Penn Ac Qualifies 3 Teams In Heavyweight Eight Finals

Posted: June 22, 1991

INDIANAPOLIS — The members of the Penn Athletic Club like to cast themselves as a lunch pail removed from the rest of the rowing fraternity, and particularly from those aspects of the sport that carry a well-heeled, Ivy League sheen.

"We like to call ourselves Penn Athletic Club Local 107 - the union rowing club," says coach Ted Nash. "We have none of the accouterments or the money of the rowers from the national camps. We have a lot of Dad Vail guys, a lot of Philly guys. Our guys know pretzels and beer. They're not drinking champagne."

So you can imagine how Nash and his rowers felt when those same nationally sponsored camp teams chose not to spread their best rowers among two or three events.That's what Penn AC does in an effort to win the team competition at the USRowing National Championships, the finals of which start here tomorrow on Eagle Creek Reservoir.

"We're a little disgruntled," Nash said yesterday. "The camps are saving all their energy for one race at the end of the weekend."

That race would be the elite men's heavyweight eight, and even though the camp teams - known here by the moniker "Pre-Elite" - are loading up for it, Philadelphia crews showed yesterday they still plan to make the select national team earn it.

Sure, the Pre-Elite team won its heat to advance to tomorrow's final race, but Philadelphia's Vesper Boat Club won the second heat. All three Penn AC entrees made it to the repechage, or second-chance race, and squeezed into the top four, good enough for the finals.

Indeed, on a day when the objective was less to win than to qualify for further heats, Philadelphia was well-represented.

For instance, Vesper Boat Club's Angie Herron, the assistant women's coach at the University of Pennsylvania, took it easy in her elite single-sculls heat shortly after noon, then stormed to a seven-second victory on the 2,000- meter course in the late afternoon row-off. The row-off was held to see who among those who had not won morning heats would advance to tomorrow's final.

Herron is the only sculler, and one of a handful of rowers total, who has already been chosen to represent the United States at the World Rowing Championships in Vienna in August.

Vesper also advanced in the lightweight men's eight and placed three boats in the row-off to get in tomorrow's final of elite women's lightweight pairs with coxswain.

Fairmount Rowing Club had a heat winner in Teresa Zarzeczny, an elite lightweight women's single sculler. Zarzeczny, a Trenton native and St. Joseph's University graduate, placed fourth overall last year in the same event.

Undine saw its sculls double of Tim Young and Mark Montplesier take second in their repechage, so they moved on to tomorrow also.

But it was Penn AC that seemed to be all over the place yesterday, and with rowers such as Dave Krmpotich on the team, it was easy to see why.

Krmpotich, a 1988 Olympic silver medalist in men's four with coxswain, didn't think he would row again after two of his fingers were crushed in a construction accident in April 1989. He carried metal pins in his hand for six months.

"The doctors told me I wouldn't be able to row again, but as it turned out, the rowing motion was good," said Krmpotich, who bided his time coaching Monsignor Bonner High School's crew. "Actually, wrapping the fingers around an oar was good therapy."

Krmpotich rowed for the first time since the accident at the Head of the Charles races in Boston last fall. He practiced five weeks to fill in on an eight that was missing rowers who had gone off to compete in Europe. After the boat won in Boston, Nash persuaded Krmpotich to think about returning this spring.

He did so two weeks ago, after he had finished coaching Bonner. Now he's on one of four Penn AC boats in the men's-four-with-coxswain final tomorrow and he's on one of the elite eight boats for Sunday.

"I'm surprised I'm here," said Krmpotich, 36, "but Ted said it would be a good idea if I want to shoot for the Pan Am games, and that's what I'm doing now."

All told, Penn AC has 60 rowers here and almost a dozen boats still in the running for titles. That is why the club has won the Barnes trophy, an award for combined total points at this meet and another, for four consecutive years.

"We've got guys from our top eight boat getting out and turning around and rowing fours and pairs," Krmpotich said. "As a club, we just have a different belief: It's the nationals, and you race all the races."



Heat 1: 1. Pre-Elite-A 5:47.42, 2. Penn Athletic Club-A 5:54, 3. Penn AC-C 6:05.91.

Heat 2: 1. Vesper Boat Club 5:51.40, 2. Penn AC-B 5:59.27, 3. Pre-Elite-B 6:02.


Heat 2: 1. Vesper 5:58.30, 2. Harvard 6:24.10, 3. Riverside 6:24.10


Heat 2: 1. Canadian Rowing Federation 7:13.11, 2. Undine Barge Club, 7:13.11, 3. Occoquan Sculling Center 7:15.93.


Heat 1: 1. Durham Boat Club 7:01.62, 2. Mexican Rowing Federation 7:03.46, 3. Undine 7:04.7.


Heat 2: 1. Allison Townsley, Occoquan 7:49.62, 2. Cindy Ryder, Boston Rowing Center 7:58.27, 3. Angie Herron, Vesper 8:04.97.


Heat 1: 1. Teresa Zarzenczny, Fairmount Rowing Association 8:05.19, 2. Brenda Becker, Canadian 8:18.20, 3. Lourdes Montoya, Mexican 8:21.80.


Heat 2: 1. Canadian 6:28.92, 2. Boston 6:32.98, 3. Bachelors-Vesper 6:40.62.


Heat 1: Boston-A 7:59.36, Vesper-B 8:05.57, Boston-D 8:06.16.

Heat 2: 1. Canadian 7:57.10, 2. Boston-C 7:59.34, 3. Bachelor's Barge Club- A 8:10.59

Heat 3: 1. Boston-B 7:58.63, 2. Vesper-A 8:01.15, 3. Vesper-C 8:15.16.


Heat 2: Mt. Baker Rowing Club, 7:05.93, 2. Penn AC 7:11.75, 3. Wyandotte Boat Club, 7:23.31

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