Soldier Earns Berth in World Rowing Championships
August 8, 2007
By Tim Hipps
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, Aug. 8, 2008) - U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program rower Capt. Matt Smith has earned a berth in the 2007 International Federation of Rowing Associations' World Championships slated for Aug. 26 through Sept. 2 in Munich, Germany.
Capt. Smith teamed with Simon Carcagno to win the lightweight men's pair event with a time of 6 minutes, 42.8 seconds for 2,000 meters at the world championships trials Aug. 2 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
One day earlier, the two won the first race in the best-of-three series with a time of 6:40.5, well under the Team USA-mandated qualifying standard of 6:42.99.
Capt. Smith and Mr. Carcagno will row for Team USA in the upcoming world championships. The duo recently teamed with Andrew Bolton and Bjorn Larsen to win silver medals in the lightweight men's four event at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After a deployment to Iraq and being out of a boat for two years, Capt. Smith returned to the WCAP last August to train for a shot at making Team USA for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
"Winning trials demonstrated to the coaches that I am still improving and am now really returning to my old form of 2004," Capt. Smith said. "This is setting me up for success leading into the Olympic selection year."
Capt. Smith was a member of the U.S. crew who competed in the lightweight men's four event at the 2004 Olympic Games in Schinias, Greece. A seven-year Army veteran who just made his seventh U.S. National Team, the captain rowed in the lightweight pair event at the 1999 World Championships.
"The experience I'll receive at the world championships will only help me next year," said Capt. Smith, who is one of about a dozen rowers training in Princeton, N.J., for berths on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team.
(Tim Hipps serves with Family and Morale, Welfare, Recreation Command Public Affairs.)