COLUMBUS, Ohio – A trio of current or future Buckeyes in Anniken Ellingsen, Regina Pieroth and Claudia Wurzel concluded action at the 2009 World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, this past weekend. Highlighting the event was incoming freshman Pieroth and Germany’s gold-medal performance in the lightweight quad (BLW4x). Their time of 6:34.99 also was a world best.
Ellingsen, who will be a junior this fall, finished seventh overall in the lightweight single (BLW1x), while Wurzel, who lettered for the Buckeyes from 2007-09, and the Italian straight four (BW4-) earned the silver medal.
Pieroth rowed in the bow and was instrumental in Germany’s dominant outing throughout the final. Much like the preliminary race that saw Germany outdistance the United States by 4.67 seconds for first place, the Germans once again got the best of the U.S., this time by a 2.05-second margin.
Competing for Norway, Ellingsen rebounded with a first-place finish in the B Final after finishing fourth in the semifinals. With just the Top 3 in each of the two semifinals advancing to the final, Ellingsen was shut out of gold-medal contention when she clocked in with a time of 7:56.22, 7.16 seconds behind winner Helke Nieschlag of Germany. In sixth place after the first 1,000 meters, Ellingsen was able to move to fourth place at the 1,500-meter mark. She would stay in fourth the rest of the race despite recording the fastest time (1:58.65) among the heat’s contingent in the final 500 meters.
Ellingsen sounded the horn in the B Final in 8:01.05, 3.87 seconds ahead of Angelina Casanova of Switzerland. Despite starting out in fourth place, Ellingsen rowed the fastest times among the field the rest of the way. She moved to second at 1,000 meters before eventually taking the lead at the 1,500 mark.
Wurzel, rowing bow, and the Italians were unable to defend their U-23 straight four title as Belarus clipped them in the final 250 meters for gold. Italy finished the race in 6:49.90, while Belarus clocked in at 6:48.77. Starting out the race in third place, Italy steadily rowed to the front of the pack by the 1,500-meter point. In fact, it owned a 2.06-second lead over Belarus heading into the final 500 meters. However, rowing a time of 1:44.14 (third best) in the last stretch proved to be costly and Belarus made its move with its time of 1:40.95.