2014 US ParaRowing Team named at trials

By Allison Fredrick | July 07, 2014, 2 p.m. (ET)
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Four crews and several new faces earned spots on the United States National Team on Monday at the 2014 Para-Rowing World Championships on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The winners of the four events contested today have been named to the team that will compete August 24-31 at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Competing in the arms and shoulders men’s single sculls, Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) defeated two-time Paralympian Ron Harvey of Long Beach Rowing Association and Daniel Ahr from Medstar NRH Paralympic Sport Club, who represented the U.S. in the event in the 2013 World Rowing Championships. Haxton clocked a 5:14.41 over the 1,000-meter course, to Harvey’s 5:34.94. Ahr crossed third with a time of 6:06.59.

“It’s a huge honor to make the national team and to race at that caliber,” said Haxton. “It is a dream come true. I’m really excited to represent the U.S. and do those guys proud.”

Rowing in the arms and shoulders women’s single sculls, Community Rowing, Inc.’s Katelynn Steinke 
(Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts) won in a 6:03.84. Steinke, who started rowing three months ago, won her first rowing competition to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team and edged out Capital Rowing Club’s Dana Fink, who finished ninth in the event at the 2013 World Rowing Championships, and clocked a 6:37.82 at the line today.

“I came here to row with no expectations,” said Steinke. “I was more preoccupied with getting my boat and my equipment in order. I’m shocked to make the national team, and in general, with the support that everybody has given me. I plan to train hard over the next month and learn all I can from everyone around me.”

Rowing uncontested in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls, CRI’s Jaden Thoennes (Bloomington, Illinois) andCallum Borchers (Franklin, Massachusetts) completed the course in 5:11.15 to earn their spots on the team.

Also rowing uncontested in the legs, trunk and arms mixed double sculls, CRI’s Andrew Johnson (Riverside, Connecticut), a five-time national team athlete in the legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain and a 2012 London Paralympian, andStephanie Cox (Raleigh, North Carolina) finished in a 4:05.92.

In addition to the four trials boats, the legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain was named at the conclusion of selection camp at Community Rowing, Inc., in June. Representing the U.S. is coxswain Jenny Sichel (Clifton, New Jersey),Ricky Vandergrift (Cincinnati, Ohio), Zachary Burns (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Danielle Hansen (California) and Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, New York).

“The LTA four is showing some real speed,” said USRowing Director of Para-Rowing Tom Darling. “It’s a young group eager to represent the U.S. at the world championships. I’m also very excited about the prospects for the men’s and women’s singles, with new athletes in the mix. Ron (Harvey) being here (at trials) upped the anti and the competitive aspect of racing, and (Dana) Fink pushing Katelynn (Steinke) was important.”

For complete event results, click here. Event finals that were live streamed Monday morning on USRowing’s You Tube channel will be available for download in the next week at www.usrowing.org.