Contributed by Riley Heise
This past weekend, the CBC U23 squad sent a coxed four, two doubles and a single to USRowing Club Nationals on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ.
The crew consisted of Aram Carpenter, Alex Bloom (Cornell ‘24), Amanda Klafter (Cornell ‘23), Glen Cullings (Cornell ‘24) and Riley Heise (Colgate ‘23).
After placing 7th in the time trial on Friday, the four advanced to the Saturday semifinals. The double composed of Aram Carpenter and Alex Bloom also advanced, placing 14th. And, in the single, Aram was able to secure a semifinal spot placing 16th in a crowded field after already having raced the double and hot seating out of the four directly into his single race.
Saturday racing brought high stakes and tough competition with the top two finishers in each semi advancing to the final. In semifinal 2, the Carpenter-Bloom double placed 5th. The four entered a semifinal composed of the event's first seed, Mendota A from the Univ. of Wisconsin, and Thompson Boat Center, who had bested CBC by .8 seconds in the previous day's trial. The race was hard fought with TBC edging out CBC for second place by a matter of seconds.
Cascadilla finished 7th overall in the 4+. This is CBC's first time in recent memory fielding a sweep boat at any USRowing national-level event, and while each member of the crew has their mind set on more, a top 10 finish is something we can all be proud of.
Following the four, Aram Carpenter took 4th in the single in Semifinal 3 by the slimmest of margins.
The four was also interviewed by USRowing who asked CBC what it takes to row the coxed four. The answer? Scrappiness and resiliency. A portion of the interview can be found on the USRowing Instagram page. (And at this link:
Summer Nationals was by all accounts a productive event for CBC, and the club was able to make itself known to parts of the rowing world that have never heard the name Cascadilla. Would-be rivals have become close friends and nationals has acted as a spark that has lit a fire that will continue into our separate time at college this year, and which will engulf us once we all return next summer.
The four would like to thank everyone who aided us in our journey this summer. The Carpenter family arranged transportation and lodging for the team in Philadelphia, not to mention providing part of their home for the team to use as a weight/erg room. The man who helped to realize the rowers' ambition of a U23 program is none other than Drew Tennant who helped to connect everyone who would go on to race in Camden. Drew also helped to arrange for the four to borrow a shell from Community Rowing in Boston for the race as it was not possible for one to be transported down from Ithaca.
Finally, none of this would be possible if not for the generous time and expertise lent to us by Tim Willsalen. Coach Tim volunteered to supervise and direct our antics as the U23 crew began to form and with his help, we began to make progress right from the start. Thank you Tim, Drew, the Carpenters and everyone else who supported us along the way.
This is just the beginning.