(L-R) Craftsbury Rowing Club's Ben Davison, Benjamin Dann, John Graves and Peter Graves won the men's quadruple sculls final at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Rowing at the Nathan Benderson Park on April 19, 2016 in Sarasota, Fla.
The men’s quadruple sculls crew from Craftsbury (Vermont) Outdoor Center won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Rowing final held Tuesday morning at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, earning the opportunity to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next month.
The crew of Ben Davison, Ben Dann, John Graves and Peter Graves will have the opportunity to lock down their starting spot in Rio at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta on May 22-24 in Lucerne, Switzerland. They must record a top-two finish in order to advance to Rio.
After winning the time trial Sunday with a time of 6:03.08, Craftsbury led the final from wire to wire, opening a three-second lead in the first 500 meters before cruising to a 6:05.09 finish, well ahead of the second-place time of 6:09.94, posted by the California crew of Ian Silveira, Paul Marcy, Derek Johnson and John Madura.
The Craftsbury crew features a blend of experience and youth. Leading the way is 2012 Olympian Peter Graves, who helped power the U.S. to an eighth-place finish in quadruple sculls at the 2014 world championships after placing 13th in London in 2012. He won the single sculls at the 2015 national championship.
Peter’s younger brother John will seek his first Olympic trip, along with Dann and Davison. A 19-year-old native of Durham, England, Davison brings impressive credentials to the crew despite being its youngest member. He won the single sculls at the 2014 and 2015 U23 world championship trials and placed seventh at the U23 worlds in single sculls last year. The Graves brothers and Dann comprised three-quarters of the bronze-medal crew in the quad at the 2014 World Rowing Cup 3, which was held in Lucerne, where they will attempt to earn their Rio berth.