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Five Bulldogs Bring Home Medals from U23 Worlds

Courtesy of USRowing
Courtesy of USRowing

Five Bulldogs Bring Home Medals from U23 Worlds

 

NEW HAVEN, CT – As the 2018 U23 World Rowing Championships come to a close, five Yale Heavyweights leave Poland with slightly heavier suitcases than they arrived with. Incoming Yalie, Dan Williamson '22, and current rowers Woods Connell '20, Leonard Jenkins '20, Thomas Digby '20, and Charlie Elwes '19, all won medals in their respective events.

 

Making his debut appearence on the world stage, Woods Connell '20 returns to campus this fall as a world champion, winning the gold medal for the United States in the coxed four. Connell coxed the American crew to an almost two second victory over second and third place finishers, New Zealand and Italy, respectively. This victory serves as the first win for the U.S. in this event.

 

For Connell, the regatta "was definitely a bit nerve-wracking for me and my boat, as most of us hadn't been on the world stage before this." Though coxing at Yale had undoubtedly helped prepare him for the event, Connell noticed one serious difference. "We didn't have any idea how fast anyone else was. There was no international dual racing season, no preliminary races to get a sense of the field. When we went to Poland, we just had to trust ourselves and our rhythm, and didn't know what to expect from other crews. We focused on ourselves, and it paid off."

 

This year, the American U23 team set the U.S. record for both most gold and overall medals at U23 Worlds.

 

Rowing for Great Britain, Jenkins and Digby won silver medals in the men's eight finishing two seconds behind the United States. The silver and bronze medals were awarded after a photo finish. Romania won the bronze finishing less than 0.01 seconds behind the Brits.

 

Digby spoke candidly about the high pressure enviroment he faced during the racing weekend. "The main thing you have to keep reminding yourself in any high pressure situation is most likely you chose to be in it, so to try and enjoy every minute of it is key."

 

In the men's straight four both rising senior, Charlie Elwes, and incoming first-year, Dan Williamson, had the opportunity to go head-to-head in the grand final. In what was a reversal from the heat, Elwes bested Williamson by 0.05 seconds, winning the silver medal for the United Kingdom. Williamson, representing New Zealand, won the bronze medal.

 

Notably, Elwes won the silver in this event last year. This year's medal is Elwes' fourth silver medal at the world championship level. 

 

For reference, here are the historical results for all five of these accomplished Yalies:

 

Charlie Elwes '19

2018 – Silver in the 4- at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2017 – Silver in the 4- at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2015 – Silver in the 4- at the Junior World Rowing Championships

2014 – Silver in the 4+ at the Junior World Rowing Championships

2013 – 6th in the 4+ at the Junior World Rowing Championships

 

Leonard Jenkins '20

2018 – Silver in the 8+ at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2016- Gold in the 2x at the Junior World Rowing Championships

2015 – 4th in the 4x at the Junior World Rowing Championships

 

Thomas Digby '20

2018 – Silver in the 8+ at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2017 – Silver in the 4- at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2016 – 11th in the 4x at the Junior World Rowing Championships

2015 – Silver in the 4- at the Junior World Rowing Championships

2014 – Silver in the 4+ at the Junior World Rowing Championships

 

Daniel Williamson '22

2018 – Bronze in the 4- at the U23 World Rowing Championships

2017 –  Silver in the 4- at the Junior World Rowing Championships

 

Woods Connell '21

2018 – Gold in the 4+ at the U23 World Rowing Championships

 

 

By Izak Epstein '19, Sports Publicity Assistant. You can contact him at izak.epstein@yale.edu.