July 25, 2010
BREST, Belarus -- University of Michigan rowers Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Pomfret School, Conn.) and Ashley Kroll (Edmonds, Wash./Kamiak) brought home the gold medal in the pair at the Under-23 World Championships in Brest, Belarus on Saturday (July 24) in record-setting fashion by posting a new Under-23 World best time of 7:14.07, shattering the old record by 0.87 seconds.
Muller and Kroll, who advanced directly to the finals after winning their heat on Thursday (July 22), posted the fastest time in the heats and showed their dominance in the finals. Entering as the top seed the pair had a fast start taking an early 3.5 second lead on the field out of the gates, which they maintained through the first 500 meters.
Entering the 1000-meter mark the Michigan duo continued to pull away from the field and held a 4.60 advantage over second-place Romania. The Romanian pair of Nicoleta Albu and Adelina Cojocariu, the defending Under-23 World Champions, began to make a move at this point, cutting into the American's lead with about 500-meters remaining, but Mueller and Kroll had a spectacular sprint at the end earning the first US gold medal in the pair. The Romanian pair took the silver with a time of 7:14.38 and Germany took the bronze with a time of 7:23.70.
"We were prepped to know Romania was going to move ahead, and when we got to the 500, we noticed that they weren't," said Kroll. "We tried to keep stepping it up. We knew that at 500 to go, they were going to make a move. It was basically a `Hail Mary.' We just rowed as hard as we could for the last 250 (meters). We knew that they were going to move, and they did. It was a really good race. When we crossed the finish line, we honestly didn't know where we were."
The medal gives Kroll her second consecutive medal at the Under-23 World Championships. Last summer she earned a silver medal as a member of the women's eight. This is Mueller's first medal at the Under-23 World Championships.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423