WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - Former Drake rower Chelsea Smith qualified for the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria that will take place August 14-19. Smith who rowed for Drake from 2006-10 was a member of the lightweight quad boat that won at the US Non-Olympic Senior World Championship Trials this past week on Lake Mercer in New Jersey.
"We are very proud of Chelsea for qualifying in the World Championships," Drake head coach Charlie DiSilvestro said. "I know her ultimate goal was to make the Olympic team but even though she just missed that goal she trained hard and stayed focused to beat some great athletes to go to Bulgaria. She has always wanted to race in Europe and I believe this will help her going forward in her goal to make the next Olympics (2016)."
Smith narrowly missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in a doubles boat by just four seconds in April at the US Olympic Trials in Chula Vista, Calif. She won a pair of bronze medals this past October at the XVI Pan American Games in Ciudad Guzman, Mexico.
"It was a very competitive race with great teams and athletes," Smith said. "Even though I didn't make the Olympics this year it is still exciting to be racing in Europe for a highly coveted World Championship. Those of us that missed out on the Olympics came together and put a four-person team together and this will be my first race outside of US, Canada and Mexico."
Smith is from Edina, Minn.