One week before the opening ceremonies were set to begin in London, eight current or former members of Cornell’s heavyweight, lightweight and men’s rowing teams were representing their country at a different venue — the 2012 U23 Rowing World Championships.
The race was held from July 11-15 in Trakai, Lithuania. The eight members from Cornell’s rowing program had to endure a series of USRowing selection camps and a day of trials in New Jersey before being selected to participate in the World Championships. All three Red crew teams were represented at the race — four from the heavyweight team, two from lightweight and two from the women’s team.
Gardner Yost ’12 and James Voter ’12 rowed in the men’s eight and Alexander Karwoski rowed for the men’s squad. Last year — as part of the men’s varsity eight squad — the trio led the Red to its fourth straight Madeira Cup with a five-race sweep against No. 14 Penn. Senior Chris Massey also participated in the men’s quadruple scull.
For the lightweight team, seniors Dylan Gould and John Redos were selected for their second straight U23 World Championship in the lightweight Quadruple Scull. Both rowed for the varsity eight last year, helping the Red to a silver medal at the EARC sprints and a fifth place finish at the IRA Championship.
For the women, Solveig Imsdahl was picked for the lightweight double race and All-American Taylor Goetzinger rowed for the women’s eight squad.
All eight rowers represented Cornell with pride, coming away with three gold medals at the Championships. Yost and Voter carried the men’s eight to a gold and Goetzinger led her women’s eight squad to a first-place finish as well.
It was a neck-and-neck race on the men’s side, with the U.S. team racing towards the finish with Germany on its tail. The U.S. took the lead in the final 250 meters, though, and was able to defend its world title by a narrow margin.
The Red’s other five participants in the championships also fared well. Gould and Redos helped the lightweight men’s quadruple scull to a fourth place finish in the B-final. Imstahl — part of the women’s lightweight double scull — helped her squad dominate the C final, finishing 13th overall by more than 14 seconds over the next best competitor. Massey, the last Cornell participant in the race, finished in second in the C-final with the men’s quadruple scull for 14th place overall.
The Red was also represented at the London Olympics this summer. Ken Jurkowski ’03 earned his second Olympic berth after he won the men’s single event at the 2012 USRowing Olympic Trials.
Back in Ithaca now after an extremely successful trip to Lithuania, the rowing teams have their sights set on a strong 2012-13 season.
The women’s team — after recording one of its most successful seasons in the past 20 years — has recruited ten new freshmen to help provide depth for the Red. Seven of the eight members of the varsity eight boat last season graduated, and the squad will need to develop its freshmen to eventually take their places.
The men’s heavyweight, lightweight and women’s teams will all kick off the year with three meets in October. Their fall season begins with the Head of the Genesee in Rochester, N.Y. The Red will then travel to Boston, Mass. on Oct. 21 for the prestigious Head of the Charles and will finish the fall season with races at Princeton and Syracuse. The squads will then have a five month break before beginning their spring season.