Konieczny pursues world title

St. John’s grad trains in N.J.

7/10/2013
BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Josh Konieczny, a St. John's Jesuit grad, is a member of the U.S. Rowing four-man lightweight team.
Josh Konieczny, a St. John's Jesuit grad, is a member of the U.S. Rowing four-man lightweight team.

Josh Konieczny has spent a major portion of his days following graduating from Dartmouth University tucked firmly inside the shell of a streamlined row boat.

Konieczny
Konieczny

"I spend about four to five hours a day rowing right now," said the Toledo native who graduated with a degree in economics last month.

It's all for a purpose.

Konieczny is a member of the United States rowing team that will compete in the World Rowing Under 23 championships July 24-28 in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

"I'm definitely pumped about it," said Konieczny, who is training as a part of the lightweight four-row team in Princeton, N.J.

Taking his talents to Austria as a U.S. team member represents the 2009 St. John's Jesuit graduate's steady progression in the sport dating back to when he initially became exposed to rowing as a Titans freshman. He quickly took to the sport and has remained involved since.

Konieczny was a four-year competitor in rowing at St. John's and it led him to competing in college for four years as a member of Dartmouth's rowing team. The 22-year-old admits his admiration for the sport has grown over time right along with reailizing his potential as a rower.

"It was one of those things in which I was testing the waters and by my sophomore year in high school I got pretty competitive and thought I'd like to continue competing in college," Konieczny said.

His time in college produced the kind of success that has led to him being selected for a U.S. team. He was member of a lightweight eight-man team that placed second at the collegiate national championships during his junior season. They placed third in his sophomore season.

The 5-foot-10, 154-pounder completed his collegiate career with thoughts of continuing with competitive rowing beyond college. It led to an opportunity this year to compete for a spot on the U.S. under 23 team. He tested out as one of the top four rowers to earn a position on the lightweight four team that consists of four rowers in a boat. The individuals who make up the quartet weigh an average weight of 154.3 pounds.

Konieczny's dream of competing for an Olympic medal isn't a possibility in 2013. The summer of 2016 in Brazil? Perhaps.

In the meantime, pursuing a World Championship is the focus.

"If we can get on that podium it will be a pretty big deal," he said.

"It's a chance to advance the nation's cause [in rowing], as well as my own cause."

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.