Six Longhorns win gold with Team USA at World Rowing U23 Championships

Six Longhorns win gold with Team USA at World Rowing U23 Championships

VARESE, Italy – Six members of Texas Rowing won gold with the United States on Saturday at the 2022 World Rowing Under 23 Championships on Lago di Varese. Kate Knifton, Fran Raggi, Anna Jensen and Caitlin Esse captured the crown in the Longhorn-crewed Women’s Four (BW4-), while Rachel Rane and Lanie Nitsch helped the U.S. to a second consecutive title in the Women’s Eight (BW8+). Hannah Medcalf added a seventh medal for the Longhorns with a silver as part of Great Britain’s runner-up finish in the Women’s Eight.

Knifton, Raggi, Jensen and Esse won the Women’s Four by over five seconds, crossing the line in 6:38.12, followed by Great Britain at 6:43.88, with Australia placing third in 6:46.76. Great Britain took an early lead, holding a 1.1 second advantage at the 500-meter mark. The U.S. boat, crewed entirely by Longhorns and with the Texas logo on the shell, took it to another gear over the next quarter of the race and held a 3-meter lead at the midway point. The United States pushed the lead to 14 meters at 1,500-meter marker and surged to victory over the final 500 meters.

Rachel Rane, Kathia NitschIn the Women’s Eight, Rane, Nitsch and the United States led throughout the race to claim a second-straight crown for Team USA, while Medcalf and Great Britain took second and Germany placed third. The United States, coxed by Rane and with Nitsch rowing at six-seat, got off the line fast and held a 1.84 second lead over Medcalf, rowing at three-seat, and Great Britain at the 500-meter marker. At the midway point, the Americans held a 13-meter, 2.48 second advantage over Team GB, and extended the lead to 20 meters and 4.07 seconds at heading into the final quarter of the race. The United States maintained lead through the final 500 meters, winning in 6:23.03, with GB crossing the line in 6:27.81 and Germany in 6:31.20.

During the early session, incoming Longhorn Marg van der Wal stroked the Dutch Women’s Double Sculls (BW2x) to a B-Final victory with her teammate Claire de Kok. Italy moved out front early and sat in first place at 500 meters, with the United States slightly behind in second place and The Netherlands in third, two meters behind the leaders. Van der Wal and de Kok moved ahead of the U.S. over the next 500 meters and was in silver-medal position at the midway marker, still just two meters off the lead. The Dutch duo surged ahead of Italy in the third quarter of the race and held an 11 meter, 2.11 second as they moved into the final 500 meters of the race, pushing the lead through the finish to win with a time of 7:22.22. Lithuania was strong over the final 500 meters to place second in 7:26.57, while Italy finished third in 7:28.49.

In Friday’s action, Sophia Calabrese helped the U.S. crew to a sixth-place finish in the women’s quadruple sculls championship final. With Calabrese rowing at two-seat, the crew maintained contact with the medal positions through the halfway mark but was unable to row into contention for the hardware. Romania led through the 1,500-meter mark before The Netherlands was able to overtake them in the sprint to win gold. The Dutch boat claimed the victory with a time of 6:18.30, with Romania winning silver in 6:18.88 and Germany the bronze in 6:20.72. The U.S. finished with a time of 6:28.60.

In the B final of the women’s pair, Sue Holderness finished second with Duke’s Megan Lee to claim eighth place overall. Lee (bow) and Holderness (stroke) were even with Spain at the 500-meter mark, sitting in third behind Switzerland and France. The Americans closed the gap on France during the second quarter of the race and moved into second place in the third 500 meters. Lee and Holderness were neck-and-neck with Switzerland as the crews approached the final 500 meters, but the Swiss boat pulled away for the victory. Switzerland clocked a 7:12.25, with the U.S. finishing in 7:14.61. France placed third in 7:19.46.

Competition in Italy will conclude for the Longhorns tomorrow when incoming freshman Issie Magee races with Great Britain in the Women’s Four (JW4-) A Final of the World Rowing U19 Championships. Race time is slated for 5:40 a.m. CT and can be streamed live on the World Rowing website.


Women’s Eight (BW8+) A Final

1. USA – 6:23.03 (Rachel Rane, Kathia Nitsch)

2. Great Britain – 6:27.81 (Hannah Medcalf)

3. Germany – 6:31.20

4. The Netherlands – 6:32.07

5. Italy – 6:32.71

6. Romania – 6:33.40

Women’s Four (BW4-) A Final

1. USA – 6:38.12 (Kaitlin Knifton, Francesca Raggi, Anna Jensen, Caitlin Esse)

2. Great Britain – 6:43.88

3. Australia – 6:46.76

4. Romania – 6:47.38

5. France – 6:54.79

6. Poland – 6:58.90

Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BW4x) A Final

1. The Netherlands – 6:18.30

2. Romania – 6:18.88

3. German – 6:20.72

4. Czechoslovakia – 6:21.02

5. Italy – 6:27.09

6. USA – 6:28.60 (Sophia Calabrese)

Women’s Double Sculls (BW2x) B Final

1. The Netherlands – 7:22.22 (Marg van der Wal)

2. Lithuania – 7:26.57

3. Italy – 7:28.49

4. USA – 7:30.98

5. Denmark – 7:32.60

6. New Zealand – 7:34.18

Women’s Pair (BW2-) B Final

1. Switzerland – 7:12.25

2. USA – 7:14.61 (Sue Holderness)

3. France – 7:19.46

4. Spain – 7:28.20

5. New Zealand – 7:35.24

6. Egypt – 8:18.48

Longhorns Competing at the World Rowing U19 Championships


Women’s Four (JW4-)

Great Britain: Issie Magee



Sunday, July 31

5:40 a.m. CT – Women’s Four Final A

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