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Representing Country Special For McDermott

Representing Country Special For McDermott

Sitting In Bow Seat For Women's Four At U23 World Championships

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Rising senior Catherine McDermott didn't get much of a break after a long spring of rowing for Yale. Shortly after helping the Bulldogs' varsity eight to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championship in late May, McDermott was off to Oklahoma City to train with the U.S. national team. All the hard work paid off when she was selected to the women's four that is currently competing at the 2011 World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Amsterdam.

"It really hit me for the first time a few days ago when I put on my USA gear that I am representing my country," McDermott said before leaving for Amsterdam. "It is such a good feeling knowing that I have the chance to row for the United States and represent our nation at Worlds."

McDermott, who is sitting in the bow seat, is rowing with Washington's Kerry Simmonds (stroke), Virginia's Martha Kuzzy (3) and Princeton's Gabrielle Cole (2). The four had their first race on Thursday.

"My only goal is to race at our top end speed," said McDermott, echoing one of Yale head coach Will Porter's main themes. "If we do that, then the results will fall into place."

McDermott earned All-New England honors this spring for the Bulldogs and received the team's Anne Warner Award. As a sophomore, she won a bronze medal at Sprints with the second varsity, and as a freshman was a spare at the NCAA Championships. She is a two-time CRCA Scholar Athlete selection and was the recipient of the team's Chris Ernst Award in 2009.

"Rowing for Yale and for Will has prepared me extremely well for the U.S. team," McDermott said. "Nothing has been much of a surprise or has been hard to manage."

The World Championships continue through Sunday in Amsterdam. McDermott is one of two Bulldogs competing. Rising senior Armine Afeyan is rowing in a single scull for Armenia.

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Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity