July 15, 2012
TRAKAI, Lithuania - It was a banner day for the Huskies at the U-23 World Rowing Championships on Sunday, as both the USA men's and women's eights won gold medals.
Five UW oarsmen helped power the USA 8+ to a come-from-behind win over Germany, as the Americans used a powerful move midway through the race to take control. Under the guidance of coxswain Sam Ojserkis, the eight won by less than a second over their German counterparts, with the USA crossing first in a time of 5:47.66.
The U-23 team is considered one of the primary feeder systems for the senior national team, and success at this level is often an accurate predictor of rowers moving on to the next level.
"It feels like mission accomplished right now," Ojserkis told USRowing.org. "That's what we set out for in the beginning of the summer."
The USA men's eight was coached by Husky assistant Luke McGee, putting a coda to a season full of highlights. McGee saw his freshmen team go undefeated all year, including a win at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.
Culp pulled the No. 7 oar for the USA women's eight, which dominated their race to win by open water over Great Britain. It was the first international medal for Culp, who made her debut with the U-23 team this summer.
All told, 11 Huskies earned medals at U-23s. A USA coxed four (featuring four Huskies: Seamus Labrum, Max Mannisto, Patrick Marre and Garrett Rinden) earned silver on Saturday, narrowly missing out on the gold to defending champion Serbia. And Great Britain's second-place finish in the women's eight race gives sophomore Fiona Gammond a silver medal.