Finals Set at 2024 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials – Rowing

Finals Set at 2024 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials – Rowing

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2024

With the completion of today’s semifinals, finals are now set at the 2024 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials – Rowing at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.

By Sunday afternoon, five rowers will have earned spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, while 16 others will have kept their hopes alive by qualifying for the World Rowing Final Olympic & Paralympic Qualification Regatta May 19-21 in Lucerne, Switzerland, with the chance to move on to Paris.

Olympic berths are on the line in the women’s single sculls, men’s pair, and women’s pair, while qualification regatta spots are up for grabs in the men’s single sculls, men’s double sculls, lightweight men’s double sculls, men’s quadruple sculls, women’s quadruple sculls, PR1 men’s single sculls, and PR2 mixed double sculls.

In the men’s single sculls, New York Athletic Club’s Eliot Putnam (Littleton, Mass./Cornell University) posted the fastest time of the semifinals. Racing in the second of three semis, Putnam, who finished 19th in the event at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, took the lead off the start and led by just over two seconds at the midway point. With two to advance to the final, Putnam was able to keep Saugatuck Rowing’s Casey Fuller (Newtown, Conn./Fairfield University) at bay over the back half of the race to win in a 7:05.35. Fuller finished in a 7:06.55. Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Jacob Plihal (Vashon Island, Wash./Northeastern University), who won a silver medal in the event at the 2023 Pan American Games and posted the fastest time in the time trial, won the third heat in a 7:05.76. Plihal finished just under two seconds ahead of California Rowing Club’s Isaiah Harrison (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho), who won a silver medal in the event at the 2022 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Penn AC’s Cedar Cunningham (Renton, Wash./Washington State University) won the first heat with a time of 7:10.67, finishing just over two seconds ahead of Penn AC teammate Breck Duncan (Brookfield, Wis./University of Wisconsin).

“It means a lot,” said Putnam about racing at Olympic trials. “I didn’t know if I would get back to this level of racing a couple of years ago when I raced trials last time, so I am really happy to be here. I think mostly it’s just having as much fun as possible. You never know when you are going to be able to race this kind of race again. Drink it all in and enjoy as much of it as you can.”

USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Kara Kohler (Clayton, Calif./University of California, Berkeley), who finished fourth in the women’s single sculls at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, won the second semifinal of the women’s single by more than 15 seconds to advance to the final. The two-time Olympian crossed the finish line with a time of 7:54.03. Whitemarsh Boat Club’s Audrey Boersen (West Olive, Mich./Grand Valley State University) took second in an 8:09.41, while Green Racing Project’s Sophie Calabrese (Shaker Heights, Ohio/University of Texas) took third in an 8:17.11 to advance to the final. In the first heat, Community Rowing’s Margaret Fellows (Warwick, Mass./St. Lawrence University), a three-time national team member, finished first in a 7:57.81. Fellows, who won the 2024 USRowing Winter Speed Order in February, finished just under four seconds ahead of Cambridge Boat Club’s Cicely Madden (Cambridge, Mass./Brown University). The Tokyo 2020 Olympian crossed the line in an 8:01.52. Next Level Rowing’s Sierra Cydrus (Chillicothe, Ohio/Ohio State University) finished third in an 8:16.33 to also advance to the final.

“This is my second trials,” Kohler said. “It’s special. I just think of little Kara dreaming of being an Olympian. I still get all the nerves and just want to put my best foot forward as everyone does. We had racing about six or so weeks ago at the winter speed order and that was a pretty tough event for me. I had been out of the boat for a while, so the past six weeks have been laser focused on making the most of every single stroke and trying to find my rhythm and power. I feel like I’m back and feeling more confident in my stroke. I’m excited to race a full-out 2k tomorrow.”

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, the NYAC/Craftsbury composite crew of Sam Melvin (Huntington Beach, Calif./Columbia University) and Cooper Tuckerman (Bozeman, Mont./Dartmouth College) posted the fastest time of the semifinals, winning the second race in a 6:45.59. Melvin and Tuckerman finished more than 18 seconds ahead of the Riverside Boat Club duo of Ashton Knight (Weston, Mass./Tufts University) and Casey Howshall (Philadelphia, Pa./University of Pennsylvania). Knight and Howshall came home in a 7:03.69. Riverside teammates Alex Twist (Boston, Mass./University of Puget Sound) and Sean Richardson (Beverly, Mass./University of Massachusetts), who finished sixth in the event at last year’s Pan American Games, took third in a 7:11.57. In the first semifinal, the Penn AC/USRowing Training Center – Sarasota duo of Zachary Heese (Pelham, N.Y./University of Virginia) and Jimmy McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa./University of Delaware) finished more than six seconds ahead of Texas Rowing Center’s Jasper Liu (Phoenix, Ariz./University of Pennsylvania) and Timothy Parsons (Eugene, Ore./Yale University), crossing the line in a 6:46.77. Heese and McCullough finished 19th in the event at the 2023 World Rowing Championships. The Riverside Boat Club duo of Christopher Crawley (Hyde Park, N.Y./Marist College) and John Mannion (Berlin, Mass./University of Rhode Island) finished third in a 6:56.71 to claim the other spot in the final.

“This is our first time going through a regatta together as a crew, so we’ve just been taking every piece in stride and working on getting into a rhythm that we can build off of and working on getting a little bit better each race,” Tuckerman said. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to be able to race. Something that is unique about our sport is really how few opportunities there are to race at a high level. You do so much training and so much work behind the scenes that when you have the opportunity to go out there and race, it’s just a lot of fun and something special to be able to go out and compete.”

Racing concludes Sunday with finals in all boat classes beginning at 8 a.m. Click here for heat sheets and complete results. Finals will stream live on Peacock,, and the NBC Sports app. Click here for complete coverage of the trials.

The complete Olympic team will be named by June 7 and complete Paralympic team will be named by July 1, pending USOPC approval. Click here to see a quick guide to Olympic and Paralympic qualification. For information, updates, and athlete features, visit our Row to Paris page.

Rowing at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place July 27-August 4. The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are scheduled from August 28 to September 8, with Para rowing events beginning August 30. USRowing previously named the first two Paralympic boats in January and the camp-selected Olympic athletes earlier this week.USRowing would like to thank our national team sponsors including our Official Boat Supplier for the U.S. Senior, Under 23, and Para Rowing National Teams, Filippi Lido; our Official Apparel Provider, 776BC; our Official Partner, Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., our Exclusive Supplement Supplier,

Thorne HealthTech; our Official Performance Electronics Outfitter, Nielsen-Kellerman; the National Rowing Foundation; and TrainingPeaks, the Official Training and Coaching Software of USRowing’s High Performance Team.

aerial shot of Nathan Benderson Park