Hobart alumnus Austin Letorney ’17 will representing the United States at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, competing in the men’s four in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 19-23.
Letorney, who graduated cum laude in May with a degree in international relations, was invited to the U.S. Men’s Under 23 National Team Selection Camp last summer as well, but this will be his first opportunity to represent the United States on an international stage. The U.S. roster includes athletes from 23 states representing 30 universities.
“To make the team is incredibly humbling, and I’m proud to represent the United States overseas,” said Letorney. “The ups and downs that come with this sport have given me momentum to finally achieve this dream.”
Letorney was a two-time team captain and four-year member of Hobart’s varsity eight. This past spring, Hobart’s varsity eight finished second in the fourth level (21st overall) at the IRA National Championships. At the National Invitational Rowing Championships, the Statesmen won a gold medal, marking the second time in four years that Hobart earned a medal at the event. They also won gold medals at the NIRC regatta in 2014.
Letorney was a two-time member of the Liberty League Crew of the Year and was a 2014-15 All-Liberty League selection. He’s a three-time member of the IRA All-Academic team and the Liberty League All-Academic team.
“I owe everything to my time at Hobart,” added Letorney. “My teammates through the years have been some of the best friends and greatest teammates anyone could ask for. My coaches, Paul Bugenhagen and Skip Kielt, have been there every step of the way and I could not be more appreciative of their commitment to this program. I would include our alumni also because without their support, our team would not be where it is today. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that Hobart has provided me and will do my best to represent the Statesmen in Bulgaria!”
Hobart Assistant Rowing Coach Skip Kielt, who is entering his third year with the Statesmen, will be coaching the lightweight four and the lightweight men’s pair at the championships. It is his second year coaching at the event, guiding the lightweight men’s pair last summer in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Kielt also competed at the World Championships as an athlete in 2008. He finished fourth in the B level final in the lightweight men’s pair in Bradenburg, Germany.
Letorney is the seventh Statesman to represent Hobart on the international stage. He joins Rob McNamara ’15 (2014 U23 U.S. National Team), August Wherry ’16 (2014 U23 U.S. National Team), Richard Klein ’08 (2006 U23 U.S. National Team, 2007 U23 U.S. National Team), Kent Smack ’97 (2001 U.S. National Team, 2004 U.S. Olympic Team), Rob Desino ’94 (1997 U.S. National Team) and Chris Desino ’94 (1997 U.S. National Team).
Complete press coverage, athlete bios and links to event information can be found at www.usrowing.org and www.worldrowing.com. Follow along with the U.S. Under 23 National Team as they prepare for the World Rowing Championships by using the hashtag #RowtoPlovdiv.