At the U23 National Team Trials in Sarasota, Fla. in mid-June, three out of five events contested by Conshohocken Rowing Center(CRC) won trials and made the time standard to earn the right to represent the United States at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria July 19-23.
CRC head coach Craig Hoffman said, “I am so excited for these student-athletes who put aside internships to row, trial, and represent the USA. CRC and its stakeholders are so proud of these student-athletes. We are looking forward to seeing how they compete at the World Championships in July.”
Aislinn O’Brien (Saint Joseph’s University/Archbishop Carroll) and Katrina Miehlbradt (University of Toronto) won the U23 lightweight women’s double sculls by more than 40 seconds, leading wire-to-wire with a time of 7:21.28. Both women are daughters of rowers from the 1990 USA national team – Miehlbradt’s mother is Alexandra (Overy) Miehlbradt and
O’Brien’s father is Chris O’Brien.
Miehlbradt and O’Brien said, “Our race felt really strong – we had a really solid start and kept the momentum going from there until the finish, so we were very happy with how the piece felt and even more excited about qualifying for worlds. Now we’re just going to use what we learned at trials to keep working hard and gaining as much speed as possible for Bulgaria.”
In the U23 Women’s Lightweight Single, Emma Mirrer (Princeton University) won the race with a time of 7:58.71, an impressive margin of 19 seconds over Ruthie Lacy.
Mirrer said, “Rowing on the world stage has been my dream ever since high school. Making the U23 national team would not have been possible without CRC, my beloved high school coach Peter Wilhelm, or Paul Rassam.”.
Conshohocken’s Justin Schmidt (University of Delaware) and Sean Rybus (Georgetown University), as well as Nathaniel Sass (University of Pennsylvania) and Ian Holly (University of Pennsylvania), competed in the lightweight men’s doubles. Sass and Holly had a fine start but were overtaken by Schmidt and Rybus, who led by 3/4s of a length through the 1,000 meter mark. Unfortunately, Schmidt and Rybus were not able to hold off a strong second-half charge from Tim Parsons and Ryan Tripp, finishing second.
Despite a series of unfortunate events, including clipping off about six inches of his bow, Robert Sherman (Naval Academy) posted a time of 6:56.53 in the time trial. In the B final, Sherman rowed unopposed and posted a time of 7:15.91 which was 94.6 percent of the competitive standard time.
Although the CRC Lightweight Men’s 4X was in a slightly different configuration, the crew of Simon Dubiel (University of Pennsylvania), Eli Rabinowitz (Georgetown University), Ruben
Luthra (Georgetown University) and Troy Riesenberger (University of Pennsylvania) won the race with a time of 6:08.81. The veteran crew was unfazed as their opposition led for the first 250 meters, and won by a margin of six seconds.
After the race, Rabinowitz said, “It was great to get down to Florida and have a chance to test our speed. Now we are looking forward to working with our coaches to refine our stroke, working toward the U-23 World Championships. We also want to take a moment to say thank you to all of Conshohocken’s stakeholders and community whose generosity has made everything we do possible.”
The invited scullers for the U23 Men’s Quad started their journey to Plovdiv in singles under the tutelage of coaches Lyons Bradley, Fergal Barry, Christie Castorino, Jim Smigel and Jackie Castorino.
Bradley noted that the scullers have made significant progress in terms of technique in a short time, which will pay off dividends in the coming weeks as seat racing begins.
Hoffman and assistant coaches Lyons Bradley, James Konopka and Aaron Preetam will accompany the trials boats as well as the selection camp team boats to the U23 World Championships.