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Jen Forbes racing in the heat.

GRP Athletes Race at the Pan American Games in Perú

Last Updated: 14.Aug.2019

Last week, four of our GRP athletes got a chance to represent the United States at the Pan American Games in Huacho, Perú. The Pan American Games are held every four years, the year before the Olympics. As the name might suggest, all North, Central, and South American countries compete in almost all the Olympic sports in a similar fashion to the actual Olympic Games with over 9,000 athletes competing over the course of three weeks. The main games were held in Lima, but the rowing was held in a satellite location a few hours north, in Huacho. Of the 21 rowers representing the United States, four of them were GRP Athletes. Lucas Bellows and Jen Forbes were the Men’s and Women’s Single Sculls while Nathan Lado and Wes Vear were the Men’s Double Sculls. Maggie Fellows, a GRP alumna, raced in both the Women’s Double and Quadruple Sculls. 

Racing started on the 6th with heats for Lucas, Nathan, and Wes. Wes and Nathan placed third in their heat, sending them to that afternoon’s repechage. Lucas won his heat with a commanding, open water lead over the field, advancing him to the next day’s semifinal. That afternoon, Wes and Nathan unfortunately finished third in their repechage, relegating them to the B Final on the 8th. Jen started out racing the following day also with a commanding lead, winning her final and sending her straight to the A Final on the 9th. On the 7th, Lucas once again led from wire to wire in his semifinal, sending him to the A Final on the 10th.

On the 8th, Wes and Nate took an open water lead by the 1000m mark and held onto first place until the last 50m of the race when Uruguay out-sprinted them to win the B Final by 0.26 seconds, placing them 8th overall. The following day, Jen once again started out her race strong, holding onto second place until the 1,500m mark. She ended fifth in the A Final, a few second out of the medals. Unfortunately, a norovirus outbreak swept through the rowing athlete village throughout the week and Lucas fell to it the day before his final on the 10th. He ended up finishing 6th in the A Final after a valiant effort.

Now that summer racing is over for these four, they will join the rest of the GRP in cheering on Kevin Meador who will be racing as the Men’s Single at the World Rowing Championships later this month. But for now, they’ll be taking their end of the season breaks from rowing before starting things up again for the fall season.

Full results can be found here.