May 30, 1998
CAMDEN, N.J. -- The Washington men's varsity eight crew came up just short behind Princeton, about two seat lengths to be exact, in its bid to repeat as national champions at the 96th annual National Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships. The Husky varsity and freshmen eight-oared boats brought home silver medals while the junior varsity placed fifth in grand finals held on the Cooper River Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies were defending champions in the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen-eight races and had advanced undefeated through heats and semi-finals into the grand finals at the '98 championships.
In the Varsity Challenge Cup, Princeton took the gold medal, covering the 2,000-meter course in a time of 5 minutes, 31.1 seconds. Washington was two seats behind, in 5:32.2 and California was a distant third at 5:38.6. The Huskies and Tigers were neck and neck heading into the final 500 meters before Princeton surged in the last 400 and took the final slim margin with about 200 meters to go. For the varsity men, it was just their second loss since the 1996 IRA Championships.
"It was back and forth between ourselves and Princeton almost the entire race," said UW coxswain Sean Mulligan. "Guys were out there just destroying themselves, absolutely killing themselves all the way down. Both crews really rose up today. Look at the margin between us and the rest of the field; we left everybody behind. We were just hammering on each other all the way down the race course. People told me that was the best varsity race they had seen in years. Princeton is a great crew, fantastic. They just came out on top today." "The race unfolded exactly the way we expected it to," added UW head coach Bob Ernst. "Princeton just ended up with a little more in the last 200 meters. We rowed a perfect race today. It was absolutely perfect. Our guys couldn't have given any more and they couldn't have come any closer to their potential and that's about all you can expect from these characters. I thought Princeton had to row a perfect race to beat us today and they did. My hat is off the Princeton. They are good." In the freshmen race for the Stewards Cup, California held a three-seat lead over Washington and Princeton with 1,100-meters to go and all three crews were in the hunt with 900 meters remaining. The Bears took a half boat length lead with 650 meters to go and continued to hold it from there. Washington made a move at the 500-meter mark and took a length on Princeton and got back within two to three seats of California. The Bears went on to win in a time of 5:46.0. Washington was a boat length back at 5:49.2, followed by Princeton at 5:51.0.
"I am so proud of our freshmen," said Ernst. "They rowed their best race of the year today. Our coach, John Parker, did a fantastic job with those guys this year.. I could not be more proud of the freshman."
In the junior varsity race Kennedy Cup grand final, the Huskies were ahead at the start and trading seats with the field. They went two seats behind Wisconsin over the first 500 and were in the pack with 1000-meters to go. At the 1,500-meter mark, Princeton, Wisconsin and Penn started started to separate themselves from the field. The Tigers went on to win in a time of 5:44.6, followed by Wisconsin in 5:46.6 and Penn at 5:48.8. Brown was fourth at 5:50.6, Washington was fifth at 5:51.9 and Navy was sixth at 5:56.0.
"The third 500 is probably the toughest part of the race and that's where the other crews moved on us," said senior Erik Brand, who rowed in the two seat. "We came back in the last 500, but by then the race was pretty much decided."
