May 21, 2012

Solid Start for Team USA at Final Olympic Qualification Regatta

Prendes, LaCava, Newell, Fahden
U.S. crews fared well overall on the first day of competition at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. Five of the six crews are headed to the finals, while the lightweight men’s four, comprised of four Oklahoma City National High Performance Center athletes, will have a second opportunity to advance in Monday’s repechage.

The women’s double sculls crew of Sarah Trowbridge and Margot Shumway kicked off the afternoon for the United States – winning its heat to advance directly to Tuesday’s final.

Trowbridge and Shumway led from the start, crossing each of the 500-meter marks in first place. The U.S. posted a 6:59.97 at the finish line, followed by Spain in 7:02.10 and Denmark in third (7:02.27).

Racing next for the U.S., Warren Anderson and Sam Stitt finished second in their heat of the men’s double sculls to advance to the semifinals Tuesday. Italy was first out of the starting blocks, with China staying in a solid second through the halfway point. The U.S. crew was able to walk through the Chinese in the final stretch, edging ahead by 0.05 seconds for a second-place finish in 6:26.76.

In the women’s single sculls, Gevvie Stone also finished second to secure her spot in Tuesday’s semifinals. In a gusty cross-tailwind, Stone moved from third to second place by the 1,000-meter mark, crossing the finish line in a 7:32.00. Australia won the heat in 7:29.48. Stone finished 11th at the world championships on Lake Bled last summer and will be looking to finish in the top four in order to qualify for London.

Racing in the third heat of the lightweight men’s double sculls, Will Daly and Andrew Campbell pushed through Spain and held onto the lead to secure a spot in the semifinals on Tuesday. The U.S. crew posted a time of 6:24.40 to Spain’s 6:24.71. Switzerland also advanced with a third-place time of 6:35.65.

OKC's Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden coach by OKCNHPC Head Coach - Bryan Volpenhein, finished second in the first heat of the lightweight men’s four, just missing a spot in the final. The U.S. was in the lead crossing over the 1,500-meter mark, but could not challenge the Dutch crew that pushed through for the win. The Netherlands posted a time of 5:57.55 to the United States’ 6:00.47. The U.S. will have a second opportunity to qualify for the final in Monday’s repechage, scheduled for 6:31 p.m. local time.

The final race of the evening was the much-anticipated race for lanes in the men’s eight. The U.S. crew blasted through New Zealand and France for the win, posting a time of 5:34.01 for the top seed in Tuesday’s final.

The U.S. crew of Vlahos, Grant James, David Banks, Steve Kasprzyk, Jake Cornelius, Brett Newlin, Ross James, Will Miller and Giuseppe Lanzone took the lead by the 500-meter mark, and extended it over the course of the race to finish more than eight seconds ahead of New Zealand and more than 17 seconds ahead of France.

The U.S. will need to win Tuesday’s final in order to secure a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games.

OKC National High Performance Center TV

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