Aug. 27, 2016
Virginia seniors Erin Briggs (Orono, Minn.), Colette Lucas-Conwell (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Georgia Ratcliff (Falls Church, Va.) earned gold medals at the 2016 World Rowing Championships this past week in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In addition, sophomore Heidi Long (Buckinghamshire, England) and former Cavalier and current assistant coach Kristine O’Brien earned silver medals. Former UVA standout Kerry Shaffer (Maher) also competed at the World Rowing Championships.
Briggs, Lucas-Conwell and Ratcliff were part of the United States’ gold-medal winning women’s eight crew at the Under 23 Championships. The U.S. crew topped Great Britain and stroke Heidi Long, Russia, New Zealand, Australia and Germany. The women’s eight has now brought home gold in five consecutive Under 23 Championships. The U.S. Under 23 women’s eight streak started with O’Brien (Class of 2013) at the stroke in 2012 and 2013, and Lucas-Conwell and Ratcliff have earned gold medals in each of the last two championships. Ratcliff also placed fourth with Kendall Chase in the women’s pair.
O’Brien was part of the American women’s four crew that earned a silver medal at the Senior Championships. Great Britain won the event with a time of 7:16.28, outdistancing the U.S. by more than five seconds. Shaffer (Class of 2007) and her Canadian crew finished sixth in the women’s four.
UVA has been represented by six or more competitors in each of the last three World Rowing Championships.