Originally created 09/19/00

Augusta rowers advance



SYDNEY -- Augusta rowers advanced in both of their races at the Sydney Olympics on Tuesday, moving a step closer to their Olympic dreams.

Carol Skricki and Ruth Davidon finished second in their double sculls race, advancing to the finals Friday.

Henry Nuzum and Mike Ferry also finished second in their heat to qualify for the double sculls semifinals Thursday.

All four train at the U.S. Rowing National Sculling Center in Augusta.

Skricki and Davidon were strong medal contenders coming into the Olympics, but they faced gold-medal favorite Germany in their first heat, so they had to go through the repechages, or second-chance race, to get to the medal round.

They won bronze medals at World Cup races in Vienna and Lucerne. By getting into the finals, they will finish no worse than sixth in the Olympics. Davidon finished sixth in the single sculls at the 1996 Olympics.

Though this is the first Olympics for Nuzum and Ferry, they showed no signs of nervousness after Tuesday's race.

"We're glad to be in the semifinals and hope to keep going to the gold," said Ferry. "We just keep getting better every race."

Ferry said he and Nuzum are about where they expected to be at this point in the competition.

"We'll be fine if we keep executing our plan," he said. "We know what we have to do when we get out there. Basically, we can do it; we just have to put it all together.

"We'll have to have our best race in the semifinals. But the hay's in the barn. We're ready."

The top three in each semifinal race go to Saturday's finals.