Nashville Rowing’s Competitive masters were well represented at this year’s USRowing Master’s National Championship, held just down Interstate-40 in Oak Ridge, TN. With around 1,500 entries in 202 categories, many races were hotly contested and athletes put their training to the test against peers from all over the nation. Nashville’s 16 entries, marked the largest contingent that our club has ever been represented by at the National Championship Regatta!
Beginning the four-day event Thursday morning was the Mixed D 2x, Nashville’s Lizabeth Theiss and her doubles partner James Robinson (Rocket City Rowing Club) raced to 4th in their heat, the Mixed F 2x, Don Sullivan and Kren Teren, followed with an afternoon final finishing 6th. Dietmar Kuttelwascher, fresh off his dominant performances at SE Regionals and the Canadian Henley Regatta, won his final in the Men’s Open D 1x, bringing home Nashville’s first gold of the weekend.
Friday morning kicked off with heats for the women’s sculling entries. The Open B 2x, Rachel Rock-Blake and Amie Thurber, raced a solid heat to qualify for the afternoon’s final, while Lynnisse Roehrich-Patrick, Dawn Foster, Lisa Delaney and Maggie Davidson made a strong trip down the course but ultimately just missed qualifying for the final for the Club E 4x. The Men’s Club C 4+, Kuttelwascher, Will Weaver, Steve Grant, Sean Wlodarczyk, with coxswain Chris Calico, placed third in their heat to advance to the final, and Kuttelwascher quickly turned around to race to second place in the heat for the Open C 1x, to secure another trip down the course for afternoon racing.
Starting off Friday’s finals, Rock-Blake and Thurber just missed the podium, but out-sprinted the competition from the Texas Rowing Center to claim 4th place by a mere half-second, followed by the gentlemen from the Club C 4+ who raced to 6th place, and Kuttelwascher, who claimed the bronze medal in the Open C 1x. In finals-only events, Kren Teren earned the silver medal (challenging for gold with an impressive sprint!) in the Women’s G Lightweight 1x, and the 4x of Mark Ragland, Dennis Sperazza, Steve Patrick and Don Sullivan placed 5th in the Open G category.
Saturday morning saw heats for the Women’s Open C 1x, Men’s Open G 1x, and Women’s Club 8+. Theiss raced to 6th in her single, and Sperazza qualified for his final with a second place showing. In one of the most exciting finishes of the morning, the Women’s Club 8+ of Foster, Tina Hartert, Jenn Cheij, Rock-Blake, Angela Boatman, Emy Noel, Katherine Denney, and Delaney, coxed by Laura Miller, executed an excellent performance for 3rd place in the heat but just missed qualifying for the final. In afternoon racing, Sperazza raced to a solid 6th place in his final, while Kren Teren and doubles partner Nancy Schay (Atomic Rowing), won the Women’s Lightweight G-J 2x event.
Sunday’s racing began with the Atomic-Nashville composite entry of Kathy O’Gorman (Atomic Rowing), Schay, Teren, and Theiss, who qualified for the final with a second-place performance in their heat of the Women’s Open E 4x, and later raced to fourth place. They were followed by the Club B 4+ of Kuttelwascher, Weaver, Wlodarczyk, and Josh Herring, coxed by Calico, who raced to 6th in their heat. Concluding Nashville’s racing for the weekend was the Men’s F-G 4x, where Ragland, Sperazza, Patrick and Sullivan raced to 2nd place in the G category.
At the end of the weekend, Nashville’s masters finished 33/47 in the combined team points trophy, with the women earning 40th/58, and the men earning 29th/70. There was great racing all around and all participants left the event hungry for fall rowing!