WEST WINDSOR, N.J. —- Stephen Whelpley realized a dream Wednesday after qualifying for the U.S. National Team that will compete at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea.
Whelpley, a 2005 Colby College graduate, earned his first-ever senior national team trials victory by winning the men’s single final in 7 minutes, 15.5 seconds on Mercer Lake at the U.S. Senior World Championship Trials. He will get a brief respite and then head to South Korea for the world championships from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Whelpley in a USRowing news release. “I’m an older guy here at the trials, but by no means too old. Eight years has been a long time coming.”
The victory capped off a productive summer for Whelpley. He won the men’s single final in 6:57.27 at the USRowing National Championships in June on Mercer Lake. Whelpley started the meet by winning a time trial in 6:46.53 in a field of 21 rowers.
Whelpley finished second in the men’s single at the 2013 National Selection Regatta #1 in April. He also was second in the men’s championships singles event at the Head of the Charles Regatta in October 2012.
“I spent the last quadrennial being the guy on the cusp, being second in a lot of situations. It’s good to finally reap the benefits of what I’ve been doing,” Whelpley told USRowing.
Whelpley, rowing for the Craftsbury Sculling Center, has competed in the Olympic trials in 2008 and 2012 and has narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympic Games.