August 31, 2009

Quinn, Nat’l Team Capture Silver in Poland

Print More

When you’re competing for the title of “World Champions,” second place is pretty darn good.
Facing incredible talent and competition, the U.S. lightweight-8 boat glided into a second-place finish yesterday during the grand finals at the World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Aboard the boat representing the U.S. was current Cornell coxswain Kerry Quinn ’10 along with recent Cornell graduates Andrew Diebold ’06 and Matt Kochem ’08. The three were selected for the national team following an intense qualifying and training period this past summer in Princeton, N.J.
The U.S. and Italy were the favored boats coming into the championship race after winning their individual qualifying heats the previous Sunday.
Having clocked in with a faster race time than Italy during the qualifier, the men’s lightweight-8 boat had reason to be optimistic about the final race.
However, the largest obstacle the national team faced during the championship race wasn’t a lack of talent or motivation.
“[Water] conditions were very challenging for the race,” Kerry said in an e-mail, referring to a brutal tail wind on the course yesterday morning which made for fast racing and choppy water conditions.
The national team got off to a good start at the beginning of the race, but lost ground in the second 500 meters of the straight 2000-m course to Japan, the Netherlands and Italy, which established and maintained an early lead.
Despite a slow start and challenging water conditions, the U.S. quickly came back in the second half of the race.[img_assist|nid=37687|title=Kerry Quinn|desc=Courtesy of Kerry Quinn|link=node|align=left|width=179|height=240]
“We were in fourth place when I called for a big push at the 1000-m mark [halfway point] and we closed a lot of margin,” Kerry wrote.
This move brought the U.S. team into second place, but despite continuing to attack during the last 500-m stretch of the race, it ultimately fell short of a first-place win.
“The extreme chop in the water made it tough to close on Italy at the end,” Kerry said.
Italy crossed the finish line first with a time of 5:33.9, while the U.S. followed a few seconds later for a strong second-place finish of 5:37.1.
“I’m thrilled to have gotten this opportunity to represent the United States,” Quinn added. Quinn will be back on campus and will return to Big Red rowing tomorrow.