2018-08-09 / News

Kallfelz 2nd at world rowing championships

BY BILL ALDEN
COURTESY OF TOWN TOPICS


Emily Kallfelz rows in the recent single sculls competition at the U-23 world championships in Poznan, Poland. The Green Lane resident took second place. U.S. ROWING Emily Kallfelz rows in the recent single sculls competition at the U-23 world championships in Poznan, Poland. The Green Lane resident took second place. U.S. ROWING Emily Kallfelz enjoyed success in rowing before she ever got on the water.

Making her debut as a high school junior by competing in the 2014 Crash-B, an indoor rowing event based on ergometer times, Kallfelz placed eighth. The 21-year-old Green Lane resident was a multisport star at St. George’s School in Middletown.

“I did a bunch of sports beforehand, soccer, swimming, sailing,” said the Jamestown native. “And I did some triathlons when I was younger. My school didn’t even have a rowing team.”

Introducing her to the sport were her parents, Andrew and Julie Kallfelz, who both rowed collegiately at Cornell University.

“Maybe you should try it out,” they told her. “You might like it. It is kind of fun.”

She’s come a long way since then. The rising Princeton University senior showed her strength on the international stage by taking second in the single sculls at the U-23 world championships in late July in Poznan, Poland.

Although Kallfelz, who took bronze in the event at the 2017 U-23 worlds, said she was “not feeling good” heading into the event, she was able to advance to the A finals. In that race, Kallfelz rowed superbly, finishing in 7:31.60, barely three seconds behind the winning time of 7:28.34.

“My starts are typically not so good, so I was trying to make sure I stayed in the pack at the start and then build throughout the middle of the race,” Kallfelz said. “It got bumpy, and I struggled a lot with the bumps. That’s where she got me. I took a few diggers, and I couldn’t get the rate back up. It’s a good learning experience.”

Once Kallfelz got on the water that first spring, she had a lot of fun. She eventually competed for the United States at the 2014 world junior championships and placed seventh as the stroke of the quadruple sculls. A few months later, she won the 2014 Head of the Charles in the single sculls and set a course record. She then won the 2015 youth nationals in both singles and doubles, the latter with 19-year-old sister Eliza.

In the fall of 2015, Kallfelz joined the Princeton University women’s open crew program and started to excel in a team environment.

“I had never really trained that hard or for that long before,” she said. “It was really cool to be around really strong, fit women like that.”

An increased training regimen came in handy when Kallfelz turned her attention to sculling after the end of the college season.

“I was focusing on getting my erg score down and building power because I am a smaller person in the boat. That has really helped me coming into this summer, being more powerful and more fit.”

Despite the improved conditioning, Kallfelz still faced an adjustment period in getting up to top speed in the single.

“Going from an eight to a single is the biggest transition, it takes three or four weeks to get used to the single again,” Kallfelz said.

“Racing in the eight is about six and a half minutes long,” she added. “There is not much pressure, it is not a very heavy load. In a single, you are racing around eight minutes and you have a lot more weight. You are lifting a lot more. It is tough; it is really hard on your body because it is so much more pressure on everything. You get cramped up, you have back issues and hamstring issues.”

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