Outdoor Center News

IMG 5003

Kevin Meador finishing 3rd in the Men's 1x

IMG 4927

Mickey Fili placing 4th in the Women's 1x

GRP Race at Trials I

Last Updated: 24.Apr.2019

This past week the Men and Women of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project Rowing Team started their racing season down in Sarasota Florida at the USRowing Trials I Regatta which selected the Men's and Women's Single Sculls that will represent the US at this year's World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria in September. This year is an especially important World Championships as it is qualification year for the 2020 Olympic Games that will be held in Tokyo next summer. Countries wishing to compete at the Olympics must qualify each boat by finishing within a certain number of spots of first place, depending on boat class. For example, the top five finishers in the 8+ at Worlds will qualify their country for that boat for the following year's Olympics. But for the Double Sculls, it's the top eleven finishers, with all the other boat classes falling somewhere in between those numbers. Needless to say, it's always a very high stakes World Championships during the year prior to the Olympics. 

The GRP were wrapping up their annual spring training trip after spending four weeks in Deland Florida before they headed down to Sarasota to race. This year saw the deepest fields that have raced at Singles Trials in the past three years, with 43 entries in the Men's Single and 24 entries in the Women's Single. This regatta also hosted a Speed Order for them Men's and Women's lightweight singles which doesn't select those respective athletes for World Championships but provides them an opportunity to race the rest of the field in the US and see how everyone stacks up against each other. The Men's and Women's Lightweight singles had similarly large numbers of entries. 

Racing started Thursday the 18th with Time Trials for all boats. The open weight singles fields were cut down to the top 14 finishers in the time trial with a four-boat progression following and the lightweight singles were cut down to 16 athletes. A sunny morning with a strong crosstail wind greeted the athletes with challenging conditions to start the weekend of racing. On the Women's side of the GRP, Mickey Fili finished 4th in the time trial followed by Alex Spaulding in 11th, Taylor Goetzinger in 12th, and Bridget Schodorf in 20th. On the Men's side John Graves placed first in the Time Trial with Kevin Meador taking 6th, Lucas Bellows placing 15th, Wes Vear 17th, Nathan Lado 24th, and Andy Raitto 28th. Only those in the top 14th advanced to the Heats that evening. Jenny Mcilvane finished 15th in the lightweight single, advancing to her heat. It was a bittersweet race for those eliminated because, while they all raced well, the depth of the fields meant that making it through the time trial was no trivial feat. In the heats, Fili won her heat and Goetzinger placed 4th, relegating to the repechages Saturday morning. Spaulding placed third in her heat, also heading to the reps. Meador won his heat, advancing straight to the semifinals Saturday afternoon with Graves placing second in his heat and moving to the reps. Mcilvane placed 5th in her heat, sending her to the C level final Saturday morning.

Friday's racing was moved around to accommodate extreme winds so the athletes had an off day before Saturday morning reps took place. The athletes took advantage of the day off to recover and mentally prepare for the following day of tough racing. Graves advanced to the semifinals Saturday afternoon but both Spaulding and Goetzinger placed 2nd in their repechages, eliminating them from racing.  Mcilvane finished her weekend of racing by placing 4th in the C final. Exhibition finals were held Saturday morning after the lower lightweight finals for those eliminated during the time trials. Bellows and Vear placed 1st and 2nd in their Exhibition 1 final, both more than 7 second ahead of the rest of the field. Lado and Raitto followed placing 2nd and 6th in their Exhibition 2 final.

Saturday evening saw the Men's and Women's Semifinals with both Fili and Meador placing second in their races, advancing both of them to the A Final the following morning. Graves was eliminated after placing 4th in his semifinal. Sunday morning Fili placed 4th in her final and Meador placed 3rd in his. Steve Whelpley, coach of the GRP was quite pleased with the results of the week and was very encouraged with the progress that the team has made over the past month and a half of training and racing. The team will be putting together various doubles to race at the Speed Order II in the open weight doubles before setting their sites on Trials II in July.

See full results and times here!