May 31, 2010
PRINCETON, N.J. - One of the tenets of the Washington crew program is to not only prepare student-athletes for collegiate rowing, but to develop them for international opportunities as well.
Rob Gibson, who rowed in the Huskies varsity eight last season, won a Bronze Medal at the inaugural rowing World Cup in Bled, Slovenia, over the weekend. Competing in a quad, the Kingston, Ontario, native was part of a Canadian boat that placed solidly in third place behind Great Britain and Serbia. It was a bit of a surprise, considering the team had just begun to coalesce.
"We didn't expect a good result like this one and we're very happy with our third place," said Gibson to WorldRowing.com. "We began to row together just three weeks ago, we're a young crew. We improved here very well race by race."
Gibson is continuing to add to his international resume. He's already a decorated member of Rowing Canada, and took a year off from school in 2008 to train for the Canadian Olympic Team. A similar path should unfold for Gibson at the 2012 Summer Games in London. His list of accomplishments also includes a Gold Medal in the Canadian eight at the 2006 U-23 World Championships, and a silver in the same competition in 2008, where Gibson competed with both current and former student-athletes Conlin McCabe, Will Crothers, Anthony Jacob and Stephen Connolly.
The 6-4 Gibson wasn't the only person connected with Conibear Shellhouse to have success at the World Cup. Ursula Grobler showed why she's one of the most dominant rowers in the world with an outstanding performance with her teammate in the lightweight women's double sculls. Grobler and her coach, Carlos Dinares, are both volunteer assistants with the UW program. The Americans' boat led from the start and built up a boat length's lead at the halfway point.
Dinares - who hails from Barcelona, Spain - will spend this week with the Washington men's crew team, which has decamped to this leafy college town to prepare for the IRA Championships, which begin on June 3 in Camden, N.J. It's the race where Gibson left his greatest imprint on the program, rowing for the final time for Washington. He was in the varsity eight last year that used an all-out sprint to walk through Cal and Stanford in the last 500 meters to capture a National Championship.