April 6, 2013
SEATTLE- A much-anticipated early season showdown between No. 1 Washington and No. 2 Brown was cut short because of rough conditions on Lake Washington. The rain held off early and the sun peeked from behind the clouds, but the crews could not escape the gusty winds on a chilly Saturday spring morning on the Montlake Cut.
After Brown's freshmen got caught in a trough of water at the start of the Men's Freshman Eight race, the Washington and Brown coaches decided to move up the start 250 meters for the 2V8 and V8 races.
Washington maneuvered the rough water well, earning the Sweep over Brown in all three races. In feature race, the Huskies' varsity eight, stroked by senior Dusan Milovanovic, maintained their lead through the cut, crossing the finish line just over three seconds ahead of Brown with a time of 5:12.68. Brown finished with a time of 5:15.97.
Head coach Michael Callahan wished the weather had cooperated for this early season matchup between the pre-season No. 1 Huskies and No. 2 Bears. The showdown was meant to test their true speed at this point in the early part of the season.
"Having number one and number two is fun and our guys were really up for it," said Callahan. "It was great racing all around, but I wish our weather had cooperated more. It's frustrating because everyone wants to know their true speed right now, but it's the beginning of the season not a championship so that's a good thing."
Despite the wind and choppy water, Callahan was happy about how his team handled the conditions.
"I was pleased with how the team handled the rough water and shortened course," said Callahan. "We didn't think we would have to shorten it but the water was just too rough for it to be fair for everyone."
In the second varsity race, the Huskies 2V "A" boat earned the victory on the 1750 meter course by open water, finishing with a time of 5:23.41. Washington's 2v "B" boat (5:27.65) edged out Brown's second varsity (5.29.60) by two seconds to secure second place.
In the first running of the Men's Freshmen Eight, Brown finished 28 seconds behind the Washington "grunties", their time hindered by the rolling waves they encountered in the first 250 meters of the course. After the decision to shorten the course, the coaches had the freshmen run the race again, this time on a 1500 meter course. In the second version of the Men's Freshmen Eight race, the Huskies were again victorious, finishing fourteen seconds ahead of Brown (4:39.34) with a time of 4:25.07.
This was the second-consecutive year that Brown traveled the 2,490 miles to Seattle for a highly anticipated dual between two of the best programs in the country in the conferences most associate with rowing. Last year the Huskies swept the Bears under similar weather conditions on the cut, but the course did not have to be shortened for the 2012 edition.
Looking forward, Callahan is focused on continued improvement with the goal of getting faster each week.
The Huskies will send four boats to Oregon State next Saturday, while the other will travel to Pullman with the women to take on Washington State.
The Huskies also entered five boats in the Husky Open, competing in the College Men's 8, Men's 2/8, Men's freshmen 8, and Men's 4. The Huskies won all races in those categories over Western Washington University, including their freshmen "A" and "B" boats finishing 1st and 2nd in the men's freshmen eight. All of the Husky Open races were 1500 meters due to the weather conditions.
For full race results click here.