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1999 News


News from TC Crew - 1999

Sept3. U.S. Qualifies 9 Boats for Olympics By John Mullen (Special to The Washington Post)

The U.S. women's eight had less than three weeks to prepare for the world rowing championships held late last month in St. Catharines, Ontario. As it turned out, it was time enough for the Americans--including former T.C. Williams rower Linda Miller--to maintain their prominence.

Coach Hartmut Buschbacher settled on a lineup Aug. 4, leaving 19 days of fine-tuning before the United States sprinted to victory in its preliminary heat on Martindale Pond. The Americans, who finished second in the worlds a year ago, entered Sunday's final with a chance to eclipse three-time defending champion Romania. But despite a late surge they fell short, taking silver ahead of Canada.

Nevertheless, the U.S. women's eight became one of nine boats the national team qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney (Australia and Germany led with 11 qualifiers each.). Among them is the men's eight, which captured its third consecutive title, and the men's double scull, which earned a spot in the Games with a third-place finish in the B final.

Alexandria's Nick Peterson, who graduated from T.C. Williams in 1991 before competing for Harvard, was in the stern seat. There is also a graduate of the school on the coaching staff: Mike Porterfield ('85), who is an assistant on the men's team.

Arlington's Sean Hall was a member of the men's quadruple scull that did not qualify for the Olympics.

Miller, 26, positioned in the second seat, has a good chance of making next year's trip to Sydney. There are grueling tryouts and training days ahead, but Buschbacher likes what he has seen of the 6-foot-2, 160-pound rower who led T.C. Williams to the 1990 national high school championship.

"She's a good athlete. . . . Over the year she consistently improved," Buschbacher said from the ARCO Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., where the women's national team trains (the men train in Princeton, N.J.).

Miller, who won a bronze at the 1998 worlds in the women's pair and who is a three-year veteran of the national team, went camping after the trials to get away from ergometer tests and rising expectations.

"She did a good job," Buschbacher said. "I like to put her at the bow . . . She's good at the catch . .. She's very skilled."

It is a proficiency that has taken years to develop. T.C. Williams senior eight girls coach Dee Campbell first took notice of Miller when she learned to scull as an eighth-grader in a program at Occoquan Reservoir. Miller blossomed as a senior in 1990, helping the Titans win the first of six national championships this decade. She competed for Boston University and George Washington before moving to San Diego to pursue a place on the national team.

"She's done pretty good for herself . . . She's earned everything she's got," said Campbell, who has coached rowing in Northern Virginia for 40 years. Of Miller's winning the silver at worlds, "That's the ultimate," he said.

Peterson, 26, did not win a medal, but his reputation remains large at the Alexandria Schools Rowing Facility, where T.C. Williams practices. "The kids would just sit there in awe," T.C. Williams boys coach B. Michael Penn said of the three-year national team member. "His presence helped establish to the guys--'Hey, this is how hard you have to work at this level.' "

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

Aug22. It's again time for the World Rowing Championships! The races this year take place across the border in Ontario at St. Catharines on Martindale Pond. It's the same place where TC Crew boats have competed in the Canadian scholastic nationals each year, except the hosts have gussied up the venue to appropriately greet the best rowers of the world. "Situated at the basin of the Twelve Mile Creek and flowing into Lake Ontario, the Henley Regatta Course on Martindale Pond was the site of the 1970 World Rowing Championships."

This year's US National Team at the Worlds includes two TC Crew alums: Linda Miller ('90) and Nick Peterson ('91). We imagine that Mike Porterfield ('85) is also in attendance in his capacity as a member of the US coaching staff. Linda is again on the women's eight, pulling from the two seat. You may recall (and can read below) that last year Linda won the bronze medal in the straight pair race. This year, sitting in the seat in front of her, will be her 1998 partner Amy Martin. For a look at Linda and some of her crew check out this picture courtesy of Row2K. Linda is the one on the left.

Nick stayed on the sculling side of the team and will be stroking the men's double with bowman Ian McGowan. The two of them won their event at this year's Royal Henley Regatta and came in a very respectable 5th at the Worlds races in Lucerne. Last year Nick and his men's quad came in fourth at the World Rowing Championships.

Here is the schedule for the week: Saturday, August 21 - Opening Ceremonies; Sunday, August 22 - Heats; Monday, August 23 - Heats; Tuesday, August 24 - Repechages; Wednesday, August 25 - Repechages; Thursday, August 26 - Umpires Seminar; Thursday, August 26 - Semi-finals; Friday, August 27 - Semi-finals and Finals; Saturday, August 28 - Finals; Sunday, August 29 - Finals & Closing Ceremony.

