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Husky Crews Sweep Through Heats
Release: 06/21/1999
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March 28, 1998

CAMDEN, New Jersey -- All three Washington mens crews began defense of their 1997 titles as they won their opening heats on the first day of racing at the 96th annual National Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships on the Cooper River Thursday morning. The Huskies are defending champions in the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen eight-oared races.

The varsity and freshmen crews will compete in semi-final heats Friday. The winners of each of the four heats plus the top two from each of the four repechage (second chance) heats make up the field of 12 boats for the semi-final. The top three from each semi-final then advance to the grand final.

The UW varsity will row in heat two of the semi-finals, at 2:24 p.m. EST. The field and lane assignments are as follows: 1. Georgetown, 2. Brown, 3. Northeastern, 4. Washington, 5. Temple, 6. New Hampshire. The first heat is made up of Boston U., California, Princeton, Penn, Wisconsin and Navy. The third semi-final includes Rutgers, Grand Valley, Syracuse and Cornell.

The junior varsity heat winners, because there were just three races, advance directly to the grand final Saturday. Repechage heats for the junior varsity take place Friday to fill out the field.

The Husky freshmen will row in heat two of the semi-finals at 1:48 p.m. The field and lane assignments are: 1. Syracuse, 2. Dartmouth, 3. Washington, 4. Princeton, 5. Penn, 6. Orange Coast. The first heat includes Cornell, Wisconsin, Brown, California, Rutgers and Columbia. Heat third heat includes Michigan, Boston U., Purdue, MIT and Georgetown.

The Washington varsity crew, rowing in lane three of heat four, won easily, in a time of 5 minutes, 43.4 seconds over the 2,000-meter course. The Huskies jumped out to a quick start and took an early lead on the field. Wisconsin tried to stay with them, but could not get closer than three or four seats. Washington surged at the 500-meter mark to increase its lead and the Badgers answered again, to move back within four seats. With 700 meters to go, Washington used a final surge to pull away for good. Wisconsin crossed the line in 5:50.2 for second place.

Other heat winners in the varsity eight were Penn at 5:45.3, Princeton at 5:40.8 and Northeastern at 5:39.1. California, in heat three, was second behind Northeastern and will have to row in the repechage to vie for a spot in the semi-finals.

We did what we needed to do today, said UW coach Bob Ernst. The game is to get here and get to the next level. Im pleased. The guys looked like they were ready to go today. We just need to continue to work on what we do best. Ive seen Princeton row and they are the ones everybody is here to beat. Its fun being here. Its fun to be here and be a contender. You have first class coaches and crews here. The coaches from Brown, Penn, Princeton - they are all first class. Theyve all won this race before and they know how to get the kids ready. Its flattering just to be here and be in the race. Everything has to be right for you to win here. Everyone has to stay healthy, you have to have the fastest boat. You have to be fast, but you have to be a little bit lucky.

The UW junior varsity provided officials with the photo finish of the day, as the Huskies edged Navy 5:45.9 to 5:46.1, to advance to the grand final Saturday. Officials had a lengthy video taped review of the finish before making the final call.

Washington, Navy and Syracuse moved away from the pack early in the race. Heading into the final 1,000-meters, the midshipmen and the Huskies were even and it was back and forth from that point on. The Huskies were two seats up with 700 to go and even again at 600-meters. The Huskies final margin appeared to be less than six inches.

We had a pretty high start, but it was a little shaky, said UW junior varsity coxswain Adrian Dahood, of nearby Princeton, New Jersey. We were down at the start. At the 1,000, we shuttled a 10 and took a power 20 and moved right through them (Navy). Navy was up on us half a length right before that and in those 30 strokes we came up even with them. Then through the 500, it was just a race between us and Navy. Nobody else was nearby. We had a shaky middle, but once we hit that 1,000, it was probably the best bit of racing weve done all season. The boat suddenly just smoothed out and started going. We came right back on Navy, took it right back from them.

I had no clue, Dahood said of the close finish. I had absolutely no clue.

The Husky frosh eight led from start to finish and won its heat in open water, in a time of 5:48.3, posting the fastest time of the four heats. Wisconsin trailed in second place at 5:52.8.

Collegiate Mens Rowing
IRA National Championships
Cooper River, Camden, New Jersey

Day 1 Heat Results

Mens Freshmen Eight
Heat 4:
1. WASHINGTON 5:48.3;
2. Wisconsin 5:52.8;
3. Syracuse 6:04.6;
4. Navy 6:07.3;
5. Cornell 6:32..1

Mens Junior Varsity Eight
Heat 2:
1. WASHINGTON 5:45.9;
2. Navy 5:46.1;
3. Virginia 5:50.7;
4. Syracuse 5:56.7;
5. Dartmouth 6:01.1;
6. Northeastern 6:03.7

Mens Varsity Eight
Heat 4:
1. WASHINGTON 5:43.4;
2. Wisconsin 5:50.2;
3. Oregon State 5:56.8;
4. Michigan 5:58.8;
5. Grand Valley 6:10.2

Additional heat winners

Mens freshmen eight:
heat 1 - Princeton 5:49.2;
heat 2 - California 5:50.4;
heat 3 - Brown 5:49.0

Mens junior varsity eight:
heat 1 - Wisconsin 5:44.1;
heat 3 - Princeton 5:42.9

Mens varsity eight:
heat 1 - Penn 5:45.3;
heat 2 - Princeton 5:40.8;
heat 3 - Northeastern 5:39.1

Washington Men's Rowing
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