Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser earned the lone medal for the United States on the final day of the 2017 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Kalmoe and Eisser, who finished fifth in quadruple sculls together at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, earned a silver medal in the women’s pair.
Kalmoe, 33, a three-time Olympian, and Eisser, 28, finished second to world-record holders Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler of New Zealand, who set the fastest time of the competition in heats and won the final with a time of 7:01.880 to 7:06.580 for the Americans.
New Zealand bolted out to an early lead, but Kalmoe and Eisser gave hard chase and pressed the world-record holders. New Zealand accelerated to open another lead, but Kalmoe and Eisser surged back to challenge with a 34-stroke per minute pace. New Zealand countered with a 36-stroke pace to open a bigger gap.
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Kalmoe and Eisser responded with a 40-stroke rate over the final sprint, but the New Zealand lead was too much to overcome.
“It was a very hard race, I’m very tired now,” Kalmoe said. “We already had a great heat against the Kiwis. The competition is really great, we are looking forward to Sarasota.”
Kalmoe won a bronze medal in quadruple sculls at the 2012 Olympics, and is a 2015 world champion in quadruple sculls and a three-time world medalist. Eisser is a two-time world championship medalist in quad sculls.
Also in Lausanne, Mary Jones finished fourth in the lightweight single sculls, 0.04 seconds out from earning bronze, while 2016 Olympian Felice Mueller was fourth in the single sculls, missing the podium by nine hundredths. Mueller was also fourth in Rio, in women’s pair.
Meghan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek, who finished sixth in double sculls in Rio, were once again sixth on Sunday.
The United States is hosting the 2017 World Rowing Championships Sept. 23-Oct. 1 at the newly developed Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida. It will mark the first time the U.S. has hosted the event since it was held in Indianapolis in 1994.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.