USA Rowing had an impressive showing at the 2017 World Rowing Championships by placing teams in six of the 10 finals.
In Saturday’s medal round, the host country finished with two silvers and a bronze, narrowly missing another top-three finish.
“We’re medaling in classes we didn’t last year,” said Dan Brauchli, a USA Rowing spokesman. “This year, the U.S. team was looking forward to building a foundation … leading up to the penultimate races in Tokyo.”
That Japanese capital city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics.
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The world championships, founded in 1962 and held annually since 1981, took place in Rio de Janiero last year. The highlight of the international rowing season, which returned to the U.S. for the first time since 1994, concludes Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park with races beginning at 8:40 a.m.
The runner-up finishes for the U.S. came in the PR3 mixed coxed four (for adaptive rowers) and women’s pair. The Americans placed third in the lightweight women’s double sculls. Narrowly missing a medal was the U.S. women’s four team that placed fourth.
Jenny Sichel, a coxswain on the PR3 team, took pride in a fourth straight runner-up finish in the world championships. She, along with rowers Jaclyn Smith, Zachary Burns and Danielle Hansen, were part of those teams. The only newcomer is Michael Varro, who contributed to the group’s time of 7:18.80 in their 200-meter race.
“The fact that we kept three of the four rowers from Rio and the same cox really made it easier to get into a boat down here,” said Sichel, noting the consistency of striving to beat the leading boat while fending off the third-place finishers.
As for capturing yet another silver at the world championships, Sichel said this year’s medal was especially rewarding since it came in America.
“It’s so cool,” said Sichel, a Bryn Mawr College graduate from New Jersey. “You go to these different countries and you get people supporting you there, but it’s amazing at home.”
The other silver medal for the U.S. came in the women’s pair with Megan Kalmore and Tracy Eisser teaming up to cross the line in 7:04.37. In the lightweight women’s double sculls, Americans Emily Schmieg and Michelle Sechser rowed to a third-place finish in 6:56.38.
Just out of the running for the U.S. with a fourth-place finish in the women’s four were Molly Bruggeman, Kristine O’Brien, Erin Reelick and Kendall Chase with a time of 6:35.46.