April 29, 2014
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. –- Hundreds of rowers gathered in West Windsor, N.J. for the National Selection Regatta I over the weekend as the first step in qualifying for the U.S. National Team, and fans of Wisconsin rowing should be familiar with at least five of the competitors – Badger alumni Kristin Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.), Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.), Grace Latz (Jackson, Mich.), and twin brothers Ross and Grant James (DeKalb, Ill.).
Hedstrom headlined the day with a second-place finish in the lightweight women’s single, clocking in at 7:49.59. The London Olympian and silver medalist at the 2013 World Rowing Championships was narrowly edged out by Michelle Sechser, who posted a time of 7:48.61.
The James brothers finished the open pair with nearly identical times. Grant finished a nose ahead at 6:25.12 to claim third place, while Ross took fourth at 6:25.37. Glenn Ochal and his partner Charles Cole claimed the top spot in the event at 6:15.69.
Also competing in the regatta were Opitz and Latz, who ended up racing each other in the open pair. Latz and her partner, Samantha Warren, checked in at ninth place at 7:03.02, while Opitz was one spot behind at 7:04.12. Kerry Simmonds and Megan Kalmoe took first in the event at 6:49.52, which allows them to compete at a 2014 World Cup race with the hopes of earning a top-four (or top half if there are more than eight teams) finish and the opportunity to accept a spot on the U.S team.
Opitz and Latz finished outside the top six, which would have given them an automatic spot in the women’s eight, women’s straight four and women’s quadruple sculls selection camp. They can still be invited to the selection camp as determined by a broad range of criteria.
The National Selection Regatta II is set for May 14-17, also in West Windsor. The men’s open pair, in which the James brothers rowed in the National Selection Regatta I, will be among the events. The top four finishers there will automatically qualify for the men’s eight selection camp. The lightweight women’s double sculls is also on the schedule, which is the event that Hedstrom won her silver medal in at last year’s world championships.
The men’s eight selection camp takes place May 21 – July 27 in Princeton, N.J. The women’s selection camp for the eight, quadruple sculls and straight four runs April 30 – July 27, also in Princeton.
National Selection Regatta 1
West Windsor, N.J.
April 23-26, 2014
Women’s 2- (11 boats entered)
1. Princeton H (K. Simmonds), 6:49.52; 2. Princeton K (F. Mueller), 6:53.54; 3. Princeton C (O. Coffey), 6:55.20; 9. Princeton G (Warren & Latz), 7:03.02; 10. Princeton J (Robbins & Opitz), 7:04.12
Men’s 2- (Seven boats entered)
1. Princeton C (G. Ochal), 6:15.69; 2. Princeton L (S. Weil), 6:18.82; 3. Princeton G (G. James), 6:25.12; 4. Princeton J (R. James), 6:25.37; 5. Princeton B (M. Miller), 6:27.40; 6. Princeton A (T. Dethlefs), 6:29.39; 7. California A (N. Lucey), 6:38.29
Women’s Lightweight Single Final (Six boats entered)
1. M. Sechser, 7:48.61; 2. K. Hedstrom, 7:49.59; 3. D. Karz, 7:50.62; 4. M. Jones, 7:55.40; 5. H. Tompkins (8:03.38); 6. C. Stawicki, 8:09.45