Clayton rower Kara Kohler headed to her 3rd Olympics this summer in Paris

Clayton rower Kara Kohler headed to her 3rd Olympics this summer in Paris

Clayton rower Kara Kohler headed to her 3rd Olympics this summer in Paris
Clayton native Kara Kohler celebrates qualifying at the 2024 Olympic Trials. (Photo by row2K courtesy US Rowing Association)

CLAYTON, CA (Apr. 9, 2024) — Kara Kohler will head to Paris after qualifying for her third United States Olympic rowing team berth Sunday at the 2024 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials – Rowing at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.

In the women’s single sculls, USRowing Training Center – Princeton’s Kohler, the Clayton woman representing her alma mater University of California Berkeley, earned a spot on her third Olympic team by clocking an 8:04.01 to finish more than six seconds ahead of Community Rowing’s Margaret Fellows (Warwick, Mass./St. Lawrence University).

Kohler, who finished fourth in the event at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, took an early lead in the first 500 meters. She then extended her advantage to just over four seconds at the halfway point. Kohler continued to increase her lead over the back half of the race to earn her spot in Paris. Fellows finished second, clocking an 8:10.68, while Cambridge Boat Club’s Cicely Madden (Cambridge, Mass./Brown University) took third.

Olympic journey

Claytonians Kara Kohler and Kristian Ipsen show off their 2012 Olympic medals.

Kohler made her first Olympic team in 2012, winning a bronze medal as part of the women’s quadruple sculls. She raced in the single in Tokyo after missing out getting selected for a berth in a boat for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Following that disappointment, the Clayton Valley High grad began thinking of switching to the single sculls where her selection to US international teams would derive from her results rather than other measurements USRowing might use to pick sports on pair, quad and 8’s boats.

“It’s a relief,” Kohler said. “There was a lot of stress leading up to that race because you’ve got to be on for that one race. It’s a dream come true to go to the Olympics again. I’m pumped.”

Rowing at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place July 27-Aug. 4.

Click here for complete results and here for complete coverage of the trials.

The committee will name the full Olympic team by June 7. They will name the complete Paralympic team by July 1, pending USOPC approval.

Click here to see a quick guide to Olympic and Paralympic qualification. For information, updates, and athlete features, visit the Row to Paris page.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.