WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The 2015 U.S. Pan American Games Team this summer is going to have a bit of a Philadelphia feel to it.

Of the 11 events that were contested at the Pan American Games Trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., Vesper Boat Club won four—the men’s and women’s single sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls and women’s double sculls.

Add in the winning lightweight men’s double sculls composite Cambridge Boat Club and Malta Boat Club crew of Austin Meyer (Cohoes, N.Y.) and Colin Ethridge (Laytonsville, Md.), that has been training with the Vesper team, and the total number for the group is five crews.

“It will be a big team thing at Pan Am Games,” said Vesper men’s single sculler Yohann Rigogne (Besançon, France), who was the first Vesper athlete to win. “So it’s good. It looks like the program is working. We did a camp in Austin (Texas) and we’ve been doing pieces against each other to make the team go as fast as we could.”

Rigogne, who represented the U.S. in the men’s single at the 2014 World Rowing Championships, pulled away from the field at the start and won his race in 6:59.86. Austin Rowing Club’s Taylor Brown (Middletown, Dela.) was second in 7:09.43 and Community Rowing, Inc.’s David Ringham (Boston, Mass.) was third in 7:10.05.

“It was a fun race,” Rigogne said. “I wanted to go fast for the first thousand so it would be easy in the second thousand to ensure my spot and make the national team again. I think I had a good enough time to feel good about it and to train and try again for the world championships team.”

Eleven events were featured in the Pam American Games Trials including the men’s and women’s single sculls, lightweight women’s single sculls, men’s and women’s double sculls, lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls, men’s and women’s pair, men’s four and lightweight men’s four.

The winners of those events have earned the opportunity to compete for the U.S. team at the 2015 Pan American Games, July 10-26, in Toronto, Canada.

mcFetridgeFollowing Rigogne’s win was Katherine McFetridge (Thorofare, N.J.) in the women’s single. McFetridge won in 7:40.91. Elizabeth Sonshine (Craftsbury, Vt.) was second in 7:43.97 and USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Kelly Pierce (Oakton, Va.) was third in 7:47.99.

“This is a step along the way,” said McFetridge, who has her eye on the 2016 Olympic Games. “It was a great race. We did what we went out to do. It’s so exciting. It’s something I have been working on for a long time.”

Up next was the men’s double sculls final. The composite entry from California Rowing Club and Potomac Boat Club of Ryan Monaghan (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Beijing Olympian Sam Stitt (McLean, Va.) won in a time of 6:19.48.

The composite entry from Penn A.C. Rowing Association and Potomac Boat Club in Justin Keen (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Chris Massey (Mills, Mass.) was second in 6:24.05 and Craftsbury Sculling Center’s Andrew Reed (Wayland, Mass.) and Erik Frid (Madbury, N.H.) was third in 6:24.45.

“We usually pride ourselves off the start, but found ourselves in last place,” said Stitt. “These guys are young, and they really want it. It made for a really good race. It was really exciting to see that kind of speed out there.

“I’ve been staying in shape, helping out with the seat-racing at Potomac,” he said. “Then Ryan called me two weeks ago, and said he needed a doubles partner, and so I thought I would give it a go. It was just a good match.”

The women’s double final followed and Vesper Boat Club’s Beijing Olympian Lindsay Meyer (Seattle, Wash.) and Nicole Ritchie (Dummerston, Vt.) won a tight battle in 7:01.13, followed in second by the composite entry from Southern California Scullers Club and Riverside Boat Club of Stesha Carle (Long Beach, Calif.) and Hayley Daniell (Hopkinton, N.H.) in 7:01.69.

USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Keziah Beall (Bainbridge, Wash.) and Molly Hamrick were in contention coming into the final meters, but missed a stroke and fell back into third, crossing in 7:02.81.

Meyer has not been on a national team since she competed in the women’s single at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. “I’m excited to don the U.S. uni again,” Meyer said. “It was a hell of a race for everybody who was in it. It was pretty intense.”

