April 4, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Washington men won the junior varsity championship for the seventh time in the last 11 years while the Husky women's novice boat won Sunday for the first time since 2001 during the Grand Final races at the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.
The Huskies won two of the six events they entered after capturing just one title last season in San Diego. Washington has won at least one Crew Classic event championship in each of the last 26 years.
For the second straight season, California won both varsity eight races. The Huskies placed second in the women's varsity eight competition while the UW men's varsity eight placed third.
Washington claimed the gold medal in the men's junior varsity event for the third time in the last four years. UW finished three seconds behind Cal last year in San Diego. They avenged that setback with a 1-1/2 boat length triumph Sunday.
The UW jayvees won their heat Saturday, but their time was one second slower than Cal posted in the heats. The Huskies were not satisfied with their performance in those semifinals.
"We kind of had a bumpy semi," explained Ben Fletcher, one of only two seniors in the UW boat. "We really put it together for the final. I have to give a lot of credit to the sophomores in the boat for having composure with their first time winning here at San Diego. This is just the beginning of our racing season so we have to stay hungry and humble."
Washington led during the majority of the race, covering the 2,000-meter course in 6-minutes, 15.8-seconds. California was second in 6:21.21 followed by Oregon State in 6:27.44.
"We got out there, established our rhythm and took control of the race quite early," said junior coxswain Greg King. "We just rowed our race good and hard, that's how you win."
Bob Ernst, in his 17th season as men's head coach at Washington, was pleased with his junior varsity crew's performance.
"The jayvees did what they were supposed to do. They rowed a great race and they took it at Cal right from the beginning. It's what athletics is all about -- fighters rise to the occasion and other people wilt sometimes."
Ernst was less pleased with the men's varsity eight effort.
"We have some pretty talented athletes here, but that varsity performance today was substandard. Certainly, I think we can do better than that and this is a long season with two months to go."
The Golden Bears won their sixth straight Copley Cup, awarded to the Crew Classic men's varsity eight winner. The Bears opened an early lead with Northeastern and Washington in pursuit the rest of the way. Cal's winning time of 6:09.4 bettered Northeastern's 6:11.93 and UW's 6:17.39.
"I don't feel that we really showed what we are capable of today and I wish we got to race them again sooner than three weeks from now," said senior bow man Andy Derrick looking ahead to the April 24 dual race at California. "We're going to get a lot faster as the season goes on. We definitely know that we can turn it around real quick because we did it last year."
The California men's varsity eight edged Washington last season in San Diego. The Huskies avenged that setback, defeating Cal to win the 2003 conference championship and finishing one place ahead of the Bears en route to a second-place performance at the IRA Championships.
The Washington women's varsity eight is also motivated to improve after finishing three seconds back of the Bears. The Whittier Cup women's race featured six ranked teams. The second-ranked Bears broke ahead early and held off No. 10 Washington for their second straight Crew Classic win. California's winning time was 6:57.1 followed by UW in 7:00.63 and No. 14 Tennessee in 7:02.68.
"We were kind of shaky on the start and that's where they moved on us and they never moved from that point on," described Mary Reeves one of only two seniors in the UW women's varsity. "We were right there the whole time and then we started to move back a little at the end, but by then it was a little too late."
Washington has just two returning rowers from last year's top women's boat, Reeves and senior Yvonneke Stenken. The Huskies, who had claimed the Whittier Cup trophy 10 of the previous 11 seasons, finished eight-hundredths of a second behind Cal last year in San Diego. They defeated Cal in two races later in the year.
"Obviously we've proven that we can hang with ranked teams. I kind of like being the underdog because this is exactly where we were last year and we beat Cal the rest of the season," Reeves exclaimed. "I'm excited to take this and keep fighting right back at every crew who thinks that Washington is on its way out. We are not on our way out. With so much youth we can't help but improve."
First-year Husky women's coach Eleanor McElvaine projects rapid improvement from her varsity eight.
"We're not as fast as Cal right now and they deserve the accolades and the attention. When I hear the announcer call the race and say what a huge upset this is for Cal to beat Washington, that is a sign of respect for our program. We're going to go home and work hard and maximize everything we can do because these kids don't like getting second. It doesn't mean we are going to win next time, but it means we are going to keep pushing."
The women's junior varsity race featured another California-Washington battle with the Bears going wire-to-wire en route to a six-second victory. The Bears steadily pulled away, claiming a half boat-length margin that would increase to open water at the finish. Cal clocked a time of 7:04.8 followed by UW in 7:10.89 and Washington State in 7:12.69.
