Penn AC athletes proudly represented the Club, Philadelphia, and the USA at the 2023 Pan American Games in Chile. Four of our athletes brought home medals and three stood atop the podium as the Star-Spangled Banner played in honor of their gold medal performances. All seven Penn AC athletes “bore an honored name and added honor to the name they bore” racing for Team USA.
Prior to the Games the Club directly coached and supported the W2-, W4-, and LW2x. Penn AC athletes also raced in the M2x, M4x, M4-, W8+, M8+, and Mixed 8+. Seven of the twenty rowers/scullers on Team USA came from our High Performance Group.
Silver medal W4- (L to R): Hannah Paynter, Lauren Miller, Isa Darvin, Cristina Pretto.
Isa Darvin and her partner Hannah Paynter (ARION) won the first gold of the regatta in the W2-. They upset Canada who had defeated us at the April Qualification Regatta.
Darvin and Paynter then won silver in the W4- with Penn AC’s Cristina Pretto, and then all three teamed with others to win silver in the W8+.
Mary Wilson (Vesper BC, left) and her partner Liz Martin (Riverside BC) also won an outstanding silver in the LW2x. They battled host Chile in an epic back-and-forth race.
Mark Couwenhoven partnered with Casey Fuller (Saugatuck) to win Bronze in the M2x. Isa then stroked the winning Mixed 8+ with Mark at four and Cristina at bow. The field charged out of the starting blocks together. The Chileans and Canadians took an early lead but Isa methodically inched our bow ahead understroking them the whole way. The victory secured the USA’s tenth medal and put us on top of the medal table.
Cooper Hurley and Luke Rein raced the M4x missing a medal by only .36. This was Cooper’s second Pan American Team. Nick Ruggiero raced with Cooper in the A Finals of the M4- and M8+.
With the training and racing Penn AC accomplished two major objectives of the High Performance Group:
- We developed athletes for US Rowing and enhanced the competitiveness of Team USA. We fulfilled our mission as a US Rowing High Performance Partner Club.
- We facilitated an extraordinary life experience that these athletes will treasure forever. We gave backing and support to the potential of ambitious young rowers and helped them achieve more than they could have otherwise.