"I think we finally figured out how to race," added jayvee coxswain Adrian Dahood, "but it was too little, too late. It was definitely our best race of the year. And if we'd raced like this earlier in the season, we would have won every race." Collegiate Men's Rowing, IRA National Championships, Cooper River, Camden, New Jersey
Day 3 - Final Results
Varsity Challenge Cup Grand Final: 1. Princeton 5:31.1; 2. WASHINGTON 5:32.2 (cox: Sean Mulligan (Lansdale, Penn.), stroke- Bob Cummins (Everett, Wash.), 7 - Brett Reisinger (Kent, Wash.), 6 - Mike Chait (Seattle, Wash.), 5 - Dave Calder (Victoria, B.C.), 4 - Eric Funk (Atlantic City, New Jersey), 3 - Whit Hammond (Kirkland, Wash.), 2 - Steve Todd (Kirkland, Wash.), bow - Aaron Beck (Langley, Virginia); 3. California 5:38.6; 4. Penn 5:40.0; 5. Northeastern 5:42.2; 6. Georgetown 5:53.0
Kennedy Challenge Cup (Junior Varsity) Grand Final: 1. Princeton 5:44.6; 2. Wisconsin 5:46.6; 3. Penn 5:48.8; 4. Brown 5:50.6; 5. WASHINGTON 5:51.9 -- Cox: Adrian Dahood (Princeton, New Jersey), stroke- Kevin Dolan (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), 7 - George Dowell (Alexandria, Virginia), 6 - Brent Starace (Woodinville, Wash.), 5 - Pat Ormond (Lake Forest Park, Wash.), 4 - Dan Shapiro (Madison, Wisc.), 3 - Kurt Vigeland (Vancouver, Wash.), 2 - Erik Brand (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), bow - Chris Forrest (Whistler, B.C.); 6. Navy 5:56.0
Stewards Cup (Freshmen) Grand Final: 1. California 5:46.0; 2. WASHINGTON 5:49.2 -- cox: Andrew Yeung (Hong Kong), stroke - Kelsey McDaniel (Shawnigan Lake, B.C.), 7 - Kyle Duncan (Everett, Wash.), 6 - Peter Robbins (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 5 - Doug Adams (Aiken, South Carolina), 4 - Ivan Douttchak (Kiev, Ukraine), 3 - Hans Hurn (Redmond, Wash.), 2 - Jesse Huey (Arlington, Virignia), bow - Tim Bacon (Seattle, Wash.); 3. Princeton 5:51.0; 4. Brown 5:53.3; 5. Wisconsin 5:57.2; 6. Dartmouth 6:02.8.
Additional Washington Quotes
Bob Ernst - head coach
(on the varsity race, specifically between UW and Princeton) "By this time, nobody is going to come up with anything new. We both new exactly what the other team was going to do. It came down to who had the most left at the end. Princeton is a great team and it was a good show. "To come here and get two silvers, it's not what we did last year, but people don't do what we did last year very often. "The varsity and the freshmen and probably the jayvees rowed their best race of the year. The jayvees, that's probably right about where they are right now. Making the final and doing a good job today, and really being in the hunt for the first 1000 meters, it's not what we're used to, but it certainly was a worthwhile performance today. "I had the same feeling, when I was out by the starting line today, as I did a year ago, and that was, I was pleased that everybody was still healthy and we had a chance to win the race today before everybody started. The guys executed our plan perfectly and Princeton had a little bit more in the end than we did. You have to be thankful that all our guys are healthy and they have a shot at it.
"Princeton deserves to win that race. I don't have any complaints at all. That's the way it goes. I was pleased with the way they did. We had a really great week back here."
Sean Mulligan - varsity coxswain
"We got off the start really clean, really smooth. Cal took a little bit of a lead on us, maybe two or three seats, similar to Pac-10s. Everybody stayed more relaxed. We had Princeton right next to us and we were two seats up on Princeton. Ourselves and Princeton started taking moves at 500 and we just decided we were going to go. At 500 we were even with Cal and they just fell back after that. We knew Princeton was going to make a move at 750 so we took a quick 10, held them, they came back a little bit, then we took a quick 10 and pushed back out. Our 20 at the 1000, we sort of moved out a little bit and both crews were going crazy. The guys in my boat and the guys in Princeton's boat were just destroying themselves trying to get a lead. It was a seat or two the whole way down. When you have a race like that, there is not much room for error. They just had a little more juice left in the last 350 or so. We have a young boat. We're coming back next year."
John Parker - freshmen coach -- "Cal just got out right away. They have a dominant freshman class. They got out and had the same margin all the way through the race. It was Princeton second and Washington third. My guys came through in the last 500.
Adrian Dahood - junior varsity coxswain
"We came off the start and we were up. We were trading seats with everyone. We were right up with them until the 1,000. We still kept up in the 1000 but everyone else really went. We tried. We gave a push but it wasn't enough. I'm glad that we finally got it together. I don't think that we could have done much better. There were obviously points where we could have rowed a little better, but we finally came out actually racing people. We finally just went the whole time. We were up on the start for once. We rowed our race plan. We kept the reading. There were obviously parts we could have done better."