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Husky Rowers Advance to Grand Finals at IRA Championships
Release: 06/21/1999
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May 28, 1999

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Washington's varsity, junior varsity and freshmen men's crews all advanced to grand finals after day two of racing at the 97th Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships on the Cooper River Friday. The varsity and junior varsity eight-oared crews each won their heats, while the freshmen eight finished second in its semi-final to advance to championship racing.

Washington competes for the Varsity Challenge Cup in the grand final at 4:30 p. EST Saturday. The Huskies will race in lane four, alongside Pac-10 rival California in lane three. Princeton, winner of the Eastern Sprints, is in lane six. Brown (1), Penn (2) and Wisconsin (5) fill out the field.

The UW varsity eight features seven men who have won a national championship. Senior coxswain Sean Mulligan, in his third year in the varsity boat, helped direct the Huskies to the Challenge Cup title in 1997, and a second place finish in 98. Aaron Beck, currently in the bow seat, was also in 97 varsity boat and Steve Todd (4-seat) rowed with the junior varsity crew that also won that year. Whit Hammond (stroke), Eric Funk (7), Dave Calder (6) and Mike Chait (5) were all together in the freshman eight that completed the 97 Husky sweep. Ivan Douttchak (3) and John Clark (2) round out the 99 varsity crew.

The varsity eight led wire-to-wire in its semi-final race, covering the 2,000-meter Cooper River course in a time of 5 minutes, 35.80 seconds, about five seats ahead of second-place Wisconsin at 5:37.80. Princeton was third at 5:42.20. It was a race between the Huskies, Badgers and Tigers from the starting line, with Washington asserting itself early. The Huskies moved up three seats on the field right away, but Wisconsin started to close the gap midway. UW held a six seat lead over Wisconsin with 500-meters to go, while the Badgers had two seats on Princeton.

The junior varsity won its repechage heat and advanced to the grand final at 2:30 p.m. EST. They will row in lane one, followed by Penn (2), California (3), Princeton (4), Wisconsin (5) and Brown (6). The Huskies jumped out of the blocks and took a four seat lead from the start of their heat. They had open water on the field at 500-meters and increased the lead from there. By the halfway mark, they maintained a three-quarter length open water lead and went on to finish in a time of 5:51.10, well ahead of Michigan at 5:56.00.

Grand Final Lane Assignments for Saturday, May 29

Stewards Cup Grand Final (Freshman Eight) -- 1:30 p.m. EST 1. Princeton 2. Wisconsin 3. Brown 4. California 5. Washington 6. Penn

Kennedy Challenge Cup Grand Final (Junior varsity) -- 2:30 p.m. EST 1. Washington 2. Penn 3. California 4. Princeton 5. Wisconsin 6. Brown

Varsity Challenge Cup Grand Final (Varsity Eight) -- 4:30 p.m. EST 1. Brown 2. Penn 3. California 4. Washington 5. Wisconsin 6. Princeton

IRA Championship Notes

Varsity Challenge Cup: Presented to the IRA by Dr. Louis L. Seaman in 1898, the silver cup goes annually to the college crew winning the varsity eight race. Washington won the cup in 1997 and finished second, behind Princeton, in 1998. The 97 Challenge Cup victory was the 11th overall in the history of the UW program, dating back to its first victory in 1923. In the 104-year history of the IRA, only 12 schools have won the Varsity Challenge Cup.

Kennedy Challenge Cup: This cup was originally presented to the IRA in 1899 by Davidson Kennedy to four-oared winners. The trophy is now annually awarded to the winner of the second varsity (junior varsity) race. Washington won the cup in 1997 and finished fifth in 98. The 97 victory was the Huskies 10th Kennedy Cup championship.

Stewards Cup: First presented to the IRA in 1900, this goes to the freshmen mens eight winner. Washington completed a grand sweep when it won the cup in 1997. It was the 10th Stewards Cup victory and first since 1969 for the Huskies. The UW freshmen finished second in 1998, behind California.

Washington Quotes

Bob Ernst (head coach): Its going to take a great, great performance to beat California. You never know what might happen. The (varsity) guys had an excellent row today. We edged away early. Our goal today was to beat Princeton. We figured everything would fall into place after that. We have finally had some time to row the guys in the boat, with the same lineup. They are comfortable with each other and everything is starting to click.

