July 12, 2010
SEATTLE - Six Huskies will represent their countries at the U23 World Championships later this month in Brest, Belarus, according to the Husky rowing program.
On the men's team, which is coming off a Ten Eyck win at the IRA Championships, Robert Munn, Blaise Didier and Ty Otto were selected to row in the 8+ at U23s. Hans Struzyna, who is making the difficult transition from sweeping to sculling, was tapped to row in the quad. The U23 rowing world championships take place July 22-25. For the Huskies, this allows them to achieve their goal of representing the USA internationally. Munn was selected for U23s last season, but broke his foot in an accident leading to the competition.
This also marks Otto's first selection to the team, culminating an impressive year for the junior captain.
"It's been a goal of Ty's for a very long time, and I know he's very excited to represent his country," said men's coach Michael Callahan.
Munn and Didier rowed in the Huskies' second varsity eight that won a National Championship at IRAs in June. And while Didier has now graduated from the UW, he's long been associated with USRowing as he now will head to the U23 world championships for the third consecutive season.
Struzyna is attempting to bolster a sculling boat in a competition for Americans to crack in recent years.
"For guys who have been sweep rowing all year and then turn around and beat some of the world's best in sculling is difficult," Callahan said. "I know it's a challenge but (Hans) is the kind of guy who never backs down from that kind of effort." Meanwhile, Bob Ernst's women's program will send Kerry Simmonds to U23s as part of the US delegation. Rosie DeBoef is also headed to Belarus with Rowing Canada's U23 program.
For Simmonds, this is another positive step in her development to transform the San Diego native into an elite boat-mover. Women's coach and rowing director Bob Ernst has long been a proponent in his student-athletes receiving additional coaching during the summer months, broadening their knowledge of rowing. He likens Simmonds to 2010 captain Adrienne Martelli, another former walk-on who recently graduated and is now training with the USRowing elite development team in Princeton, N.J.
Another rower who is off to compete internationally this summer is Hanne Trafnik. The senior-to-be will row under the German flag at the World University Championships this summer in Szeged, Hungary.
What makes Husky rowers attractive to their respective national programs is the intensity that's marked training on Lake Washington. The Huskies do a majority of their fall work in pair boats, which is one of the ideal barometers for national teams to test prospective rowers.