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Harvard, Radcliffe Athletes to Compete at U23 World Championships

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Eight Harvard and Radcliffe rowers have been chosen to represent their home nations in the World Rowing Under 23 Championships, which begin Thursday in Racice, Czech Republic.

Two Radcliffe oarswomen, rising junior Olivia Coffey and Laura Nicholson '09, will represent the United States. Six Harvard athletes, three lightweights and three heavyweights, will row for four nations: Richard Anderson (Canada), Ryan Bucke (Great Britain), Anthony Locke (Great Britain), Austin Meyer (United States), Jeff Overington '09 (Canada) and Patrick Thornycroft '09 (Zimbabwe).

In total, 834 rowers in 307 boats from 56 nations are scheduled to compete in Racice. Racing begins on Thursday with heats in all 21 events. Repechages and quarterfinals will be held Friday, with semifinals and several placement finals being held on Saturday. The grand finals will be held Sunday. Racing begins each day at 9:30 a.m. local time.

Anderson is a part of the Canadian men's eight. He sat in the four seat of the Crimson varsity eight last season, helping Harvard claim a silver medal at EARC Sprints and place fifth at the IRA National Championships.

Bucke, a rising junior, will row in the coxed four for Great Britain. He spent much of the 2009 season stroking the Harvard second varsity eight and previously helped Great Britain place fourth in the eight at the 2006 Junior World Championships. He also helped the nation win a pair of gold medals at the 2005 Coupe de la Jeunesse.

Coffey will row in the four seat of the U.S. women's eight. She has been a member of Radcliffe's nationally ranked varsity eight in each of her two seasons with the Black and White, earning All-New England honors in 2009. Coffey has helped Radcliffe reach two NCAA Championships and earn a silver medal at EAWRC Sprints in 2009.

Locke, also a rising junior from England, will row in the British eight. He rowed in the seven seat of the Crimson varsity eight last season. He earned a first-place finish for Great Britain in the 2006 Junior World Championships.

Meyer, a rising sophomore, is the stroke for the U.S. lightweight men's four. He is competing for a U.S. national squad for the second straight year after competing in the junior double sculls at the 2008 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships. He went on to a successful rookie season with the Harvard lightweights, winning the under-23 lightweight division at the C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints and helping the Crimson freshman eight place third at Sprints.

Nicholson will occupy the bow seat in the U.S. women's four. She rowed in the Radcliffe varsity eight throughout her career, starting and finishing her tenure as the Black and White varsity stroke. Nicholson helped lead Radcliffe to the 2009 Sprints silver medal and three NCAA appearances.

Overington, who captained the Harvard lightweight crew to the Jope Cup as team champion at EARC Sprints, is part of the Canadian lightweight four. He occupied the seven seat in the Crimson varsity eight in 2009, helping the boat take a silver medal at Sprints and a bronze at the IRA National Championships.

Thornycroft will compete for Zimbabwe in the single sculls before returning to Harvard for his sophomore year. He spent his rookie season in the three seat of the Crimson freshman eight, which earned a Sprints bronze. Harvard lightweight freshman coach Linda Muri will serve as Thornycroft's coach for the event.

Photo of the varsity eight courtesy of Gil Tablot.