Sean Mulligan (varsity coxswain): Today was the best race weve had so far this year. I said that about our heat race on Thursday and this one was even better. All along, what Bob (Ernst) and I emphasize with the guys is to not worry about California or anyone else. Just concentrate on maxing out our boat speed, see what we can do. Today was a huge test (against Princeton). Some people thought we werent fast and I reminded our guys of that during the race. I thought everyone executed really well today. We had a good first 500, first 750. We were up by a length. Everyone was going at the same speed, justing waiting to see who was going to take it out or take the reigns back in to save a little energy. Princeton shut it off at about 800 or 1,000. Past the 1,000, we were just cruising, just slightly under full pressure, keeping an eye on Wisconsin to make sure they werent going to steal the thunder.

(on his final college race): Regardless of how we place, if we can go out and totally max out the speed of our boat, Ill be happy. Thats what Im looking forward to.

Aaron Beck: (varsity bow seat): (on seniors rowing final collegiate race Saturday): Its pretty exciting. Ive done this for four years. Ive been to this race four years. I can see what all the seniors were always talking about now. Today was a good race. We kept it calm, didnt freak out. The wind died down before our race, so that was nice. It gets pretty choppy out there. We were nice and smooth. It didnt seem like we were scrambling. Its finally starting to click.

Steve Todd (varsity 4-seat): (on seniors rowing final collegiate race Saturday): Sean (Mulligan) and Aaron (Beck) and I are just hoping we can row our best race Saturday. Its been fun. Everything is coming together nicely this week. Each race, the heat and then the semi-final, both felt good. Each one felt better than the last. Hopefully, the last one can be the best one of all.

Pat Ormond (junior varsity 4-seat): We were trying to focus on the second 500-meters.Yesterday our second 500 was lacking a little bit. Thats were we lost it. We took moves at the 500 and 1,000. They were good moves today. It was pretty windy. We got out early and then took it down after that. Thats what we needed to do, to get ready for tomorrow.

Ashley Rosser (freshman coxswain): Were just resting up and getting ready for the final. This is what its all about. We spend all year preparing for this race. Were ready to go. We had a good race today.

Collegiate Men's Rowing IRA National Championships
Cooper River, Camden, New Jersey

Day 2 results

Varsity Eight Semi-Finals

Semi-final 1 1. California 5:30.10 2. Penn 5:33.90 3. Brown 5:34.40 4. Temple 5:35.00 5. Stanford 5:43.80 6. Northeastern 5:48.00

Semi-final 2 1. WASHINGTON 5:35.80 2. Wisconsin 5:37.80 3. Princeton 5:42.20 4. Syracuse 5:44.40 5. Michigan 5:47.90 6. Oregon State 6:09.00

UW lineup: cox- Sean Mulligan, stroke- Whit Hammond, 7 - Eric Funk, 6 - Dave Calder, 5 - Mike Chait,4 - Steve Todd, 3 - Ivan Douttchak, .2 - John Clark, bow - Aaron Beck

Freshman Eight Semi-Finals

Semi-final 1 1. Brown 5:42.90 2. WASHINGTON 5:46.90 3. Penn 5:48.80 4. Dartmouth 5:52.30 5. Northeastern 5:55.50 6. Marist 6:04.80

UW lineup: cox- Ashley Rosser, stroke- Peter Dembicki, 7 - Matt Farrer , 6 - Matt Deakin, 5 - Patrick Stewart , 4 - Chris Hawkins, 3 - Logan Birch, 2 - Jon Burns, bow - Brendan Paterson

Semi-final 2 1. California 5:44.30 2. Wisconsin 5:45.50 3. Princeton 5:46.60 4. Cornell 5:49.20 5. Syracuse 5:52.30 6. Boston U. 5:53.20

Second Varsity Eight (junior varsity) Repechage Heats (second chance)

Repechage 1 1. WASHINGTON 5:51.10 2. Michigan 5:56.00 3. Rutgers 5:56.60 4. Colgate 6:12.20

UW lineup: cox:- Andrew Yueng, stroke- Kelsey McDaniel, 7 - Evan Stuart, 6 - Jesse Huey, 5 - Alex Wahnsiedler, 4 - Patrick Ormond, 3 - Todd Bowser, 2 - Greg Krause, bow - Kevin Dolan

Repechage 2 1. Penn 5:48.70 2. Syracuse 5:52.90 3. Temple 5:56.40 4. Dartmouth 6:00.50

Repechage 3 1. Brown 5:56.30 2. Boston U. 6:01.70 3. Navy 6:10.00 4. MIT 6:14.10

Washington Men's Rowing
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