Williams College women’s crew head coach Justin Moore capped off an incredible year by guiding the US 8+ women to the gold medal in an impressive open water victory at the World Rowing Junior Championships.
Moore felt that if his US boat could get a good start they could win it in the middle K, but as much as coaches prepare for races and athletes train you just never know what is going to happen.
The US was up to the pressure of the challenge to repeat in the event. Under ideal water conditions and a warm day the US turned up the heat from the start and was second to New Zealand at the end of the first 500m – New Zealand (1:32.89); US 1:33.16.
At 1000m the US took a .61 lead on New Zealand by clocking a 3:10.38, while the Kiwis timed in 3:10.89. Moore’s red, white and blue then took control of the race over the next 500m extending their lead to 1.81 by passing the 1500m checkpoint in 4:47.92 with New Zealand next at 4:49.73.
Over the final 500m the impressive raw power of the US boat that Moore noted in the training sessions sent the US home with an open water win and a margin of 4.30 over New Zealand. Germany made a final push to knock the Romanians off the medals podium finishing in 6:34.97. Romania came in fourth (6:39.58); host France was fifth (6:41.18) and Russia was sixth (6:56.85).
The top three boats all earned a spot in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore next August (14-26).
Moore could now easily be granted the nickname “Midas” for his golden touch on the US collegiate scene and now on the international stage. Moore’s Williams program has claimed five NCAA Division III titles of the eight offered, including the last four in a row (a Division III record). His Ephs also captured last fall’s Collegiate Eight at the prestigious Head of the Charles and in the spring Williams collected the Little Three, NESCAC, New England and NCAA titles while posting an undefeated season. Most recently one of Moore’s top rowers Katherine Robinson ’09 helped the US U23 quad boat win a silver medal at the World Championships.
(hat tip Dick Quinn’s Twitter)