On March 25, 2021, United States Rowing Association (USRowing) National Team Member Brooke Mooney blazed the fastest two-kilometer time for a female ever recorded on a rowing machine indoors. Saddled into a Concept2 rower during training at the Princeton Training Center in New Jersey, the six-foot, two-inch tall Mooney rowed two kilometers in a time of 6:21.1. Her average 500-meter split was 1:35.2 at 36 strokes per minute with the following:
- 500 meters — 1:37.2
- 1,000 meters — 1:37.2
- 1,500 meters — 1:34.4
- 2,000 meters — 1:32.4
According to Concept2, Mooney shaved 1.7 seconds off the previous world record set by 2019 World Rowing Indoor Championships gold medalist Olena Buryak of Ukraine at the 2017 World Games — a time of 6:22.8.
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Unintentional World Record
Mooney didn’t plan to set a world record. Initially, her rowing session was a test mandated by USRowing Olympic coaches. (Mooney is vying for a spot on the team to represent the USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.) She told World Rowing, “I definitely had an idea of that split (needed to get a world record) very deep in my mind, but I wasn’t planning on it. I knew how I wanted to start the piece. What happened after that took me by surprise.”
Before this row, Mooney’s personal best two-kilometer time was a full eight seconds slower — 6:29.1 from December 2020. That’s a significant improvement in approximately three months, and the 25-year-old believes there is still room to move even faster. Considering that she could pull faster splits in the second thousand meters after maintaining a consistent pace for the first thousand, there is space for her to adjust those earlier splits to shave off more time.
I can adjust my pacing… I definitely think I can go faster.
In addition to furthering her speed on the rower, Mooney needs to translate that effort to an actual boat. If selected for the Olympic team, the competition is set in boats on the water, not rowing machines sitting stationary on land. Translating her record pace onto the water is Mooney’s next challenge. Assuming on competition day, the weather cooperates, and the water is as flat as glass, it seems like a good idea to have a world record holder on the Olympic team. We’ll see if Mooney is selected to compete in Tokyo and what pace she can set for the rest of the world.
Feature image: @mooneybrooke on Instagram