Aug. 1, 2022 — NMH rower Ella Wheeler ’23 won a gold medal in the 2022 World Rowing Under 19 Championships in Varese, Italy, this past weekend. Wheeler raced with the women’s four with coxswain boat on the USRowing Under 19 national team to represent the United States at the world rowing championships.
“The race was incredibly challenging and we fought hard for that win,” Wheeler said after the race. “It was such an amazing experience getting to race the best rowers from all over the world. Overall I had a blast, and winning a world championship and setting a new world's best time was really exciting.”
In the preliminary race last Thursday, Wheeler’s boat led from the start and finished first with a time of 6:54.50, breaking the world record set by China in 2019. She raced in the finals on Sunday.
In the final race on Sunday, Germany’s boat was fastest at the start, followed closely by Wheeler’s boat and Italy’s. Soon the U.S. boat took the lead and was still leading in the final quarter of the race. In the finish, the USA took gold, Italy silver, and Romania claimed the bronze, and Wheeler’s team broke the record for best time for the second time in the championships, with a race time of 6:52.84.
Wheeler, who will be a senior this fall, has been a member of the NMH girls’ varsity rowing team since arriving at NMH as a 10th grader but only took up the sport the previous year. Wheeler shared that before coming to NMH, she was very strong but needed to work on her boat skills. “At NMH, my coaches helped me improve my technique and then gave me lots of opportunities to practice,” she said. “In just one year, I improved so much.” Wheeler has been a top performer in the NMH rowing program and will start the fall season as the fastest rower on the girls’ varsity team.