Samsonov and Walton gain finals in pairs

Updated: June 28, 2004, 7:15 PM ET
Associated Press

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Artour Samsonov and Luke Walton of the Harvard boat club led four men's pairs crews into the finals of the U.S. Olympic Team rowing trials Monday.

The competition set up the fields in men's pairs, men's double sculls and women's pairs for the best of-three finals, starting Tuesday on Lake Mercer. Winners of the four events will earn spots at the 2004 Olympics.

Samsonov and Walton won in 6 minutes, 37.86 seconds. Jamie Schroeder and Dan Walsh of the Princeton training center were .85 seconds behind.

Jason Flickinger and three-time Olympian Jeff Klepacki won the second semifinal in 6:44.19, beating Princeton teammates Bob Kaehler and Ryan Torgerson by 1.25 seconds.

Henry Nuzum and Aquil Abdullah of U.S. Navy/PTC won the first semifinal of the men's double sculls in a time of 6:26.61, defeating Harvard's Ken Jurkowski and Adam Holland by 2.19 seconds.

Jonathan Burns and Todd Beyreuther of Vesper Boat Club-Pocock Rowing Club won the second semifinal in 6:20.04, beating Michael Callahan and Dave Friedericks of MLARC.

In the women's pair repechage, or second chance, Kate Ronkainen and Dana Peirce defeated Princeton teammates Katie Hammes and Maite Urtasun by 0.24 seconds. Both crews advanced to the final, where they will race Sunday's heat winners, Kate MacKenzie and Sarah Jones from New York Athletic Club-Princeton training center and Liane Malcos and Portia Johnson of Princeton.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press