Author Archives: National Rowing Foundation

National Rowing Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Induction Ceremony Weekend

Location – Sarasota, Florida

The National Rowing Hall of Fame – Class of 2016 Induction ceremony took place in Sarasota, Florida on April 23, 2016. For a recap of the event, including photographs, please visit row2k for more details.

The Class of 2016 Induction ceremony happened at the same time as the 2016 Olympic Rowing trials in Sarasota at Nathan Benderson Park. The weekend was a great celebration of rowing, honoring the inductees from the Class of 2016 and the athletes racing to represent the US at the Rio Olympics in the following boat classes; W1x, M1x, W2x, M2x, LW2x, LM2x, M4x.

2016 Rowing Calendar

National Teams
Events
Dates
Location
Boats/Events
Boat Progression

Nat’l Senior Selection Regatta: NSR 1

3/21-24
Chula Vista

Senior Team W2-,
M2-Senior LM2-

World Cup 2 or 8+, 4x, and 4- campInvite to LM4- camp

Para-Olympics Trials
4/6-7
Mercer Lake
TAMix
U.S. Olympic Team
FISA World Cup 1
4/15-17
Verese, Italy
Possible participation
Para-Olympics Trials 4/17-24 Sarasota, FL ASW1X, ASM1x U.S. Olympic Team
US Olympic Trials 1 4/18-24 Sarasota, FL Previously qualified Senior events: W1x, W2x, LW2x, LM2x

Unqualified Senior events: M1x, M2x, M4x

U.S. Olympic Team

FISA World Cup 2

FISA World Cup 2 5/27-29 Lucerne, Switzerland

Last qualifying regatta for the Olympics: M1x, M2x, M4x, M8+

W2-, M2- if attended

U.S. Olympic Team
Olympic Trials 2 6/19-22 Mercer Lake W2-, M2- if no attendance at WC2 U.S. Olympic team
Final Senior Team Selection 6/20 W8+, W4x, M4-, LM4- U.S. Olympic team
U23 Worlds Selection Camp 6/20-7/6 Hanover, NH
Olympic Games 8/6-14 Rio de Janerio
Senior Worlds
U23 Worlds
Junior Worlds

Paralympic Games

8/21-28

 

9/7-18

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rio de Janerio
 

 

 

National Rowing Foundation
San Diego Crew Classic 4/2-3 Mission Bay NRF Beer & Brats reception for all with Senior team
National Rowing Hall of Fame Induction Gala 4/24 Sarasota, FL 6 Boats and two patrons; all invited
Tim Hosea Golf Outing 6/6 Princeton, NJ

“Henley Royal Regatta Reception

6/28-7/3 Henley-on-Thames NRF reception for friends and families of U.S. athletes
Junior Worlds Championships 8/21-8/28 Rotterdam, Netherlands NRF reception for friends and families of U.S. athletes
Head of the Charles Regatta 10/22-23 Cambridge, MA NRF reception for friends and families of U.S. athletes
Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/29 Philadelphia, PA NRF reception w/ Nat’l Team Athletes
Head of the Hooch TBD Chattanooga, TN NRF reception w/ Nat’l Team Athletes
Golden Oars Gala 11/17 New York, NY

The National Rowing Foundation Announces the 2016 Inductees to the National Rowing Hall of Fame

NORTH STONINGTON, Conn., January 25, 2016 — The National Rowing Foundation announced today the selection of two devoted patrons of the rowing and 6 boats comprising twenty six athletes for induction to the prestigious National Rowing Hall of Fame.

The crews of the boats being honored include exceptional men and women – heavyweight and lightweight – who under took the daunting competitive challenges of international competition to achieve multiple medal winning performances in the Olympic Games and World Rowing Championships. “In choosing these honorees, the selection committee members were unanimous in their judgement that the performances of the boats and their crews more than met the rigorous Hall of Fame standards,” stated Kent Mitchell Chair of NRF Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “They will join the many great Hall of Fame crews from the 1936 Berlin Olympic Gold Medal “Boys in the Boat” eight to the 1984 and 2008 Olympic Gold Medal women’s eights.

