Four Harvard/Radcliffe Athletes Earn Medals at U23 Worlds

DiSanto (front) was one of four Harvard heavyweights to race in A finals (photo courtesy USRowing).
DiSanto (front) was one of four Harvard heavyweights to race in A finals (photo courtesy USRowing).

Full Results

Coverage: U.S. | Great Britain | Canada

AMSTERDAM—Four current and former Harvard/Radcliffe rowers earned bronze medals at the 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, which concluded Sunday on the Bosbaan, while three others qualified for their respective A finals.

Harvard lightweight rising sophomore Andrew Campbell, representing the United States, placed third in the lightweight men’s single, while former Radcliffe heavyweight Olivia Coffey ’11 stroked the U.S. women’s eight to bronze. Harvard heavyweights Andrew Holmes and Patrick Lapage and rest of the Great Britain men’s eight also placed third.

In the men’s four, David Wakulich ’11 and Canada placed fourth, missing a medal by 1.6 seconds, while senior Michael DiSanto and the U.S. entry finished sixth. Lizzy Bates ’11 and her partner placed sixth for the United States in the lightweight women’s double.

Harvard lightweight junior Stuart Taylor and his fellow Canadians finished 10th in the lightweight men’s four, while the U.S. lightweight quad of Crimson oarsmen Matt O’Leary, Erich Schultze, Michael Wales and Alex Newell placed 13th.

All three Harvard/Radcliffe medal-winning performances came on the final day of racing. Campbell, who is coached by Harvard lightweight assistant Linda Muri, was  the first to compete. He and his fellow medalists built a six-second lead on the second half of the final field by the race’s midway point. With a time of 6:57.00, he finished 8.7 seconds ahead of the fourth-place Peruvian athlete and two seconds back of the silver medalist from Greece. France’s Jeremie Azou won gold out of an event field totaling 25 competitors.

Coffey and the defending-champion U.S. women’s eight led a tightly packed field through 500 meters, but Canada and New Zealand moved ahead in the second 500. The Canadians went on to win by 2.8 seconds, while the Americans finished in 06:07.37, 1.35 seconds back of the Kiwis and 5.6 ahead of fourth-place Germany.

The British men’s eight was fourth throughout its final, but eclipsed Germany in the final 500 meters to take bronze in 5:29.15. Lapage and Holmes finished 1.8 seconds before the Germans and less than three seconds after runner-up Czech Republic. The U.S. eight won gold in 5:24.31. It was the second straight summer with a U23 bronze for Lapage and Holmes, who rowed in the British four last year.

Former Harvard boatmates Wakulich and DiSanto faced each other in the men’s coxless four final Saturday. Greece edged the Canadians for the bronze medal, as Wakulich’s boat reached the line in 5:56.99. The U.S. boat finished in 6:03.51, while Germany took gold.

Bates and Sarah Keller gave the United States its best lightweight women’s double finish ever last summer, taking ninth. They improved by three spots this year, making the A final and finishing sixth in 7:15.68.

After missing the semifinals by one spot with a fourth-place finish in the repechage, the U.S. lightweight men’s quad, coached Muri, won the C final by more than three seconds in 5:58.35. Taylor and the Canadian lightweight men’s four avoided the repechage with a third-place heat showing and went on to place fourth in the B final in 6:08.67.