Nov. 4, 2012
SEATTLE - The rain held off while the sun briefly peeked from behind the clouds as the races began at the Head of the Lake Regatta early on Sunday morning. The Husky men continued their dominance this fall, with all boats finishing near the top in both the Men's Collegiate Eight and the Men's Collegiate Four.
The regatta kicked off with three UW eight boats taking the top three spots in the first race of the day. Senior Seamus Labrum coxed the winning eight boat to a time of 15:34.47. In the Men's Four sponsored by Popcock Racing Shells, UW boats finished one through four, with the first-place shell winning with a time of 17:37:53.
The 3.1-mile course stretched from Lake Union to Lake Washington, winding through Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut and ending in the bay in front of Conibear Shellhouse. Hundreds of spectators lined the shores of the cut to see the Washington crew program on the water, while also supporting the athletes participating from the local and regional rowing clubs. The regatta was hosted by Lake Washington Rowing Club.
Head men's crew coach Michael Callahan was happy to be involved in an event that has become a Seattle rowing community tradition.
"It's great to be a part of a Seattle tradition, and it's fun to be a part of a northwest event that has juniors all the way up to Masters competing," said Callahan. "Special thanks to Lake Washington Rowing Club for continuing this event."
The two-time defending champions have had a solid fall, also winning the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta--an event that features some of the best rowers in the world. Callahan, however, is only thinking ahead as the Huskies transition to off-season workouts.
"It's time to get focused on some winter training!" said an excited Callahan.
In the Women's Collegiate Eight sponsored by Popcock Racing Shells, the Husky women out-rowed their cross-state rivals, beating the Washington State Cougars by twenty-five seconds with a time of 17:45:61. Maddy Johnston coxed the Huskies to the win. Washington also had the winning boat in the Women's Collegiate Junior Varsity Eight, winning with a time that was twenty-one seconds ahead of second-place Washington State. The Huskies narrowly missed the sweep of the Cougars, finishing three seconds behind them in the Women's Collegiate Four.
Rowing director and women's coach Bob Ernst and his rowers felt great about their performance today. He was also excited that his varsity and junior varsity earned the top two times overall on the women's side of the regatta.
"They did well today and they are pretty pleased with their performance," said Ernst. "I was pretty happy that the varsity got the fastest time for women in the regatta and the JV got the second fastest time. That was our goal for this weekend, and we got it done."
Ernst is encouraged by what he saw from his athletes not only on Sunday but also overall this fall, and is pleased about the strides they made during a relatively short competitive season.
"It set us up really well for winter training," said Ernst. "This is a sensational bunch of athletes, they are fun to work with every day and they are great at supporting each other. I'm really excited about the group this year."