The six crews selected are:

The 1976 Olympic bronze medal Women’s eight: Jackie Zoch Major, Anita DeFrantz, Carie Graves, Marion Greig, Anne Warner Taubes, Peggy McCarthy Bailey, Carol Brown, Gail Ricketson-Helfer, Lynn Silliman Reed and Coach Harry Parker;

The 1976 Olympic Silver Medal Men’s Pair: Calvin Coffey and Michael Staines;

The 1996 Olympic Silver Medal Men’s Quad: Tim Young, Eric Mueller, Brian Jamieson and Jason Gailes;

The 1996 Olympic Bronze Medal Lightweight Men’s Four: Marcus Schneider, Jeffrey Pfaendtner, David Collins and William Carlucci;

The 1996 Olympic Silver Medal Lightweight Women’s Double: Teresa Bell and Lindsay Burns Barbier;

The 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalists Lightweight Women’s Double: Christine Collins, and Sarah Garner Walsh.

The Patrons selected for their long, expert and selfless contributions to the sport are:

Timothy M. Hosea, MD – Being honored posthumously for his over 20 year commitment to rowing through his dedicated service as the US Olympic and National Team doctor.

Joanne Wright Iverson – for 17 years championing the inclusion of women in Olympic rowing culminating in her managing the women’s 1976 Olympic Team.

The National Rowing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Concurrent with the U.S trials for the Rio Olympics, the 2016 induction ceremony will be held on April 23rd, 2016 near Sarasota, Florida. Tickets will be on sale at www.natrowing.org beginning the week of January 25, 2016.

The National Rowing Foundation

Founded in 1966, the NRF has raised millions of dollars in support of the development, selection and participation of our athletes in international competition and the preservation of rowing history through the National Rowing Hall of Fame. For additional information: contact Mara Keggi Ford (203) 525-6566 National Rowing Foundation; E-mail mara@natrowing.org

World Championships 2015 – Behind the Scenes #3

By, Will Daly – Stroke of the USA LM4-

Not much happened today.  The men’s quad raced and made it through, a few other boats raced for lanes, but otherwise it was pretty quiet as far as racing goes.  It got much cooler and started raining today, apparently this is the weather we will have for the rest of the regatta.  The high 60’s low 70’s are great to race in but I could do without the rain.  If you want to find out more about the racing and how all the US boats are doing click here.

World Championships 2015 – Behind the Scenes #2

By, Will Daly, stroke of the USA LM4-

 

Today was a day of thirds; third in the women’s quad, third in the women’s double, third in the lightweight men’s four, third in the men’s eight.   The good news is all these boats are moving on and will get to keep racing.  The women’s eight did win their heat, for the rest of the days results and how things are progressing click here.

 

So I didn’t get much behind the scenes today because I had my own racing to take care of.  Our race went fairly well (I am in the men’s lightweight four), at least it gave us a good starting point to work with.  We chose not to go to a world cup so that we could train a little bit more and not have to worry about losing weight.  From a physiological perspective it seems like it was a great choice and hopefully that’s what it comes down to as this week wears on.

 

More racing tomorrow, I have to put on my compression tights and get to bed.

2015 World Rowing Championships – Behind the scenes #1

By, Will Daly, stroke of the USA LM4-

So racing has finally kicked off and the US is doing pretty well so far.  A few boats won their heats, a few boats came in second and all the boats are moving on. If you want to see the results and know how the progression works click here, the rest of this post is going to be about behind the scenes.  What are people talking about in the dining hall and what are people thinking about during this stressful week of racing.

If you were wondering what Glenn Ochal, bow seat of the men’s 4-, was thinking about this morning before going out and winning his heat I’ll tell.  It wasn’t rowing, well I am sure there was some rowing going on in there, but he was focused on the Eagles, the Philadelphia Eagles that is.  They had a preseason game yesterday and he knew everything that went down.  He and Cam Kiosoglous, coach of the lightweight men’s four and also an avid Eagles fan, could have talked for hours, but racing got in the way.

Tomorrow will bring more racing and some more insight into the US National Team.

National Selection Regatta (NSR) I – Selection Begins

 

With the start of racing at NSR I kicking off on April 22nd so begins the first official step to determining the 2015 World Championship Team. There will be nine events at the regatta (W2-, M2-, LW2x, W2x, M2x, LM2-, M1x, W1x, LM1x) and this will be the first step for those athletes on a five-month journey to France. Each boat class has a little different route and what follows is what athletes in each boat class are looking at.

M2- & W2-

These athletes will be competing not just for first, but every place will be important. Firstly, the winners will have the opportunity to declare intent to compete at World Cup. These winners can chose to try and qualify for the World Championships by competing in World Cup II or III. For the M2- they must place in the top 6, for the W2- they must place in the top 4.

Secondly, the athletes competing in these events are also trying to earn spots in selection camps for the following boats: M8+, W8+, M4-, W4-. The top 6 finishers in each event will automatically be invited to the selection camps. The coaches will have discretion in inviting any additional athletes to the selection camps.

