June 27, 2012

OKC's Olympians and Paralympians to Compete at US National Championships

When the 2012 USRowing National Championships begin on Mercer Lake in West Mercer, N.J., not only will some of the best rowers in the country be on hand, but six athletes from Oklahoma City will get some final racing in before heading off to the London Olympic Games next month. The event will also feature the 2012 Paralympic LTA 4+ which includes OKC's Emma Preuschl and Andrew Johnson.
Among the 103 crews entered in the 18 events that will take place June 27-29 are the US Men’s Pair of Silas Stafford and Tom Peszek, and the US Lightweight Men’s four crew of Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden. The lightweight men’s four will be racing in two events including the Men’s Pair and the Men’s Four.

The regatta will be held at the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center and will feature 18 boat classes and one adaptive event, the mixed legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain.

Oklahoma City will also be represented in the Men's Pair by 2008 Beijing Olympian Will Daly with teammate Greg Flood, a member of the 2011 U23 Lightweight Men's Four. They will take on OKC's Christian Klein and Kyle Traub. Klein competed in the Lightweight Men's 8+ at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Two OKC crews will go head to head in a straight final on Friday in the Men's Coxed Pair. Justin Stangel, Blaise Didier, and Stephen Young will race teammates Ryan Shelton, Max Goff and Marcus McElhenney. Stangel represented the US in the Men's Pair at the 2011 World Championships while Didier competed in the Men's Coxed Pair. Young coxed the Lightweight Men's Eight and the Men's Coxed Pair at the 2010 World Championships in New Zealand. McElhenney is a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the Men's Eight.

Frank Petrucci will race for OKC in the Lightweight Men's Single. Petrucci competed in the Lightweight Men's Four at the 2011 Pan American Games.

The duo of Michelle Sechser and Chelsea Smith will return to the Lightweight Women's Double for this event, while joining Lindsey Hochman (Pocock) and Hillary Saeger (Riverside) in the Women's Quadruple Sculls. Sechser and Smith won two bronze medals for the United States at the Pan American Games in the Lightweight Women's Double and Women's Quad.

Greg Ansolabehere will compete in the Men's Single and join Potomac Boat Club's Taylor Frank to race in the Men's Double.

Racing will begin Thursday morning with heats followed by afternoon repechages. Finals will take place Friday morning.

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