Two incoming freshmen on the Virginia rowing team, Martha Kuzzy
and Cara Linnenkohl,
won gold and silver medals, respectively, at the 2008 FISA World Rowing Junior Championships, held in Linz, Austria.
Kuzzy (Minneapolis, Minn.) rowed with the junior women’s eight, which made history Saturday by winning the first U.S. gold medal in the history of the event at the championships. In a come-from-behind victory over defending world-champion Romania, the crew of coxswain Chelsea Lucas (Greenbrae, Calif.), Melisa Ongun (Chicago, Ill.), Erika Roddy (San Francisco, Calif.), Emily Reynolds (Washington, Conn.), Brandy Herald (Portland, Ore.), Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif.), Kuzzy, Molly Hamrick (Tampa, Fla.) and Anastasia Alexander (Long Beach, Calif.) pulled out a win for the United States.
The U.S. crew was third out of the blocks, trailing behind Germany and Romania at the 500-meter mark. By the halfway point, Germany fell back, allowing the U.S. and Romanian crews to battle it out for first place. A decisive move by the U.S. at the 1,750-meter mark brought the crew out front, where it continued to take seats through the final stretch and win by two seconds in a 6:31.63. Romania clocked a 6:33.68 for the silver medal, while Germany finished third in a 6:37.72. France crossed fourth in a 6:48.69, followed by Russia in fifth in a 6:49.07.
In the junior women’s single sculls, Linnenkohl (Redmond, Wash.) took silver, the highest finish of a U.S. junior men’s or women’s single sculls crew in event history. Linnenkohl was fifth off the line, but moved into second place by the 750-meter mark. In the sprint to the finish line, the U.S. sculler held off the charge of Norway’s Tale Gjoertz to clock a 7:58.89. Germany’s Carina Baer won gold in a 7:50.76. Norway finished third in an 8:02.09, with Romania fourth in an 8:07.27. Australia crossed fifth, followed by Croatia.
Both will be a part of the UVa rowing program in the fall. Virginia finished the 2008 season by finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships and won its ninth-straight ACC Championship.