Three rowers from Oklahoma City University qualified for the U23 World Championships that will be held July 21 to 24 in Amsterdam.
The qualifiers from OCU are Kat Schiro and Jane Imfeld, who will represent the U.S. in the lightweight women’s 4X (quadruple sculls) thanks to their performances in a meet on Lake Mercer in New Jersey last week, and Edgars Boitmanis, who will represent his home country of Latvia. Boitmanis, who is competing in the world championships for a third time, will row for his country’s men’s 4X team.
Schiro and Imfeld have been training at the USRowing camp at the GMS Rowing Center in Connecticut for the past month and were selected for the priority 4X with Solveig Imsdahl and Elizabeth Robinson. With an understated result in the qualifying time trial, the crew surprised their competitors in the final race. The crew finished in 6:38.58 with Vesper A crossing the line six seconds later at 6:44.68. The Vesper B and Boston Rowing Club entries posted times over seven minutes. The world record in the lightweight women's 4X is 6:23.96.
Finishing up their season with a first and third place finish, respectively, in the women's 1X (single sculls) at the Dad Vail Collegiate Championship, Schiro and Imfeld are the first two female rowers from Oklahoma City University to make the U.S. National Team.
“Having three OCU rowers competing at the U23 World Championships is a historical event for our rowing program,” OCU women's rowing coach Melanie Borger said. “Jane and Kat have worked very hard over their collegiate careers to make the U23 team, and their dedication has paid off. I could not be more proud of their efforts and accomplishments. I am looking forward to how they will race at World's.”
There were three rowers from the OCU men's team who also competed at the trials. Drew McNichols and Jimmy von Peters missed representing the U.S. in the men's 2X (double sculls) by .03 seconds. Matthew Maddamma, who rowed for the Steel City team in the men’s lightweight 2X, was three seconds shy of winning the race and qualifying for the world championships.