April 8, 2001
San Diego, Calif. - In one of the biggest upsets in the 28-year history of the San Diego Crew Classic, the University of Southern California edged nine-time defending champion Washington to win the prestigous Jessop Whittier Cup women's varsity eight title Sunday on Mission Bay.
Washington crews won four of six grand final races, with Husky men's and women's junior varsity, novice women's and freshman men's eight-oared boats claiming gold medals in the annual regatta that is the traditional kickoff to the collegiate rowing season
The Huskies were four-for-four entering the two premier races of the weekend when the Women of Troy nipped the Huskies by a seat length and the California men's varsity eight claimed its third consecutive Copley Cup title in the men's varsity eight race.
Washington's loss in the women's varsity eight grand final was its first since 1991. In the 26-year history of the women's event, a Husky eight has won the race 15 times. Since it became known as the Jessop Whittier Cup in 1983, Washington has won 14 gold medals.
The varsity women's race saw the Huskies rowing in lane two, alongside USC against the shore in lane one and Virginia on the other side in lane three. Washington had open water on the field halfway through the race before USC made its move in the third 500 meters of the course. The two boats entered the final 500 neck-and-neck and the crews went stroke-for-stroke, trading the lead down to the wire before USC made the final push. The Trojans covered the 2,000-meter course in a time of 6 minutes, 52.1 seconds, with Washington across at 6:53.03.
"USC systematically worked its way up during the third 500," said Husky coxswain Mary Whipple. "We learned a lesson today about not shortening up. We had a fantastic first 1,000. We did what we had to do, very clean and aggressive. The third 500, we got a little shaky, but coming into the last 500, we were still strong. We regrouped but as we took the rate up, we started to shorten up. We weren't letting the boat run as much as we should have. We're disappointed but it gives us motivation for the next four weeks."
The Copley Cup men's varsity eight grand final saw California, which returns six of eight rowers from its 2000 national championship crew, take an open water lead by the halfway point and never let up. The Bears crossed the finish line at 6:01.9, ahead of Washington at 6:10.02. The Husky men, who have won the Copley Cup 13 times since its inception in 1973, carried an open water lead over third place Pennsylvania at 6:14.83.
"Cal was better than us today," said senior coxswain Tim Lewis. "They got us. But this is a really good step for us, because it's the best race we've had all year. I'm happy with the guys and proud of them. It's all going to lead to good things down the road."
It was the first-year Huskies who got the day started for Washington. The novice women's eight made it four in a row as they held off Northwest rival Washington State to win their grand final in a time of 7:15.93, ahead of the Cougars at 7:20.50 and Pac-10 rival California at 7:30.07. The Huskies carried a four-seat lead over the Cougars at 1,000 meters and maintained the margin from there through to the finish.
The freshman men's eight rowed its grand final out in lane three and made it a two-boat race with California as both crews took open water on the field halfway down the course. At 1,000 meters the boats were even until Washington took a half length with 750 meters remaining. The Huskies led by three-quarters with 300 to go, surged over the final 200 meters and crossed the line at 6:15.5, ahead of the Bears at 6:19.43. It was the third straight Crew Classic victory for a Washington freshman men's eight.
In the women's junior varsity final, Washington redeemed last year's defeat at the hands of Virginia, as the Huskies notched a half boat length victory over the Cavaliers, winning in a time of 7:05.73 to UVA's 7:07.75. The Huskies led by about four seats at the halfway point and took it up a notch over the final stretch for the winning margin.
In the men's junior varsity final, Washington successfully defended its title as the crew quickly emerged as the leader off the starting line. The Huskies took a half length lead on California by 500 meters as the two boats took off from the rest of the field. Washington used a strong middle part of its race plan to keep its distance and go on to cross the finish line at 6:11.4, four seconds ahead of California at 6:14.14.
The Huskies next race at Washington State in the annual dual regatta, April 14 on the Snake River.
San Diego Crew Classic
Grand Final Results
April 8, 2001
Mission Bay, Calif.
Sunny and cool, crosswind
Copley Cup Grand Final - Men's Varsity Eight
1, California 6:01.9. 2, WASHINGTON 6:10.02. 3, Penn 6:14.83. 4, Wisconsin 6:16.85. 5, Yale 6:18.99. 6, Oregon State 6:19.24. 7, Navy 6:23.55.
Jessop Whittier Cup Grand Final - Women's Varsity Eight
1, Southern California 6:52.51. 2, WASHINGTON 6:53.03. 3, Virginia 7:06.73. 4, California 7:06.98. 5, Clemson 7:13.84. 6, Notre Dame 7:17.43. 7. Texas 7:17.64.
Men's Junior Varsity Eight Grand Final
1, WASHINGTON 6:11.40. 2, California 6:15.14. 3, Penn 6:27.32. 4, Yale 6:28.29. 5, Oregon State 6:29.73. 6, Orange Coast 6:35.73.
Women's Junior Varsity Eight Grand Final
1, WASHINGTON 7:05.73. 2, Virginia 7:07.75. 3, Washington State 7:12.12. 4, USC 7:12.63. 5, Clemson 7:18.97. 6, Oregon State 7:20.16.
Men's Freshman Eight Grand Final
1, WASHINGTON 6:15.50. 2, California 6:19.43. 3, Oregon State 6:33.83. 4, Orange Coast 6:47.64. 5, UCSB 6:55.80. 6, Irvine 6:56.77.
UW lineup: cox - Chris O'Brien, stroke - Ian Harrison, 7 - Ian Sawyer, 6 - Andy Derrick, 5 - Marko Petrovic, 4 - John Kenfield, 3 - Sam Burns, 2 - Nick Beles, bow - Seth Berling.
Women's Novice Eight Grand Final
1, WASHINGTON 7:15.93. 2, Washington State 7:20.50. 3, California 7:30.07. 4, Virginia 7:30.21. 5, Stanford 7:41.02. 6, Davis 7:41.74.
UW lineup: cox - Monique Cheung, stroke - Marge Pallottino, 7 - Tegan Simonson, 6 - Yvonneke Stenken, Kattie Baurichter, 4 - Jaclyn Garrison, 3 - Signe Johannes, 2 - Mary Reeves, bow - Amy Schumacher.