Day One: Nick Peterson's double completed his first heat in third place behind Norway (6:27.23) and France (6:32.55). Peterson and McGowan arrived at the finish line with a time of 6:34.00, moving from 4th place in the last 500 meters. They race next in the repechage on Tuesday. Linda Miller's first heat will be Monday, when the US women's eight rows at 11:42 a.m. against Germany, Netherland and Byelorussia. (8.22.99)

Day Two: Linda Miller's women's eight won their heat and thus get a free ride to the finals this weekend. It was a hard fought race that saw the US boat fend off a strong challenge by the Dutch, who came in second little over a second after the American's crossed the line. The very strong Romanian crew won their heat and will meet the US in the finals. The other must-see race of the day was the men's eight, which also finished first and earned not only a spot in the finals but a berth at the Sydney Olympics. According to the reports, the US boat, which led their heat, beat the Romanians by a deck-length. (8.23.99)

Day Three: The US men's double continued to do well by finishing in second place at the repechage heats today. Nick's boat finished at 6:52.20 behind the Danes' 6:50.70 winning time. As a result both boats will go to the semi-finals. They beat the Estonian, Austrailian and Brazilian boats. Among the other race results today, the US advanced to the semi-finals in both the women's and men's singles races. (8.24.99)

Day Four: Not a great day for the US double but it must have been an exciting race for 2nd and 3rd place. Nick's boat just missed making the top finals by coming in fourth after France. Slovakia made it a decisive win with a 6:25.79 over the Hungarian duo with 6:29.02. France arrived at the finish at 6:29.83 and then Nick and Ian's double less than a second later with a time of 6:30.19. The US filed a protest that a wake from a TV launch interfered with the double but FISA officials disallowed the complaint. (Yasmkin Farooq writing later in the week for NBC said the double actually was the first of a number of boats snagged by weeds on the course over several days. However, the double "didn't lodge their complaint while still on the water, a mandatory part of the protest lodging process. Their protest was not officially recognized." ) Nick will go on to the B finals and we wish him luck. Otherwise, Lisa Schlenker moves on to the finals in the women's lightweight singles, but Jamie Koven missed out on the top finals by coming in fourth place in his men's singles semi. (8.25.99)

Day Six: This from Row2K: "After last night's [team] skit performance, the US men's double of Ian McGowan and Nick Peterson either had God on their side, or were hiding when clouds showed up lest a lightning bolt hit them. Either way, the double raced well, placed ninth overall, and won one of the 11 olympic quallifying spots." Nick's double came in third in the B Finals, giving them the 9th place overall in the men's doubles event. With a time of 7:04.49, they finished after the Ukrainian (7:02.20)and Estonian (7:03.38) boats. Congratulations to Nick and Ian for a strong showing and winning the Olympics slot for the team! Next and last report: the Sunday finals. (8.27.99)

Day Eight: The US boats made a very strong showing on the final day of the Worlds. Linda Miller's women's eight took the silver, chasing the repeat winners of the Romanian eight and coming very close, but still not managing to overcome that European powerhouse who were the favorites. The US eight finished with a 6:48.41 while Romania beat them with 6:47.66. Canada won bronze. So Linda again returns to the States with a medal hanging around her neck. Congratulations Linda! The other major event was the men's eight race, and this time the US took gold. Yes, the men's eight did a fabled THREE-PEAT, having won their event in the last three World Rowing Championships. Can they make it four in Sydney next year? The American heavyweight boat beat the Brits by 6:01.58 to 6:03.27. Winning bronze were the Russians with a time of 6:04.64. Other US results on the final day: the womens lightweight double won silver; the women's lightweight coxless pair won gold; the lightweight women's quad took gold; the lightweight men's quad finished sixth, and the men's four with cox beat the Brits for first place. That last event, unfortunately, is no longer an Olympic event. In the two-seat was Tom Murray, who was Connor Morhardt's freshman coach at Cornell. (8.29.99)

We welcome any first hand reports from Alexandria rowers who were in St. Catharines. Just let us know.

July17. Here are some news items from Henley Royal Regatta and World Cup Lucerne races where a few TC alums raced.

Nick Peterson's ('91) US double scull went to the finals and finished fifth at the Lucerne World Cup Regatta. His race details can be found here. For a quick run down on the US boats that went to Lucerne, including a few rowers local to Washington, click here. (7.11.99)

DIRECT FROM THE HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA...

