By Sofia Scekic
Three Cardinal men were honored last week with invitations to USRowing’s under-23 (U23) national team selection camp. Junior Nikita Lilichenko and sophomores Peter Chatain and James Wright were among the 24 collegiate athletes selected for the men’s openweight camp.
The camp was originally slated to take place in Boston and was to be coached by Harvard men’s assistant coach Jesse Foglia, but has now been canceled due to COVID-19. The selections are thus now purely ceremonial. A men’s eight and four boat with coxswains were to be selected from the camp to represent the United States at the 2020 World Rowing U23 Championships. The regatta, which was to take place in August in Bled, Slovenia, was also canceled due to the pandemic.
Chatain, Lilichenko and Wright, members of Stanford’s Varsity Eight that placed 10th at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship last year, all have prior experience competing at the World Championship level.
In 2017, Chatain competed in the Junior World Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. He also joined Lilichenko on the U.S. Team in the A-Final that placed sixth in the men’s four at the 2019 U23 World Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Wright placed 17th overall in the men’s single sculls at the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships, 10th in the quadruple sculls at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships and seventh in the quadruple sculls at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships. He was also named PAC-12 Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 2018-19, becoming only the second Cardinal in school history to receive that honor.
The men’s rowing team is the sole Stanford sports team, out of 36, that did not participate in at least one competition before all spring sports were canceled on March 12. This marks the first year since 1945 that a Stanford sports team did not have an official competition throughout its season.
The team’s would-be first competition, the Stanford Invitational, was scheduled to take place on April 4 on the Redwood Shores Lagoon, but first-year head coach Ted Sobolowski will now have to wait until at least next October to coach his first official regatta at Stanford.
Contact Sofia Scekic at sscekic ‘at’ stanford.edu.