July 26, 2010
BREST, Belarus - Washington has a new world champion in its ranks.
Kerry Simmonds became a gold medalist after the United States won the women's eight final at the U23 world championships over the weekend. Simmonds, a rising senior at UW, rowed throughout the 2009-10 season in the varsity eight for the Huskies.
Simmonds is the second Dawg in consecutive years to return home from the U23 world championships with a medal in the women's 8+. Adrienne Martelli, who is now training with the USRowing elite team, won a silver medal last year in the Czech Republic. The Americans finished in a time of 6:31.97, well ahead of the silver medal-winning Kiwis from New Zealand, who crossed nearly five seconds behind at 6:36.48. Canada was the final team on the medal podium after finishing third (6:38.16).
At the start of the 2,000 meter race, the Canadians stormed off the line, taking the lead into the first 500-meter checkpoint. But by the midway point, the USA had taken command of the race, pushing to a four-seat lead over their competition, with Canada continuing to hold firm in second place.
Still in command at the 1,500 meter mark, the Americans extended their lead to a full length over New Zealand, who overtook Canada.
It was all part of a successful championship for the USA, which set a record for the most medals won at a U23 championship with seven. The previous record was four, which came in 2002.