"There's no doubt there is room to improve because there is so much youth and inexperience," McElvaine remarked about her varsity and junior varsity crews. "This weekend was a huge step for them and we improved a lot here. When we left home we weren't this good."
Washington halted a two-year title drought in the women's novice eight competition, winning by a convincing 2-1/2 boat lengths. The Huskies gave a hint of their excellence Saturday as they won their heat by nearly 18 seconds.
"You can not get caught up in heat times because no one remembers who wins the heat," exclaimed first-year UW novice coach Erica Schwab. "You are never confident with novice rowing, but I had a good feeling about this race. They are definitely a strong group of freshmen. Seven out of the nine have experience. In a big race like this it helps to have some kids out there who know what they are doing."
The Huskies clocked a time of 7:05.30, nearly eight seconds faster than California's runner-up time of 7:13.25. Washington State, which won the last two Crew Classic novice titles, posted a third-place time of 7:16.39. UW has won 11 of 15 all-time women's novice championships in San Diego.
California raced to an eight-second win in the men's freshman eight event. The Bears had a first-place time of 6:13.15 followed by Stanford in second (6:21.60), Oregon State in third (6:24.02) and Washington in fourth (6:30.23).
SAN DIEGO CREW CLASSIC RESULTS
Sunday, April 4, 2004
Mission Bay; San Diego, Calif.
(all races were 2,000 meters)
Grand Final Results
Copley Cup (Men's Varsity Eight)
1, California 6:09.4. 2, Northeastern 6:11.93. 3, Washington 6:17.39. 4, Temple 6:22.08. 5, Oregon State 6:24.97. 6, Stanford 6:27.69.
UW lineup: cox-Chris O'Brien, stroke-Ian Sawyer, 7-Martin Rogulia, 6-Marko Petrovic, 5-Dusan Nikolic, 4-Giuseppe Lanzone, 3-Kyle Larson, 2-Sam Burns, bow-Andy Derrick.
Whittier Cup (Women's Varsity Eight)
1, California 6:57.1. 2, Washington 7:00.63. 3, Tennessee 7:02.68. 4, Washington State 7:04.10. 5, Wisconsin 7:06.02. 6, USC 7:09.95. 7, Notre Dame 7:16.90.
UW lineup: cox-Dana Ryan, stroke-Allison DePalma, 7-Sanda Hangan, 6-Amanda Jensen, 5-Sarah Hubbard, 4-Gemma Edward-Aron, 3-Yvonneke Stenken, 2-Mary Reeves, bow-Michael Kohan.
Men's Junior Varsity Eight
1, Washington 6:15.8. 2, California 6:21.21. 3, Oregon State 6:27.44. 4, UC Davis 6:43.19. 5, Orange Coast 6:45.53. 6, Minnesota 6:50.13.
UW lineup: cox-Greg King, stroke-Brodie Buckland, 7-Scott Schmidt, 6-Scott Gault, 5-Brett Newlin, 4-Nick Hudson, 3-Ian Harrison, 2-Ben Fletcher, bow-Matt Kopicky.
Women's Junior Varsity Eight
1, California 7:04.8. 2, Washington 7:10.89. 3, Washington State 7:12.69. 4, Wisconsin 7:16.07. 5, USC 7:19.77. 6, Oregon State 7:27.05.
UW lineup: cox-Megan Mach, stroke-Janelle Dubbins, 7-Alina Tabacaru, 6-Signe Johannes, 5-Megan Kalmoe, 4-Katherine Ramos, 3-Analena Shepherd, 2-Eva Hershaw, bow-Olivia Morrow.
Men's Freshman Eight
1, California 6:13.15. 2, Stanford 6:21.60. 3, Oregon State 6:24.02. 4, Washington 6:30.23. 5, USC 6:37.86. 6, UC Davis 6:40.78.
UW lineup: cox-Kelsey Florence, stroke-Dave Aron, 7-Aljosa Corovic, 6-David Holden, 5-Andrew Lyle, 4-Kevin Bacha, 3-Brett Carlson, 2-Jamie Buchan, bow-Dustin Kraus.
Women's Novice Eight
1, Washington 7:05.30. 2, California 7:13.25. 3, Washington State 7:16.39. 4, Oregon State 7:18.35. 5, Clemson 7:23.65. 6, UCLA 7:28.99.
UW lineup: cox-Stephanie Brog, stroke-Courtney Plitt, 7-Kara Farquharson, 6-Cara Troelstra, 5, Liz Simenstad, 4-Andrea Sooter, 3-Stephanie Martin, 2-Victoria Gibson, bow-Ali Paulson.