M1x, W1x, M2x, W2x & LW2x

These athletes will all be competing for the top spot. The winners will have the opportunity to declare intent to compete at a World Cup. These winners can chose to try and qualify for the World Championships by competing in World Cup II or III. If these athletes chose to try and qualify for the World Championships they must come in top 6 with the exception of the LW2x who have to place top 4.

The top two finishers for the W2x will automatically be invited to the selection camp for the W4x. The other athletes who do not come in first will have the opportunity to wait and potentially race at trials for the their respective events later in the summer.

LM2-

The LM2- is not technically a National Selection Regatta event, but rather a Speed Order event. These athletes are trying to earn a spot in selection camp for the LM4-. The top two finishers will automatically be invited to selection camp, the other athletes invited will be at the coach’s discretion.

LM1x

This is also a Speed Order event, but there is not any reward for the top finisher. Theses athletes may come together to form doubles to race at NSR II in the LM2x.

Getting to Know the Athletes

Getting to Know the Athletes

Seth Weil Vicky Opitz, stroke of the men’s 4- and bow of the woman’s 8+ at the 2014 World Championships, had a few words to share with us. Talking of their starts in rowing, the rough races they have had and even a bit of advice that has helped them in their success.

 

Seth Weil 

The basics – Where are you from? Where/When did you learn to row? What University did you attend?

I was born and raised in Menlo Park, California and I learned to row as a walk on at the University of California, Davis.  

What other sports did you play growing up? Do you think any of these affected you positively in your transition to rowing?

I spent most of my time Windsurfing and Sailing. During the summer I would teach sailing camps in the morning and then go out and windsurf with my friends for the rest of the day. I’m not sure if windsurfing itself helped, but seeing people learn how to control their bodies definitely helped when it came to receiving coaching later on in rowing.  

What is your fondest memory of rowing to this point?

My fondest rowing memory is tricky…I can throw out a few contenders though. Being able to race the last two World Championships. Winning Lucerne as a team was awesome. In general, traveling around the world with friends is tough the beat. Last, but not least, winning the intermediate single at Club Nationals!

What is your most embarrassing rowing memory, flipping, ejection crab and the like?

Getting last place at head of the Charles in the 1x! I am still incredibly glad I raced this particular race.

You have had a pretty incredible run in the 4- since you have been on the team, what has that been like?  Did you feel like there was any pressure when you first joined that boat in 2013 after the performance after the olympics?

Oh man… The first year on the team I was a bit overwhelmed by everything.  To be honest, I didn’t have any mental space to think about the Olympics… or even the next five hundred meters.  At that point I had limited my responsibilities (thankfully my teammates picked up the slack) to just pulling hard and trying to slot into the rhythm as best I could. I also think the attitude on the team was also very forward thinking. It was a new cycle with new challenges etc.

For other young guys still in school or just finishing and hoping to join the team what advice would you give? You took a less traditional route before you joined the team would you recommend that to anyone else?

Go get experience.  Find out where the fastest guys are in your area and go train/race/watch them.  You can never find a substitute for experience. Ask if you can watch a workout or join in on one.  Race in races you have no business being in. It is unlikely you will be invited to gain the experience you need so find a way to get it. It takes thick skin and a lot of rejection. Doing anything well is all about the details — the things people don’t write or talk about.

Lastly, what is one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know?

The tendon in my right pinky finger is severed so it doesn’t bend correctly.  Keep your digits away from garbage disposals!

 

Vicky Opitz

Vicky Opitz

The basics – Where are you from? Where/When did you learn to row? What University did you attend?

I am from Middleton WI.  I attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. (Go Badgers!)  I went to a learn to row camp at the University of Wisconsin – Madison before my freshman year of college there.

What other sports did you play growing up? Do you think any of these affected you positively in your transition to rowing?

Growing up I played a lot of tennis.  This was my main sport till I got to college.  Before Highschool I did dance (ballet, tap and jazz) and swim team.  Highschool I was tennis, basketball, and soccer. I would say all of these affected me positively in my transition to rowing.  I think having sports that teach you body awareness and that have different focuses (be it technical or learning to work together with others) help with rowing.

What is your fondest memory of rowing to this point?

Ok, I have two.  The first one is winning Big Ten’s as a team my senior year of college.  We had been so close every year before and 2010 was the year we made it happen.  Senior team memory would have to be my first international race wearing a “USA” uni.  This was Lucerne 2013, most of us in the 8+ were pretty new to senior team racing and didn’t really know what to expect.  We went out there looking to do our best…we won and set the new world record…it was fantastic!

