NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan sisters Mary and Claire Campbell won the USRowing Junior World Championships in double sculls on Wednesday and will represent the United States in the Junior World Championships next month in Hamburg, Germany.
The Campbell sisters, rowing for Norwalk-based Maritime Rowing Club, went head-to-head with Sagamore Rowing Association’s Adrienne Bielawski and Y Quad Cities Rowing’s Caroline Sharis, who won the first final Tuesday morning by less than one second. The second final Tuesday evening at New Jersey's Mercer Lake went the other way, and the Campbells won by 4.64 seconds.
"In the first race, we rowed like we had something to lose," Mary said on the USRowing website . "And then, going into the second final, we were like 'we have nothing to lose,’ and that relief of stress allowed us to race (the third final) at a different ability than we were before.”
The third final was the main event at Mercer on Wednesday. The first 500 meters of the race saw both crews staying within a few seats of each other and battling back and forth for the lead. It was at around the 500-meter mark that the Campbell sisters established themselves as the leaders.
By 1,750 meters, it was clear the Campbells were on their way to Germany.
“I was thinking 'Don't mess up, don't mess up. I don't want to be that person,’” said Claire. “It was much more relaxed. We were like the same person.”
The Campbells clocked a 7:30.11 at the finish line for the win, followed by Bielawski and Sharis in a 7:38.87.
Mary and Claire are sisters of 2014 U.S. senior and under 23 lightweight men’s single sculler, Andrew Campbell Jr., and Charley Campbell, a two-time junior national team member.