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Elite Rowers Compete for Titles at 2013 USRowing National Championships

June 25, 2013

Not one race should be overlooked – every flight of crews holds a potential national champion in their event. 

The 2013 USRowing National Championships highlight some of the most elite rowers in the country this Wednesday through Friday, June 26-28 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

Time trials will be held on Wednesday evening, heats and repechages fill the entire day on Thursday and finals will be held on Friday.

With many exciting races to come, one that deserves some attention is the men’s eight from the USRowing Training Center in Oklahoma City. The nine college-aged men will be representing the United States at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia July 6-8.

Composed of coxswain Christopher Leonard, Kasey Colander, Jeff Latham, Luke Wilhelm, Jim Letten, Luke Yehlen, Keane Johnson, Ian Leutzow and Zach Petronic, the head coach Matt Lehrer and his crew is using the national championships to prepare for what’s to come.

“Elite Nationals, for us, gives the crew an opportunity to do a test run against high-level competition,” Lehrer said. “We know the competition we'll face will be stiff and no one will back down. 

“With a younger boat than the rest of the field, it will be a great opportunity for our guys to step up and raise their game coming into their last week of preparation. The lessons they'll learn under the duress of racing will be critical to their success the following week in Russia.”

Lehrer said the crew’s race at national championships will be very similar to their upcoming race in Russia, due to the lack of knowledge about the rest of the field.

“For many of our guys, this will be the fastest field they've ever raced in, so learning how to execute when it matters most in a highly competitive environment is key,” Lehrer said. “With a group of guys that hasn't done any racing together yet, it will be an important step for us to test our speed against more experienced racers to see how we can improve in our final week of preparation for the World University Games.”

In Russia, the crew will be in the men’s senior eight category, racing against University-aged men representing Norway, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and The Netherlands.

The men’s eight competition won’t be the only event to watch at the USRowing National Championships, though. 

In the women’s lightweight single, bronze medal winner from the 2012 USRowing National Championships, Lilianne Page, will be competing from Ottawa Rowing Club. In the men’s pair, six of 12 entries come from the USRowing Training Center in Oklahoma City, including several medal winners from 2012.

Time trials begin June 26 at 6:00 p.m., and continue until 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, racing will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and finals on Friday will be from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. 

For an updated heat sheet of the event, visit http://www.herenow.com/html/heats.html?raceId=57.

For race results, visit http://www.usrowing.org/Events/EliteNationals/2013NCResults.aspx.

For press coverage of 2013 USRowing National Championships, visit http://www.usrowing.org/Events/EliteNationals.aspx.

Finals will be live streamed on USRowing's YouTube chanel: http://www.youtube.com/user/usrowingorg.

About USRowing
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, Filippi, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, JanSport, Ludus Tours and Rudy Project. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. The USRowing National Team program relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. New opportunities exist to support the teams through the next quadrennial, culminating with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and the USRowing adaptive programs also benefit from corporate support. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at beth@usrowing.org.


Courtney Fritts, courtney@usrowing.org

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