Coffey (bottom right) and the rest of the U.S. women's eight celebrate their gold-medal performance (photo courtesy USRowing).
BREST, BELARUS—Harvard lightweight freshman coach Linda Muri helped guide three United States boats—one that included Radcliffe heavyweight Olivia Coffey—to gold medals, highlighting a strong performance by Harvard and Radcliffe crew representatives at the the 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships Thursday through Sunday.
Muri, working with U.S. coach Anne Kakela, coached the women’s pair, four and eight to gold medals, with Coffey occupying the bow seat in the eight. Harvard lightweights Austin Meyer and Will Newell captured bronze medals as part of the U.S. lightweight men’s four, while heavyweights Anthony Locke, Patrick Lapage and Andy Holmes earned bronze medals representing Great Britain.
Harvard/Radcliffe coaches and athletes had a hand in four of the U.S. team’s record-setting seven medal-winning performances. The previous U.S. record for medals at the regatta was four, set in 2002. The lightweight men’s four medaled in the event for the first time, while Radcliffe’s Lizzy Bates contributed to a ninth-place finish in the lightweight women’s double, the best U.S. finish ever in the event.
Crimson heavyweight Nick Jordan contributed to a B-final win for the U.S. entry in the men’s four. Lightweights Erich Schultze and Stuart Taylor were both part of 12th-place overall finishes. Schultze rowed in the U.S. lightweight men’s quad, while Taylor was part of Canada’s lightweight men’s pair.
The U.S. women’s eight took control of Sunday’s final in the second 500 meters and went on to win by 4.51 seconds. The Americans won in 6:31.97, followed by New Zealand and Canada. It was the culmination of a golden weekend for Muri, who oversaw winning efforts in the pair and four Saturday. Her pair logged an event-record time of 7:14.07 and fought off a late charge from the defending-champion pair from Romania. The U.S. four passed Australia in the final 500 meters and went on to win by 2.86 seconds in 6:40.33.
Newell and Meyer helped the U.S. lightweight men’s four claim bronze with a time of 6:24.70 Sunday. Great Britain won the gold medal, and the U.S. boat battled Italy for silver throughout, finishing less than a second back of the Italians in the end.
Locke and the British men’s eight placed third in 5:49.75, about six seconds ahead of fourth-place Poland and less than three behind the silver-medal crew from the United States. Germany won gold. In the tightly packed men’s four, Lapage and Holmes clocked a time of 6:16.19, less than a second behind Germany and two behind Italy and nearly three seconds ahead of New Zealand in fourth.