Pioneer rower claims silver medal in Amsterdam

Marietta College's Evan Tsourtsoulas (Kastoria, Greece) teamed up with fellow countryman George Tsambandis to win the silver medal in the Senior B Men's Pair at the World Under 23 Championships on the Bosbaan International Regatta Course in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Greek duo gave a valiant effort, winning both its opening heat and semifinal, but the Dutch pair spoiled a perfect weekend by sneaking out the two-second victory to capture the gold medal. Poland took home the bronze.

Olaf Van Andel and Mitchel Steenman of the Netherlands came out quickly, just as they did in the semifinal against the Greeks. Tsambandis and Tsourtsoulas, who crossed the 1,000-meter mark in third place, made a move to pass Poland over the next 500 meters, but could not reel in the Dutch pair down the stretch. The Netherlands finished with a time of 7:11.21, while Greece crossed the line in 7:13.25. Poland (7:14.37), Spain (7:15.13), Germany (7:19.07) and Switzerland (7:42.40) rounded out the finish in the Final A.

For Tsourtsoulas, who is a citizen of both Greece and the United States, it is not the first time he has had success at international competitions. He is a four-year member of the Greek National Team. In 2002, Tsourtsoulas took eighth in the Junior World Championships in Lithuania. A year later, he placed sixth in the event, which was held in Athens, Greece.

While at Marietta College, Tsourtsoulas helped the Pioneer Navy to medals at both the 2004 and 2005 Dad Vail Regattas.

Following a successful collegiate season this past spring, Tsourtsoulas returned to Greece to try out for the 2005 Greek National Team. Under direction of their Italian coach, Giovanni Postillioni, he trained at the national camp for a month in Ioannina, Greece. Tsourtsoulas tuned up for the World Under 23 Championships by racing at the National Greek races, before traveling across Europe for this past weekend's races in Amsterdam.

Tsourtsoulas came to Marietta College two years ago from his grandparents' house in Madison, N.J., his second home. He will soon return to Marietta to begin his junior year as classes begin Aug. 22. Tsourtsoulas and his Pioneer teammates will have a new head coach, Chris Pucella, for the 2005-06 season.