April 25, 2009
SEATTLE - The No. 4 men's varsity eight upset No. 1 California on the Montlake Cut Saturday, marking the third-straight win for the Husky men in the 99th running of the annual dual. The Washington men won all four of their races, while the Husky women pulled off wins in two of their four events.
"You beat the No. 1 team on your home course in front of a thousand people in an historic race that's gone on for over 100 years, it's definitely satisfying," said men's head coach Michael Callahan of his varsity eight's success. "But we also know this is the beginning of a hard season. We're going to see these guys two more times and it's definitely not over. We can feel good today, but we're all going back to work on Monday."
The UW men's varsity, which has struggled this season, avenged its loss to Cal in the Copley Cup at San Diego just three weeks ago, finishing almost a length ahead of the Bears. The two crews got off the line evenly and stayed within a seat of each other through the first 500 meters.
"California is always really, really good in the first 1,000 meters," said seven-seat Simon Taylor. "They really try to get ahead and kind of set themselves apart in the first half of the race and we really tried to neutralize that and stay with them. And then at the 650-meter mark, our coach decided we were going to do a move, to try and separate ourselves and to give them a shock, give them a surprise and just really lay it out there. So 650 meters in, we were pretty much even, maybe like one seat up. And then in about 10 strokes, we went from one seat up to about five seats up."
The Huskies kept their lead through the second half of the race, quashing a second attempt by Cal near the Montlake Bridge.
"Both teams were able to punch and counterpunch each other and we were able to have the stronger one this time," Callahan said. "These boats both have a lot of endurance and a lot of power, so it was close enough that we had a leading position, but they could come back. They did make a move on us and we stalled it near the bridge. We had a good counter there."
The Huskies crossed the finish at 5:48.56, with California just eight seats behind at 5:50.86.
Completing the sweep of the men's races were strong wins by the second varsity eight, the freshman eight and the varsity four.
The four started the morning with a full boat's length victory over the Bears, crossing the line in 6:41.10 and Cal coming in at 6:45.38.
The men's second varsity pulled off a similar margin of victory, finishing the race just over a length ahead of California. The Huskies crossed the finish in 5:47.51, while Cal pulled across in 5:52.00.
The freshman eight remained perfect on the season with an almost two-length win over the Bears. The frosh boat clocked a time of 5:54.59, while Cal finished in 6:02.90.
On the women's side, the varsity four and novice eight recorded wins, but the seventh-ranked varsity eight fell to the top-ranked Bears by two lengths of open water.
"I knew Cal was going to be really good and they are," said Director of Rowing and women's head coach Bob Ernst. "They were better than we were and there's nothing we can do about it today. Cal is outstanding, especially their varsity, and we're not outstanding. We're just regular. We're going to keep training and hopefully keep getting faster. We have a lot of potential."
Cal got out to a quick start in the women's varsity eight race, pulling ahead of Washington early. The Huskies battled, but were unable to catch the Bears. California crossed the line in 5:50.86, while UW came in at 5:48.56.
"I think we're a lot stronger than we were last year," said varsity coxswain Isabelle Woodward. "Every race is a learning experience and today we learned that we need to settle in our rhythm. I think we were a little too tense and we need to find our rhythm and not worry so much about what's going on with the other boat. We need to focus on us and focus on going together."
The second varsity was edged by California. The Bears crossed the line about a half a length ahead of Washington in 6:45.40. The Huskies came in behind at 6:47.50.
The UW women's varsity four started the Huskies out with a win, beating Cal by about a length. They were followed by a dominating women's novice crew that felled the Bears by over two lengths of open water. The novices crossed the line in 6:55.71 while Cal finished in 7:09.46.
"The whole team is very important," added Callahan. "I feel like we have one of the best young exciting coaching staffs in the United States and everyone stepped up. There's a lot of belief, a lot of cohesiveness happening in our coaching staff that's transcending down into the boats themselves. We all wear the same uniform. We all wear the W."
Washington rowing is back in action next Saturday, May 2, for the Windermere Cup/Opening Day. The Huskies play host to the Brazilian national teams, Oregon State's men crew and the University of Miami. Races begin at 10:20am on Montlake Cut. For more information about Opening Day, check out the official Windermere Cup Web page here.
WASHINGTON VS. CALIFORNIA DUAL RACE RESULTS
Men's Varsity Eight
1, Washington, 5:48.56 ; 2, California, 5:50.86
Cox: Katelin Snyder, Stroke: Will Crothers, 7: Simon Taylor, 6: Bart-Jan Caron, 5: Rob Gibson, 4: Hans Struzyna, 3: Anthony Jacob, 2: Jessiah Johnson, Bow: Max Lang
Men's Second Varsity Eight
1, Washington, 5:47.51 ; 2, California, 5:52.00
Cox: Michelle Darby, Stroke: Nenad Bulicic, 7: Lowell Neal, 6: Matt Zapel, 5: Ty Otto, 4: Blaise Didier, 3: Roko Svast, 2: Bede Clarke, Bow: Stephen Connolly
Men's Freshman Eight
1, Washington, 5:54.59 ; 2, California, 6:02.90
Cox: Laura Denman, Stroke: Mathis Jessen, 7: Tom Lehmann, 6: Conlin McCabe, 5: Robert Munn, 4: Justin Hopkins, 3: Jay Thompson, 2: Ambrose Puttmann, Bow: Jeffrey Gibbs
Women's Varsity Eight
1, California, 6:28.99 ; 2, Washington, 6:37.31
Cox: Isabelle Woodward, Stroke: Veronica Tamsitt, 7: Kayleigh Mack, 6: Hanne Trafnik, 5: Adrienne Martelli, 4: Kira O'Sullivan, 3: Kim Kennedy, 2: Lia Prins, Bow: Jennifer Park
Women's Second Varsity Eight
1, California, 6:45.40 ; 2, Washington, 6:47.50
Cox: Ariana Tanimoto, Stroke: Rachel Powers, 7: Heather Young, 6: Rosie DeBoef, 5: Alison Browning, 4: Kerry Simmonds, 3: Erin Knox, 2: Helen Wall, Bow: Erika Shaw
Women's Novice Eight
1, Washington, 6:55.71 ; 2, California, 7:09.46
Cox: Lauren Wands, Stroke: Sydney Collins, 7: Adriene De Leuw, 6: Erin Lauber, 5: Haley Yeager, 4: Victoria Nenchev, 3: Ailish O'Sullivan, 2: Markee Murphy, Bow: Gillian Pennington