC National High Performance Center TV

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