UMass Amherst's Wes Piermarini Rowing for U.S. in London Olympics

July 19, 2012

Contact: Wesley Blixt 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst alumnus and rower Wes Piermarini of West Brookfield will represent the United States in the men’s quadruple scull competition beginning July 28 at the Olympic Games in London.
 
Piermarini earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2005 and a master’s in architecture degree in 2011 as part of UMass Amherst’s Architecture + Design Program. He spent the past year preparing at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. and working at M.W. Steele Group, an architecture firm in San Diego.
 
Piermarini competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where he rowed doubles in a scull that finished 13th.  While in Beijing, Piermarini also researched and later reported on the architecture in China’s capital city, according to Stephen Schreiber, director of the Architecture + Design Program at UMass Amherst. Schreiber said that Piermarini balanced athletics and scholarship admirably during his time on campus.
 
“He was a star student,” said Schreiber.
 
Tony Cronin, coach of UMass men’s rowing, said, “During his time as a member of the men’s rowing club, Wes enjoyed a very successful career. While working on his degree, he went on to win three golds and a silver at the New England Rowing Championships, a bronze at the 2004 IRA Regatta and countless dual meet victories. Wes would spend his summers rowing for Ottawa RC in Ontario, winning multiple medals at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.”
 
After graduating, Piermarini was trained in single scull by longtime UMass coach Jim Dietz.
 
In addition to Piermarini, the men’s quadruple will include Elliot Hovey of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Alex Osborne of Sherman Oaks, Calif, and Peter Graves of Cincinnati. Hovey and Piermarini competed together in the double sculls in Beijing.
 
Piermarini’s boat finished eighth in the quadruple sculls at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. Piermarini has said that he was determined to go to the Olympic Games from an early age, initially as a downhill skier, but that he got hooked on rowing during his freshman year at UMass Amherst.
 
The Olympic Games open July 27 and the men’s quadruple scull competition is scheduled for July 28, July 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3.