March 30, 2013
SEATTLE – The weather on this sunny Seattle spring day could not have been more perfect for the running of the 112th Annual Class Day Regatta for the University of Washington Crew teams.
There was not a cloud in the sky as the junior class came out victorious for the second-consecutive year in the Seattle Times Women’s Eight race that pitted members from each class against each other. Stroked by Patricia Obee (Victoria, B.C.), the juniors controlled the race throughout, finishing five seconds ahead of the second-place senior shell with a time of 6:32.4.
The seniors couldn’t defend their title they won as juniors in 2012, surrendering their bragging rights to the class below them. Last year the juniors snapped a two year winning streak by the senior class, and this year’s version has created a streak of their own. They will now get an opportunity to defend their title as seniors next year.
Coming in 3rd place were the freshmen, who finished two-seconds ahead of the 4th place sophomores (6:46.5) with a time of 6:44.3.
At the post-race awards ceremony, Ed Guzman, assistant sports-editor for the Seattle Times, handed out the Seattle Times Class Day Trophy to the junior class. Rowing director and head women’s coach Bob Ernst then announced the award for Most Inspirational and the recipient of the Schaller Scholarship, given to the athlete with the highest GPA. Sisters, senior Lana and sophomore Natalie Harshman were named Most Inspirational and sophomore Hannah Lukanuski was awarded the Schaller Scholarship. Lana Harshman was also named the 2013 Team Captain, elected to the position by her teammates. The ceremony ended with the dedication of a new shell provided by the UW Athletic Department. The new shell was named in honor of Eric Cohen, member of the class of 1982 and the team’s dedicated historian. The new Eric Cohen 82’ shell will be used by the freshmen “A” squad this year and will make it’s debut at the San Diego Crew Classic next weekend.
Ernst was thrilled with all the festivities that accompanied the 2013 Class Day weekend and was happy about the performances of the classes.
“I thought that everything from the banquet [last night] to the Class Day races to the awards presentation was a great show,” said Ernst. “The junior class has a lot of great athletes in it, some of our best athletes in the program. There’s also a lot to be said about the freshmen’s performance in both the Class Day race and in the varsity/novice challenge race, they are a really strong group.”
The San Diego Crew Classic next weekend will be the team’s first event against outside teams in 2013, and there’s some stiff competition that awaits them. Ernst is confident about the strength of this year’s squad and is excited to see what they can do.
“I think it’s going to be great, four out of the top five ranked teams in the pre-season ranking all racing off next weekend, it’s going to be really good,” said Ernst. “I think these kids are up to the challenge and it’s going to be a lot of fun to see them race this year.”
In the first race of the day that pitted members of the varsity and junior varsity against the freshmen, the “classless” boat featuring four freshmen won handedly, finishing 20 seconds ahead of the second place finisher with a time of 6:37.4.
Earlier in the morning, alumni from the women’s side faced off on the Montlake Cut. To no surprise, the shell coxed by three-time Olympic Gold medalist and recent Seattle Sports Star of the Year award recipient Mary Whipple rowed to victory.
Race 1: Women’s Varsity/Novice Challenge
1 – Classless (6:37.4 2): coxswain- Allison Wetly (Long Beach,Calif.), stroke- Grace Spoors (Christchurch, New Zealand), 7- Victoria Nenchev (Vancouver, Wash.), 6- Natasha Gay (Perth, Australia); 5- Maja Chelstowska (Lornza, Poland),4- Sarah Dougherty (Kent, Wash.), 3- Kendra Baldwin (Olympia, Wash.), 2- Allie Delarge (Victoria, B.C.), bow- Zoe Vais (San Rafael, Calif.); 2- Novice (6:57.6 3); 3- Novice (7:04.); 4- Classless (7:15.6)
Race 3: Seattle Times’ Women’s Eight
1 – Juniors (6:32.4): coxswain- Maddy Johnston (Seattle, Wash.), stroke- Patricia Obee (Victoria, B.C.), 7- Madeline Cordner (Melbourne, Australia), 6- Kristyn Goodger (Auckland, New Zealand), 5- Ruth Whyman (Gloucestershire, England, UK), 4- Margaret Dobrowolski (Seattle, Wash.), 3- Elisabeth Odland (Seattle, Wash.), 2- Kari Morgan (San Diego, Calif.), bow- Camilla Anderson (Wellington, New Zealand); 2-Seniors (6:37.8); 3- Freshman (6:44.3); 4- Sophomores (6:46.5)