PRINCETON, N.J. – Rising senior Chris Leonard (White Plains, N.Y.) of the Marist men’s crew team has earned a spot as the coxswain on the United States Eight boat to compete at the 2013 World University Games. Leonard and his teammates will travel to Kazan, Russia for the Games which run from July 5-17.
Invited to the U.S. Rowing selection camp in Boston earlier this month, Leonard competed against two other coxswains for the one position in the Eight boat, the one coxed boat the U.S. features.
“This was by far the toughest competition that I've faced throughout my time rowing,” Leonard said. “Every day was a battle and the coaches expected us to be at the top of game every practice. We were constantly battling each other for the spot. The other two coxswains are unbelievable competitors and they were the first ones to congratulate me on getting the spot. I look forward to competing against them in the future. It's such an honor to be selected to represent the United States and Marist at such a high level.”
At Marist, Leonard serves as the coxswain for the Red Foxes’ Varsity Eight boat, which was named All- Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) after being named the MAAC Boat of the Week three times during the spring. In the Red Foxes 12th consecutive MAAC Championship, Leonard guided the Varsity Eight squad to a second place finish in their race, finishing less than a second out of first.
On four occasions this season the Varsity Eight boat has finished first in its event, taking the top spot at the Poughkeepsie Regatta, at Holy Cross, at the Sacred Heart Invitational and at the President’s Cup. The Red Foxes posted its best time of the season at the Sacred Heart Invitational, crossing the finish line in 5:39.4.
"Leonard has worked very hard throughout his coxing career to earn this seat,” Marist head coach, and 2013 MAAC Coach of the Year Matt Lavin said. “I am eager to see how he and the rest of the crew will perform. I know he will make our program proud as he represents both our country and Marist."
The U.S. will be coached by Matt Lehrer, Kane Larin and Bruce Smith of Community Rowing Inc. (CRI). Leonard’s Eight boat will race at the Elite Nationals in Mercer, N.J. on June 26-28 before leaving for Russia on July 1.
About The World University Games
The World University Games, also known as ‘Universiade’ is an international multi-sports event for university athletes which is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The first World University Games took place in Paris in May 1923 at the initiative of Frenchman Jean Petitjean. From 1949, the Games were held under the auspices of FISU. There are both Summer and Winter Games, which are held every two years, in odd years. For more information, visit http://www.worldrowing.com/event_categories/world-university-games.
About US Rowing
US Rowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. US Rowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, Filippi, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, JanSport, Ludus Tours and Rudy Project. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. The USRowing National Team program relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. New opportunities exist to support the teams through the next quadrennial, culminating with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and the USRowing adaptive programs also benefit from corporate support. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at firstname.lastname@example.org.