Vesper’s next win came in the lightweight women’s single. Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) won in a time of 7:41.45. Southern California Sculler’s Katheryn Schiro (Huntsville, Ala.) was second in 7:48.95 and Potomac's  Emily Schmieg (Philadelphia, Pa.) was third in 7:53.67.

“It got a little choppy in the middle, but it was good racing and I’m excited about the finish,” said Jones. “There are good racing opportunities this summer. I’ll head up to Pan Am, which will be great, and then do senior trials later. The group at Vesper has been very competitive and it’s exciting to see. We’ll come back, train hard and see what we can put out the rest of the season.”

In the lightweight men’s double, Meyer and Ethridge won in 6:29.18. A composite entry from Craftsbury Sculling Center and Megunticook Rowing of Hugh McAdam (Grantham, N.H.) and Matt O’Leary (Westwood, Mass.) was second in 6:31.98 and Seattle Rowing Center and Riverside’s Alex Twist (Seattle, Wash.) and Jacob Georgeson (North Olmsted, Ohio) was third in 6:35.29.

“We were happy to show the speed we are capable of,” said Meyer, a seven-time U.S. National Team member.

ltw2xIn the final of the lightweight women’s double, the GMS Rowing Center entry of Victoria Burke (Redding, Conn.) and Sarah Giancola (Buffalo, N.Y.) won in 7:04.02. Riverside’s Erin Roberts (Fogelsville, Pa.) and Hillary Saeger (Dedham, Mass) were second in 7:05.86, with Vesper’s Helen Tompkins (Seattle, Wash.) and Liz Euiler (Philadelphia, Pa.) third in 7:16.20.

The men’s pair was the next event and the USTC – Oklahoma City entry of Brendan Harrington (Garden City, N.Y.) and Matthew Mahon (St. Louis, Mo.) won in 6:47.28. The Vesper and Penn A.C. Rowing Association composite crew of Taylor Brown (Winter Park, Fla.) and Erick Winstead (Fairfield, Conn.) were second in 6:49.93. The composite entry of California Rowing Club and Vesper of

m2-“It was a little windy, a little choppy, but we just got out in front where there was some calm water. We just kept our composure and were able to hold off the rest of the field,” said Mahon. “But it was a tough battle. It was a lot of fun though. I’m glad we are here and have this opportunity. I can’t wait to go to Toronto and represent the United States.”

In the women’s pair, the USTC – Princeton crew of Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio) and Emily Huelskamp (Sainte Genevieve, Mo.) won in 7:13.26. USTC – Princeton’s Erin Boxberger (Overland Park, Kan.) Claire Tolson (San Mateo, Calif.) were second in 7:14.64 and Riverside’s Maureen McAuliffe (Herndon, Va.) and Lily Keane (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished third in 7:26.55.

“The water was really rough,” said Bruggeman. “We caught a lot of bobbles. There was a little middle section where we picked up speed and got our rhythm, but it was hard to hold. We were just trying to get our oars in and push as hard as we could when we did.”

The lightweight men’s four from USTC – Oklahoma City in Matthew O'Donoghue (Bryn Mawr, Pa.), Andrew Weiland (Upper Arlington, Ohio) Peter Gibson (Belmont, Mass.) and Robin Prendes (Miami, Fla.) rowed uncontested and finished with a time of 6:07.10.

The USTC – Princeton men’s four of Nareg Guregian (North Hills, Calif.), Keane Johnson (Palo Alto, Calif.)  Kyle Peabody (LaGrange, N.Y.) and David Eick (Raleigh, N.C.) also rowed uncontested and finished in 6:11.16.

In total, 14 crews will represent the United States in competition this summer at the 2015 Pan American Games. The U.S. will also field men’s and women’s quadruple sculls and men’s eight crews. The men’s and women’s quads will be comprised of the winners of the men’s and women’s double sculls and the winners of the men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls. The men’s eight will be selected from the winner of the men’s four and the top two men’s pairs. A nomination committee will select the men’s eight coxswain.

The U.S. Pan American Games Team roster will be announced by Friday, May 22, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.