What is your most embarrassing rowing memory, flipping, ejection crab and the like?

Hard to choose the most embarrassing rowing memory – there have been a lot!  The memory I remember most “fondly” was racing at Club Nationals at Oak Ridge summer 2009 with Grace Latz (former Wisco/ current Senior teammate).  We were racing the pair and were doing pretty well going into the last 600 meters. Then the boat just started to sharply veer off course.  I think we were in lane 2 and did a 5 lane sweep in which we finished off the course…we still came in second though!

When you think about your future in rowing, do you think just about Worlds this year, or do you think long term also, the Rio Olympics and beyond?

I try to concentrate on the here and now, trying to improve and getting a little better every day.  If that keeps happening I hope to keep going and see where that takes me.

It has been said that you may be the happiest person on the Senior Team.  How important do you think a positive attitude is to helping you survive the day to day grind and achieve long term success?

Ha ha!  Not sure how I got that title but I am flattered.  I think it is important to have a positive attitude to survive not just the day to day grind but also long term success.  On a day to day level, rowing is a sport were sometimes things can be going really well and sometimes…not so well.  It’s important to realize that some days aren’t going to be your best no matter what and if you can think about them in a positive way and at least learn something from them then it’s better. Long term positivity is easy.  I love the sport of rowing and training with such a great group of hard working, funny and talented women makes it a joy to do.

You are also known to be quite a connoisseur of donuts.  What makes a good donut? What is your favorite type of donut? Who makes the best donuts?

I can not deny that I have a major sweet tooth when it comes to donuts.  How is it possible to pick a favorite type of donut?!?!?  Ok, first, there are a lot of different types…glazed, twist, cake, fritter, sour cream, filled, sugar, frosted, yeast, french cruller, etc.  What makes a good donut is the texture, for example a good sour cream donut should be kinda crunchy on the outside with a very dense cake on the inside.  If I only had to pick one to eat for eternity it would probably be a cake donut with chocolate frosting.  Who makes the best donuts?  I’m going to have to give a shout out to Federal Donuts in Philadelphia PA.  They make great sugar donuts that are different at each location and they have the most interesting flavors that keep changing, thus, I have to keep going back to try them! 

Lastly, what is one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know?

One interesting fact that many people may not know…..I have my SCUBA license.  Nothing like learning how to scuba dive in the cold waters of Wisconsin!

 

 

Getting To Know The Team Series

Over the past few months while many of you have been suffering through a rather rough winter, the USRowing athletes have been out in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.  Now you may think it is all just fun in the sun — beaches, surfing, volleyball and the occasional row, this is not the case.  I mean fun is had on the rare afternoon of free time, but with both the men and women doing three sessions a day more often than not, the real focus is preparing for the 2015 World Championships and qualifying for the Rio Olympics.

We do get to spend a great deal of time together in the dining hall commiserating over rough training sessions or celebrating the good ones. The dining hall is especially fun because athletes have the opportunity to get to know one another. Leading up to next month’s NSR, we will be interviewing two athletes each week and sharing their stories with you.

This week I am proud to introduce you to Austin Hack and Kerry Simmonds, two talented rowers and very interesting people.

 

Austin Hack

Austin was gracious enough to provide us with an outstanding photo of himself growing up along with a photo of him in South Korea learning about the local customs.

Austin Hack

The basics – Where are you from? Where/When did you learn to row? What University did you attend?

I’m from Old Lyme, CT, a small coastal town about halfway between New York and Boston. I started rowing at the learn-to-row program in my town when I was 12, and then rowed for my local club (Blood Street Sculls) and my high school (Lyme-Old Lyme). I graduated from Stanford University last June, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Modern Languages (German/Arabic).

What other sports did you play growing up? Do you think any of these affected you positively in your transition to rowing?

From a young age, I participated in sports year round. Until the end of middle school, I sailed in the summer, played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. I didn’t start to focus on rowing until high school, when I dropped everything except for rowing and basketball. As a skinny, lanky, and not particularly athletic kid, learning the coordination required by different sports definitely helped me to gain better control of my body, so I’d say playing other sports was hugely beneficial. Gaining that athleticism and bodily awareness continues to help me today.

What is your fondest memory of rowing to this point?

I think winning the World Cup in Lucerne in 2013 is my favorite memory to date. It was my first race at the senior team level, and our success coupled with the beautiful scenery of Switzerland makes it a cherished memory.