  • TC Crew Alum Nick Peterson won Henley's Double Sculls Challenge Cup. The American combination of McGowan & Peterson finished three lengths ahead of Groom & Tucker's double, leading all the way. In fact, with the finals on the Fourth of July, theirs was the only American crew to win at the 1999 Henley. Nick's national team double will be racing at the Worlds in late August. For a look at the bearded sculler in winning form click here and look for the second photograph. Here is another (third picture).
  • Also at Henley this weekend was Jon McLoughlin, whose UCal Berkley's men's eight lost in the finals to the Cambridge University/Queen's Tower composite crew by 2 lengths. It was the Ladies' Plate event. To seen Jon's eight racing down the Thames click here. He is in the three seat.
  • And another Henley note, the varsity men's crew of St. Joe's Prep lost in their bid to make the semis for the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup. They met their match in Australia's St. Peter's College. Tells you alot about the competition.

Jun3. Wick Schmidt ('95) grabbed the spotlight during his Princeton graduation in more ways than the university put in the printed program. Here's how the Washington Post reported it:

Alexandrian Proposes During Graduation. Tired of the status quo and not at all fearful of becoming persona non grata, a Princeton Unversity student from Virginia slipped a marriage proposal into the end of a commencement address delivered in Latin yesterday. "Will you marry me, Anastacia Rohrman?" were the only words spoken in English during Thomas Wickham Schmidt's salutatory speech. She said yes. Or, more accurately, held up a sign that friend of Schmidt's slipped her with the word "YES!" written on it. And there was no caveat emptor. Rohrman eagerly waved the sign, university spokeswoman Mary Caffrey said. Schmidt, 22, of Alexandria, received a bachelor of arts degree in classics. Rohrman, also 22, of St. Paul, Minn., received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Wick's surprise addition to the salutatorian address immediately caught the attention of the print and electronic media. The couple's new engagement was reported on national television including a next day appearance on the Today Show. Since then People Magazine published a story with pictures (p.116, 6/21/99). What a way to start an engagement. Congratulations Wick and Anastacia!

May29. The Webmaster is fresh from the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships on the Cooper River where several alums rowed in competition. Jon McLoughlin ('95), who just graduated from Cal-Berkley, earned a gold medal as his Second Varsity Eight rowed a convincing first place over a tough field that included senior stroke Tom Flint's ('95) Wisco eight. Kate Riddile ('98) also stood on the award's dock to have gold draped around her neck. Her Yale freshmen eight apparently rowed as Second Varsity at these IRAs and they led second place Fordham by over 7 seconds at the finish. Connor Morhardt ('98), rowing 7 seat with Cornell's Freshmen Eight, and Paul Bea ('98) in a Northeastern Freshman Four, also got in a lot of rowing over the three-day regatta. Connor's boat (>visible courtesy of IRN) finished second in the petite final and Paul's four finished a strong first in the 3rd level final. Last, but not least, was the appearance of former TC rower and coach Mike Porterfield ('85) who manned the 7 seat on the Northeastern masters boat during the noon time alumni race. Somehow Mike pulled himself out of the iron Teti grasp at the Princeton US national training camp where he is Coach Teti's assistant.

May16. We recently received a message that began this way:"My name is Kathie Tennent (1978 TCW graduate). I've enjoyed looking at the photos in the scrapbook and can identify 3 people..." Kathie's email was very welcome at the end of a busy day because it is one of a number of indicators that there are folks who appreciate a brief trip to the shared past of Alexandria schools rowers. Let us know who you are and where you are. And if you have some photos to share, please do. We promise to return them after scanning. If you can scan them and email or send them on disk, all the better.

May10. This year's Eastern Sprints was sprinkled with TC grads Tom Flint ('95), Steve Pritzger ('95), Lucas McLoughlin ('95), Paul Bea ('98), Will Dickinson ('98), Connor Morhardt ('98).

Connor's Cornell Freshman Eight (7 seat) made it to the Grand Finals and arrived 6th at the line. Paul Bea's Northeastern Second Freshman Eight (7 seat) finished 2nd to Harvard's crew in the Second Finals. Will, who left the program earlier this year, came back at the coach's request to stroke Penn's Second Freshman Eight. Steve (cox) and Lucas (bow) won the Petit Finals with their Yale JV Eight crew, while Tom stroked his Wisconsin JV Eight to a gold medal in the Grand Finals. (There's a photo of Steve's and Lucas' Yale boat at the Sprints in The Gallery.)

Jan3. We were pleased to see alumni at the annual Holiday Open (Boat)House & Reunion on December 20. It was a nice way to get start the holiday season and an opportunity to see old friends. It was especially great to see Joanna and Lauren Rubini looking healthy and getting stronger. Thanks your notes in response to our e-mail invitation. If you were not able to make it, put it on your calendar for 1999.

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