Two Heavyweight Alums To Represent the U.S. at World Championships

Derek Johnson.
Derek Johnson.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale heavyweight crew team will have two of its former sons competing for the U.S. National Team at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, next week. The first, Charlie Cole '07, was named to the straight four back in late June and has had an impressive summer racing season in the weeks since. The second, Derek Johnson '11, earned a spot in the coxed pair with a win at the Senior Worlds trials just two months after graduating from Yale.  Racing in Bled will begin on Sunday, Aug. 28.

After spending his first few years on the U.S. Senior National Team racing in the pair, Cole moved up to the eight last year and took sixth at the 2010 World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand.  This year Cole finds himself in the straight four, an event which is always very competitive at international regattas, and has had some exciting results in the new lineup.  Cole, along with Beijing Olympian Giuseppe Lanzone, Brett Newlin (who also raced in the eight last year) and Scott Gault (who stroked the quad to an eighth-place finish at last year's worlds), finished second in the Stewards Challenge Cup event at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta behind Leander Boat Club.  More recently the crew won a bronze medal at the 2011 Samsung World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland.  There Cole and his teammates held off a tenacious German crew to secure a spot on the podium in a final won by Great Britain.

Johnson, Yale's captain for the 2010-11 season, will also be competing for the U.S. in Bled.  On Aug. 4th Johnson won the trials in the coxed pair by a decisive six seconds with Blaise Didier and coxswain Anthony Altimari.  Just two weeks earlier Altimari coxed the U.S. men's eight to a gold medal at the 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, a crew that included current Yale heavyweight captain Tom Dethlefs in six seat.  Johnson graduated this past June and in the space of about two months has already earned a spot competing on the senior national team, which is no small feat in the year leading up to the Olympics.  This will be Johnson's third national team appearance, his first at the senior level.

The World Rowing Championships will be held from Aug. 28 – Sept. 4, 2011 on Lake Bled in Bled, Slovenia.  The U.S. will be sending 85 athletes competing as 26 crews, all hoping to bring home a medal and in the process qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity