April 6, 2008
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - They took two different paths, but the end results were the same. The Washington men's and women's varsity eight crews each won the championship in their headline events, Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay. Overall, four of the Huskies' six entries were victorious.
UW claimed trophies in the top-two races at San Diego for the ninth time, the first since 1998. The Huskies were making their first Crew Classic appearance since 2004.
Opposing crews were probably not happy to see the three-year absence end as the Huskies finished first in four of the six events they contested despite an elite field assembled for the 35th anniversary of the prestigious regatta.
The 17th-ranked UW women staged a furious comeback to overtake No. 4 USC at the finish line and capture the Jessop-Whittier Cup. They won the featured women's race for the first time since 2002.
Making the victory even more impressive was the fact the Huskies were rowing outside in lane six, which is farthest from the shore and least protected from the gusty winds.
USC, rowing inside in lane two, and Washington immediately broke ahead of the six-boat starting pack. The Trojans, third-place finishers at the 2007 NCAA Championships, steadily pulled away. They led by one-half length at the 500-meter mark and by six seats halfway through the race.
The Huskies took a strong move with 400 meters left and drew even with USC with 100 meters to row. The finish was too close to call before timers determined that UW clocked a winning mark of 6-minutes, 22.90-seconds. USC was less than one second back in 6:23.80.
Washington out-raced four ranked crews to win the grand final, including No. 15 Washington State with a third-place time of 6:26.10. Sixth-ranked Stanford finished fourth (6:29.27), No. 18 UCLA was fifth (6:29.38) and Wisconsin was sixth (6:32.24).
UW engraved its name on the Jessop-Whittier trophy for a record 17th time. Four of those victories came during the first women's coaching tenure of Bob Ernst from 1981-87. Ernst returned to the helm of the women's program this season after 20 years as the men's head coach. The UW men are now under the direction of Michael Callahan, who served the previous three seasons as the freshman coach.
"They rowed better than they did yesterday and that's what they needed to do," Ernst remarked about the women's varsity crew that finished third in its heat Saturday, behind USC and WSU. "It's fun for them, and refreshing for them to know that they can compete."
The Husky men's varsity eight rowed in the lead for the majority of the 2,000-meter race. UW and Pac-10 rival California battled in lanes one and two for most of the race. The Bears held a two-seat edge before a move at the 1,000-meter mark put UW back into the leading position.
A strong surge during the final 500 meters propelled the Huskies to a near two-second victory. Cal dropped back to fourth place, enabling Princeton and Harvard to overtake them.
Washington's winning time of 5:39.90 provided a six-seat win over Princeton out in lane seven. The Tigers' runner-up up time was 5:41.80 followed by Harvard in 5:43.89 and Cal in 5:44.15. Northeastern was fifth (5:44.18), Stanford sixth (5:44.38) and Yale seventh (5:47.37).
The win was the regatta-record 14th Copley Cup championship for the Huskies, their first since 1998.
Washington crews were also victorious in the men's freshman eight and women's junior varsity eight competitions.
The UW freshman went wire-to-wire to defeat rival Cal by a sliver of open water. The first-year Huskies led by six seats midway through the race before a challenge drew the Bears closer. UW turned back the Cal surge, extending the lead over the final 300 meters.
The Huskies' winning time was 6:01.8, followed by California in 6:05.33 and Stanford in 6:12.46.
UW's second varsity led the entire race for a commanding open-water victory in the women's jayvee race. The front-running Huskies were chased by USC for the first 1,500 meters and then denied a late challenge by Washington State. UW finished in 6:36.50, USC was second in 6:41.78 and WSU placed third in 6:41.97.
"This was great to row well here early in the season," said Ernst. "It was a good day overall with the guys varsity and freshmen winning and our women's jayvees rowing well too."
The Husky men earned the silver medal in the junior varsity race. Harvard took the lead midway through the race and owned a boat-length advantage with 500 meters to go. UW closed within one seat with a sprint at the end, but couldn't catch the Crimson.
Harvard posted a first-place time of 5:52.31 and the Huskies were second in 5:54.22. California had a third-place time of 5:56.68.
Washington finished third in the women's novice eight race. Washington State lead the entire way en route to a winning time of 7:03.90. San Diego State placed second in 7:05.68, ahead of UW's time of 7:09.60.
Washington and WSU finished among the top-three in all three women's races at the Crew Classic. The Huskies won the varsity and junior varsity events and the Cougars were first in the novice race. Those cross-state rivals, along with their men's counterparts, will meet, Saturday, April 12 on the Montlake Cut. The first race in the dual regatta is slated for 9 a.m.
SAN DIEGO CREW CLASSIC GRAND FINAL RESULTS
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Mission Bay; San Diego, Calif.
(all races were 2,000 meters)
Copley Cup (Men's Varsity Eight)
1, Washington, 5:39.90
2, Princeton, 5:41.80
3, Harvard, 5:43.89
4, California, 5:44.15
5, Northeastern, 5:44.18
6, Stanford, 5:44.38
7, Yale, 5:47.37
UW Lineup: cox-Katelin Snyder, stroke-Will Crothers, 7-Heath Allen, 6-Jessiah Johnson, 5-Simon Taylor, 4-Blaise Didier, 3-Roko Svast, 2-Toby Dankbaar, bow-Lowell Neal.
Jessop-Whittier Cup (Women's Varsity Eight)
1, Washington, 6:22.90
2, USC, 6:23.80
3, Washington State, 6:26.10
4, Stanford, 6:29.27
5, UCLA, 6:29.38
6, Wisconsin, 6:32.24
UW Lineup: cox-Alysha Koorji, stroke-Kara Farquharson, 7-Heather Young, 6-Rosanne DeBoef, 5-Erika Shaw, 4-Kelly Foster, 3-Ashley Jones, 2-Kim Kennedy, bow-Lia Prins.
Men's Junior Varsity Eight
1, Harvard, 5:52.31
2, Washington, 5:54.22
3, California, 5:56.68
4, Oregon State, 6:00.78
5, Stanford, 6:04.40
6, UC Davis, 6:14.30
UW Lineup: cox-Micah Perrin, stroke-Drew Fowler, 7-Graham Oglend, 6-Bart-Jan Caron, 5-Steve Full, 4-David VanBolt, 3-Trevor Mollenkopf, 2-Andrew Beaton, bow-Stephen Connolly.
Women's Junior Varsity Eight
1, Washington, 6:36.50
2, USC, 6:41.78
3, Washington State, 6:41.97
4, Clemson, 6:42.75
5, Stanford, 6:45.22
6, UCLA, 6:47.78
UW Lineup: cox-Isabelle Woodward, stroke-Erika Sweet, 7-Alison Browning, 6-Kayleigh Mack, 5-Erin Knox, 4-Helen Wall, 3-Samantha Smith, 2-Kim Armstrong, bow-Hanne Trafnik.
Men's Freshman Eight
1, Washington, 6:01.8
2, California, 6:05.33
3, Stanford, 6:12.46
4, Oregon State, 6:16.67
5, Pennsylvania, 6:30.07
6, San Diego, 6:34.65
UW Lineup: cox-Alex Chalk, stroke-Hans Struzyna, 7-Noah O'Connell, 6-Nenad Bulicic, 5-Anthony Jacob, 4-Matt Zapel, 3-Tyler Emsky, 2-Bede Clarke, bow-Trevor Walchenbach.
Women's Novice Eight
1, Washington State, 7:03.90
2, San Diego State, 7:05.68
3, Washington, 7:09.60
4, UC Davis, 7:18.72
5, USC, 7:26.06
6, Orange Coast College, 7:31.05
UW Lineup: cox-Katherine Mahoney, stroke-Jessica Thimmig, 7-Kira O'Sullivan, 6-Kaiini Macarro, 5-Kerry Simmonds, 4-Cody Brazen, 3-Gina Matteo, 2-Sarah Ryan, bow-Hannah Austin.