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Husky Rowers Win Four Races
Release: 06/02/2000
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June 2, 2000

CAMDEN, N.J. - Washington won all four of its races as every crew advanced to its grande final after the second day of racing at the 98th IRA National Championship on the Cooper River Friday.

Washington will race in lane four as its competes in the Varsity Challenge Cup, the premier race of the regatta, at 4 p.m. EST Saturday afternoon. The Challenge Cup was first presented in 1898 and Washington has claimed it 11 times, most recently in 1997. They were second in 1998 and third in `99. The grande final includes, in lane order, Princeton, Dartmouth, California, Washington, Brown and Temple.

Crews battled increasingly warm weather and a strong tailwind on the course. The varsity eight won its semi-final in a time of 5:38.31, over the 2,000-meter course. A hard charging Dartmouth crew crossed second at 5:39.38, just edging Princeton at 5:39.91. The surprise of the heat was Wisconsin getting edged out of a spot in the grande final, finishing fourth at 5:40.91.

The surprise of the first varsity semi-final was the top two seeds, Brown and California, meeting in the second round. Both crews entered the race undefeated and it was the Cal Bears who had open water down the course and beat the Brown Bears, 5:37.21 to 5:39.69, to keep their record intact. Temple finished third in 5:42.47 to advance.

"I came here to win a gold medal," said senior Tim Brislin, who rows five seat in the varsity. "We'll do whatever it takes to win. Obviously we've seen Cal this season, but we haven't faced Brown. We don't know about them and they don't know about us. We just have to go out there and control them, overpower them and hold them off."

The II Varsity will compete for the Kennedy Challenge Cup, first presented in 1899. Washington has claimed gold in the event 10 times, most recently in 1997. The grande final is set for 2 p.m. EST and includes Wisconsin, Washington, Brown, California, Princeton and Cornell.

"Any one of those crews in the final could win the gold," said junior stroke Kelsey McDaniel. "It's exciting to be in a race like that, where it's not just one or two really good boats, but top quality all the way across."

Washington had to advance through the repechage heat in order to move to the grande final and did so in convincing fashion, leading a two boat race with Navy from start to finish and winning easily in a time of 5:56.23. Navy was open water behind at 6:02.51.

Washington's freshman eight will race for the Steward's Cup, first presented in 1900. Washington has won the Cup 10 times, also most recently in 1997. Three members of that winning crew - Mike Chait, Whit Hammond and Eric Funk - are rowing in the I Varsity. This year, it could be a battle for title of Best in the West as the field includes California and Oregon State, along with the Huskies. Princeton, Brown and Wisconsin fill out the field set to race at 1:30 p.m. EST.

The freshmen won their semi-final easily, in a time of 5:48.10, open water ahead of Brown at 5:51.70.

The Varsity Four will open the race day for Washington, with its grande final at 12:06 p.m. EST. The four also had to advance through a repechage heat and did so convincingly, winning in 6:19.51, open water ahead of Princeton at 6:22.31. The Huskies led from start to finish.

"We had a completely different race today," said junior two seat Chris Clay. "We went back to our original race plan and had a good row all the way down the course."

Washington ended its day by participating in a memorial service held for several rowing officials who had passed away throughout the previous year. Among those memorialized was R. Harrison "Stork" Sanford, an oarsman at Washington from 1923-26 and coach at Cornell University from 1936-70. Washington's junior varsity crew took part in a row-by, in front of the finish line grandstands, with its seven seat empty in remembrance. Sanford was a part of the Husky varsity crew that won Washington's first IRA title in 1923.

Grande Finals Schedule for Saturday, June 2 (all times EST, lanes 1-6 left to right)

Varsity Four w/o coxswain
12:06 p.m. George Washington, Rutgers, Cornell-A, Harvard, Wisconsin, Washington

Steward's Cup Freshman Eight
1:30 p.m. Princeton, Brown, Washington, California, Wisconsin, Oregon State

Kennedy Challenge Cup II Varsity Eight
2:00 p.m. Wisconsin, Washington, Brown, California, Princeton, Cornell

Varsity Challenge Cup
4:00 p.m. Princeton, Dartmouth, California, Washington, Brown, Temple

Washington Quotes

Bob Ernst (head coach)
(on the varsity eight grande final) "I think Brown and Princeton have another gear. We're still going one race at a time, just get it done today. You can't take any chances, not trying to win these semi-finals. You just can't take any chances. If you do, you could end up like some other folks out there (who didn't make the big final). Tomorrow is another day. We came here to race. It's a Washington tradition to try and win these things.

"The idea was to get across the line first today, with a minimum amount of effort. It was a heckuva race. There wasn't much room for relaxing out there. Our guys had a half to two-thirds a length out there. They just wanted to keep everyone right there, right on their hip."

Men's National Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
Cooper River (2,000 meters), Camden, N.J.
Day 2 Results (repechage and semi-finals) Friday, June 2, 2000 Sunny, hot, strong tailwind

Varsity Four w/o coxswain
Repechage - 1 -
1 Rutgers 6:23.23
2 MIT 6:30.22
3 Cornell B 6:34.38
4 Penn 6:35.95
5 Georgetown A 6:42.62

-Repechage - 2 -
1 Washington 6:19.51
2 Princeton 6:22.31
3 Brown 6:23.39
4 Michigan 6:39.74
5 Georgetown B 6:43.74

Repechage - 3 - **GW Univ placed first and advances to a final as a result of a foul.
1 GW Univ. 6:26.57**
2 Yale 6:25.70
3 Boston U. 6:34.36
4 Syracuse 6:40.13
5 Navy 6:43.44

II Varsity Eight

Repechage - 1 -
1 Wisconsin 5:50.45
2 Penn 5:54.07
3 Michigan 5:57.13
4 Virginia 5:58.22

Repechage - 2 -
1 Cornell 5:48.48
2 Boston U. 5:51.93
3 Northeastern 5:55.75
4 Dartmouth 6:00.95

Repechage - 3 -
1 Washington 5:56.23
2 Navy 6:02.51
3 Colgate 6:09.51
4 MIT 6:12.05
5 Drexel 6:14.75

Freshman Eight Semi-Finals
- Semifinal 1 -
1 California 5:43.30
2 Wisconsin 5:46.40
3 Oregon State 5:48.30
4 Syracuse 5:51.40
5 Northeastern 5:57.40
6 Penn 6:08.50

Semifinal 2 -

1 Washington 5:48.10
2 Brown 5:51.70
3 Princeton 5:54.10
4 Rutgers 5:57.30
5 Cornell 6:10.80
6 Michigan 6:19.10

- Semifinal 3 -
1 Virginia 6:10.50
2 Dartmouth 6:14.58
3 Colgate 6:23.48

Varsity Eight Semi-Finals
- Semi 1 -
1 California 5:37.21
2 Brown 5:39.69
3 Temple 5:42.47
4 Virginia 5:44.94
5 Penn 5:46.06
6 Cornell 5:59.88

- Semi 2 -
1 Washington 5:38.31
2 Dartmouth 5:39.38
3 Princeton 5:39.91
4 Wisconsin 5:40.92
5 Navy 5:46.28
6 Northeastern 5:55.98

- Semi 3 -
1 Syracuse 5:48.75
2 Stanford 5:50.98
3 Boston U. 5:51.20
4 Purdue 5:51.87
5 Rutgers 5:55.71

Washington Crew
Data Points
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