What is your most embarrassing rowing memory, flipping, ejection crab and the like?

I used to flip in the single periodically when I was at Stanford. We rowed at the Port of Redwood City which was an inlet from the San Francisco Bay, and there were sometimes weird tides and eddies that could be pretty startling. There was also this tide control system (AKA “the waterfall”) in the tidal wetlands near the boathouse that caused huge currents to rush through when the tide was changing, and I flipped going through that after all of my teammates had already made it. I think I completely ruined at least two backstays from such capsizes.

You made the Senior team while still in school, how has the transition been from student athlete to full time athlete?

It’s definitely been a big change. Making the team in the summers after being in school for nine months was somewhat less stressful, because there wasn’t the daily pressure to perform like there is when you’re a full time athlete. Previously I could just show up in June, rip off a couple race pieces and hope I won my seat races; as a full time athlete, you’re judged by the body of results you build over the whole year. Though it’s certainly more stressful, I can see that I’ve made a lot of improvements since transitioning to full-time, so that’s been rewarding.

When you think about your future in rowing, do you think just about Worlds this year, or do you think long term also, the Rio Olympics and beyond?

I think everyone on the team has Rio in the back of their minds at all times, but personally I like to focus my energy on the shorter term. Obviously this year’s Worlds will be extremely important in terms of actually qualifying for the Olympics, but I don’t even think that far ahead- I prefer to get through every day one by one, and build those days into weeks and then months. Thinking about all the training we still have remaining before Rio can seem pretty daunting, so that’s mainly why I set shorter-term checkpoints.

For other young guys still in school or just finishing and hoping to join the team what advice would you give?

Speaking of my own experience, the two most significant changes I’ve had to make since college were my strength in the weight room, and my day-to-day mentality. While I did lift in college, I’ve had to play catch-up a little bit since joining the team, and I’ve slowly been seeing the benefits of that. Regarding my mentality, I had to improve my ability to perform at my potential throughout the daily grind, regardless of mental or physical fatigue. If national team hopefuls worked on those two pieces, I think that would make their transition to life on the team a bit more fluid.

Lastly, what is one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know?

I am extremely passionate about donuts.

Austin Hack

 

Kerry Simmonds

Kerry provided us with this great photo of her (right) and her sister at the beach in her hometown of San Diego.

Kerry Simmonds

The basics – Where are you from? Where/when did you learn to row? What University did you attend?

I am from San Diego, California. And I learned to row at the University of Washington in Seattle.

What other sports did you play growing up? Do you think any of these affected you positively or negatively in your transition to rowing?

I was always into sports growing up, beginning with soccer, running, basketball and of course I LOVED partaking in all the games at school (e.g. teatherball, kickball, four square, handball, capture the flag, etc). In high school I varsity lettered in cross country, basketball and track & field. Basketball taught me about body awareness and how to communicate with my teammates on the court. Cross country gave me a good endurance base and the mental toughness. Both sports most definitely helped with my transition to rowing in college.

What is your fondest memory of rowing to this point?

I suppose I might have to say last year’s NSR in the women’s pair is my fondest rowing memory to date because it was so surreal. My pair partner, Megan Kalmoe and I went in with no expectations but a mindset to do our best and hope that would qualify us for the A final. We were able to work together well and improve over the three day regatta. In the end, although the field was very tight, we came out on top. It was amazing to feel like on that final day our best was good enough.

What is your most embarrassing rowing memory, flipping, ejection crab or the like?

At the 2014 World Championships this past summer in Amsterdam. Kalmoe and I accidentally held the American flag backwards on the medals podium. And there are pictures to prove it. Not our most patriotic moment.

You have had some great success during your brief period on the senior team so far, in both big and small boats, which do you prefer and why?

I think I would have to say it’s still too early in my career on the senior team for me to cultivate any preferences, so really I am still just happy to make a boat on the team. I do enjoy the intimacy and greater responsibility that comes with racing in the pair. But I also enjoy the raw power of the eight and the feeling of flying of the water that can come when you are all working in unison.

When you think about your future in rowing, do you think just about worlds this year or do you think long term also, the Rio Olympics and beyond?

If I learned anything from being on the team thus far, is to be in the present. Take one day at a time because injuries, illness, personal crises usually happen at the most inconvenient of times. So when I think about my future in rowing I think more short term and try to achieve goals throughout the year that I set for myself.

Lastly, what is one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know?

My younger brother, Eric, recently competed on “Jeopardy!”. April 6th, 2014 air date. That is the most interesting fact about me right now 🙂