Philadelphia Sports Day

Philadelphia Rowing Organizations, Partners Pursue Olympics

Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia
The Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia – together with its partners from the City of Philadelphia, USRowing, and sponsor Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association – today announced the elite athletes rowing from, and affiliated with, Philadelphia’s historic Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River. They will represent the United States of America in international competition this weekend at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and later this month in the World Rowing Championships inLinz, Austria.
 
In total, more than 20 athletes drawn from the Philadelphia rowing community will participate in the competitions, representing the largest delegation of rowers from the region to compete at this level in over 30 years. The Schuylkill Navy – which serves as the governing body for rowing in the Philadelphia region and has led the partnership with the City of Philadelphia for the Schuylkill River’s needed dredging – has deep roots in promoting amateur sport. Founded in 1858 – forty years before the start of the modern Olympic Games – the group and its member rowing organizations have produced such champions as John B. Kelly, International Olympic Committee Vice-President Anita DeFrantz, and 2004 Gold MedalistJason Read (who returns to international competition after 15 years to compete in the Mens Eight competing in the 2019 Pan Am Games).
 
As rowers and amateur athletes throughout the country look ahead to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the upcoming 2019 World Rowing Championships in Austria play an especially important role. Successful competition there will earn certain boat categories a guaranteed spot for the Unites States team in the Olympic competition. 
 
Despite challenges with silt accumulation on the river as the city awaits commencement of dredging by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Schuylkill Navy attributes much of the success of the current group of athletes to the determination of the athletes and coaches as well as the collaborative spirit across the community and its partners.  
 
“Philadelphia has become a city known for its ‘gritty’ spirit, and that ethos is on full display each day on the Schuylkill River,” said Paul Horvat, Commodore of the Schuylkill Navy. “Our roots as a rowing community – stretching back to our formation over 160 years ago – are in the brewing and textile factories of our local neighborhoods. Our rowers have come from all backgrounds – from masons and mill workers to professionals and public servants. The current conditions on the river are no obstacle in the face of the determination of these athletes and their coaches, the collaboration that we see among the various clubs, and the amazing support from our partners.”
 
As a partner, the Tri-States Toyota Dealers Association has played a large role, helping to offset the cost of many of the athletes’ international travel with their ongoing sponsorship of the Schuylkill Navy High Performance Collaborative team (Boathouse Row-based athletes training for Olympic qualification). 
 
“The ongoing commitment to the Schuylkill Navy and the rowing community is one of our most important partnerships,” said Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association President Paul Muller. “Toyota is excited to continue this relationship and support these great athletes as they represent the US on the world stage. We look forward to cheering them on.” The Tri-States Toyota Dealers Association also supports local rowing efforts as the title sponsor of the Schuylkill Navy Sprint Series presented by Toyota, including the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the Schuylkill Navy Regatta, the Independence Day Regatta, and the Philadelphia Youth Regatta.
 
Rowing competition in the 2019 Pan American Games began on August 6 and will continue through August 10. Results are available at lima2019.pe/en. Rowing competition in the 2019 World Rowing Championships begins August 25 and continues through September 1. Press information and results are available at wrch2019.com. Full athlete biographies are available at usrowing.com.
 
Athletes and coaches from the local rowing organizations of the Schuylkill Navy include:
  • Sean Hall – Coach, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Peter Mansfeld- Coach, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Justin Keen – Mens Double, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Erik Frid – Mens Double, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Greg Ansolabehere- Mens Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Michael Knippen- Mens Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Sebastian Amberger – Mens Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Jasper Liu- Mens Lightweight Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Zach Heese – Mens Lightweight Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Tyler Nase- Mens Lightweight Single, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Michelle Sechser – Womens Lightweight Double, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Yohann Rigogne – Coach, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Solveig Imsdahl – Womens Pair, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Liz Euiler – Womens Pair, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Julia Lonchar – Womens Double and Quad, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • William Purman – Mens Single (Puerto Rico), 2019 Pan American Games;
  • James Garay – Mens Eight and Pair, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Logan Smith – Mens Eight and Pair, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Thaddeus Babiec – Mens Eight and Four, 2019 Pan American Games;
  • Jason Read – Mens Eight, 2019 Pan American Games.
 
USA team members, adding to composite crews from Philadelphia:
  • John Graves- Mens Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Dan Madden – Mens Lightweight Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Peter Schmidt – Mens Lightweight Quad, 2019 World Rowing Championships.
 
USA team members with local connections, selected via USA Camp-Selected Boats:
  • Julian Venonsky- Mens Eight, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Patrick Eble- Mens Eight, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Nick Mead- Mens Eight, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Vicky Opitz- Womens Four, 2019 World Rowing Championships;
  • Mike Teti- Coach, 2019 World Rowing Championships.

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