Goodale ready to lead U.S.

Posted Aug. 20, 2009, at 10:03 p.m.

It’s back to business for Anna Goodale.

Goodale, a 2001 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, who won a gold medal in rowing with the U.S. women’s eight at the 2008 Summer Olympics, will compete for the United States in the 2009 FISA World Championships to be held Aug. 23-30 at Pouzan, Poland.

Goodale is one of five returning members from the gold-medal squad, along with Erin Cafaro of Modesto, Calif, Caroline Lind of Greensboro, N.C., Lindsay Shoop of Charlottesville, Va., and Susan Francia of Abington, Pa..

“We’ve been here in Poznan for a few days and are continuing to train and solidify the lineup,” said Goodale by e-mail. “This is a new year, we are not looking to the past. We are eager to set the stage for the years to come. We are all excited to race and see how fast we can go.”

The 26-year-old Goodale and her U.S. teammates have won the last two world championships. They set a world record of 5 minutes, 55.50 seconds while winning the 2006 title at Eton, Germany, then successfully defending that crown a year later in Munich.

Those championships served to set the tone for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where Goodale and another Mainer, Elle Logan of Boothbay Harbor, helped the United States defeat the second-place Netherlands by 1.78 seconds on the 2,000-meter Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park course to win America’s first gold medal in the women’s eight since 1984.

Goodale celebrated her Olympic triumph by taking eight months off from the sport to travel around the world, then endured some physical adversity after resuming her workouts toward making this year’s national team.

“I came back to training in April with enthusiasm,” said Goodale, who first took up rowing while a student at Syracuse University.

“I knew that I was physically behind my teammates and would need to work very hard to make the 2009 team. I started off strong, perhaps a little too strong, and injured my rib. I spent the next few months getting in shape off the water while my rib healed. I recovered just in time to get back in the boat to race and secure my spot on the team.”

The U.S. team for the world championships was selected July 26, with newcomers Mara Allen, Laura Larsen-Strecker, Katherine Glessner and Katlin Snyder joining Goodale and the other Olympic veterans.

“We have been working to find our own new rhythm,” said Goodale. “The combination of the strength of the young girls and the experience of the old means that we have the potential to go fast.”

Romania, the 2004 Olympic champion, settled for the bronze medal in Beijing but is considered the top threat to challenge the Americans’ winning streak at the world championships.

The Romanians defeated Goodale and the United States’ eight by 2.42 seconds to win the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, on July 12.

The Netherlands is considered another top-flight contender.

Opening-round heats at the world championships are scheduled for Monday, with the repechage Wednesday, the “B” final on Aug. 29 and the “A” final on Sunday, Aug. 30.

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