PLOVIDV, Bulgaria – A pair of recent University of Pennsylvania graduates reached the medal stand at the U23 World Rowing Championships on Sunday as Louis Lombardi and Dara Alizadeh won silver medals in the men’s eight for the United States.
The American crew (5:36.49) was second to Germany (5:33.56), and almost two seconds clear of bronze medal-winning Russia (5:38.32).
“The Germans are a very good team,” said Lombardi, who coxed last year’s crew to a bronze medal, in an interview with USRowing. “From the first stroke to the last stroke of the race, we left everything we could on that 2,000-meter race course. I’m proud of these guys. They’re eight of the most excellent oarsmen in the U.S., and they did everything they know how to do.”
The silver medal is the second piece of hardware earned at the U23 World Championships in two years for Lombardi. A three-year coxswain with Penn’s heavyweight varsity eight, Lombardi coxed Team USA to a bronze medal last year.
This year’s World Championships were the first for Alizadeh, and he returned with a bronze medal while rowing in the stroke seat – a position he manned this spring for the Red and Blue.
The University of Pennsylvania rowing programs had a strong contingent on Team USA in Plovdiv. Wes Ng, the newly-named head coach of Penn’s women’s crew team was the coach of the women’s eight and four – each of which won gold medals. Lightweight head coach Colin Farrell was the coach of the lightweight men’s four which reached the Grand Final and was sixth overall featuring rising juniors Jake Ford and Sam Ward.