Princeton’s Kara Kohler of Clayton won the women’s single sculls event on Sunday at the 2019 Senior National Team Trials I/Spring Speed Order I at Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota, Fla., to claim a spot on the 2019 Senior National Team.
Kohler earned the right to represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Rowing Championships this August in Austria.
In the women’s single sculls, Kohler, who finished fourth in the event at the 2018 World Rowing Championships, clocked a 7:46.02 to defeat Cambridge Boat Club’s Genevra Stone (Newton, Mass.) by more than seven seconds. Stone, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the event, crossed the finish line in a 7:53.67. Cambridge’s Cicely Madden (Weston, Mass.) finished third in a 7:59.03, with Craftsbury Sculling Center’s Michalina Fili (Sparks, Md.) taking fourth in an 8:06.97.
“Luckily, we had the best conditions today, so that was a treat for the final,” Kohler said. “Going into the final, I was terribly nervous, so dealing with that was a challenge. But, I knew that I had put in the work and had had a really consistent string of training and that if I went out there and gave it my best, it could turn out really well. I just wanted to get out as much as I could in the first half.”
Kohler, a Clayton Valley High School and Cal Berkeley grad, is coming off a successful first season in the single, where she finished fourth at both the world championships and the 2018 World Rowing Cup race in Lucerne. She said her approach this summer will be similar to last year.
“I’m getting more comfortable in the single the longer I’m in it,” Kohler said. “I’ve had really consistent training, so I hope to continue that. I’m training with a really positive group of women at the training center, and I have Laurel (Korholz) as a coach. She’s a badass. Everyone loves Laurel, so nothing will be that different. I’m just going to be more focused day-to-day, show up and race.”
The 2019 World Rowing Championships will be held Aug 25-Sept. 1 in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. This year’s world championships serve as the initial country qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games.