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Trio of UW Crews Row into Semifinals at IRA Regatta
Release: 05/31/2007
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May 31, 2007


CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Washington's top-ranked varsity eight crew clocked the day's fastest time Thursday and the freshman eight was also a heat winner, during the first day of the men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships on the Cooper River.

The Huskies' entire four-boat fleet will compete Friday morning in races that determine the field for Saturday's grand finals. The varsity and freshman eight crews, along with UW's second varsity eight, will compete in the semifinals. The second varsity finished second in its heat, one length behind Brown.

UW's open four crew was also a heat runner-up, finishing behind Princeton. The Husky four competes in a repechage Friday, needing a first-place finish to advance into the grand finals.

The Huskies' top boat remained undefeated, despite a strong challenge from No. 8-seeded Brown. UW rowed in second for the first half of the race before overtaking Brown in the final 500 meters.

The top-two finishers in each of four, varsity eight heats earned automatic semifinal berths. That format could persuade a trailing crew, like UW, to settle for second place and not expend the energy to pursue the win.

"We just never do that. If we have a chance to win it, we want to win it," explained Husky head coach Bob Ernst. "You never can tell what the weather is going to do and the better you finish in the heat, or the better you finish in the semifinal, then the better the lane you are going to get for the next opportunity to race."

Washington's winning effort of 5-minutes, 35.95-seconds was Thursday's swiftest time on the 2,000-meter course. Brown finished one seat back in 5:36.65. Those two were far ahead of a pack led by third-place Syracuse, which finished in 5:48.82.

"Brown definitely pushed harder than we expected, but we were in control the whole time," said senior Aljosa Corovic, who rows in the No. 6 seat of the Husky boat. "It's kind of hard to mentally push yourself that hard when you know it's just the heat. But, we stayed in control and never let them peel off more than two seats. Since we kept it on pace in the first 1,500, we knew that we had a lot left in the last 500 and that we would take care of it."

The event's other undefeated entry, No. 2 Harvard, won its varsity eight heat in 5:36.36. Third-seeded California won a heat in 5:37.83 and un-seeded Cornell was the other heat winner in 5:37.86.

The second varsity crews from UW and Brown also staged a battle. This one went to the Bears.

The Huskies claimed the early lead, but were overtaken by Brown before the 500-meter mark. The Bears steadily extended their advantage to win by open water in 5:46.76. UW crossed the finish line in 5:50.67, with open water between it and third-place Harvard's "B" boat.

"I just don't think the jayvees had a very good race today," said Ernst of his crew that recently won the Pac-10 championship for second varsity boats. "They qualified, which is the game. But to get a medal here they are going to have to go better than that."

The other second varsity heat winners were Wisconsin (5:47.80), California (5:47.54) and Harvard's "A" crew (5:46.60).

The Huskies are the reigning freshman eight champions. By definition, the crew contains only first-year team members. So this year's squad is entirely new, with last year's title-winners now occupying seats in the varsity and second-varsity boats.

This year's fourth-seeded freshmen got off to a stellar start in their maiden voyage at the IRA regatta. The Huskies rowed in second place early, before making a strong move to surpass Princeton en-route to a convincing victory. UW completed the course in 5:48.50. The Tigers were second in 5:55.68, followed by Navy in 6:01.92.

"We came out and had a good start. We felt very confident and just went through and did what we had to do for the heat," described UW coxswain Michael Welly. "The main goal is the grand finals. That's what we've been training for all year. The heat is just one step for us to get there."

The seeds held to form among freshman eights as No. 1 California (5:49.63), No. 2 Harvard (5:48.24) and No. 3 Brown (5:48.15) won the other heats.

Washington's open four entry produced a game effort despite a trying situation. Their event had three heats, with only the winners automatically advancing. On top of that, the Husky four was competing after just four practices together in its current alignment due to an injury.

"Given it was our first 2,000, we did a pretty good job," said Mike Flight, one of three sophomores in a crew that also has two freshmen. "Princeton had a pretty fast start and took the lead at around the first 500. We took it how the race went and we handled it really well. We're a pretty novice crew, so given the circumstances we did a good job."

Princeton possessed a little bit of open water after finishing in 6:30.16. UW's second-place time was 6:34.77 and California was third in 6:37.91.

Joining Princeton as automatic qualifiers in Saturday's grand final were heat winners Cornell and Northeastern.

Husky crews won national championships last year in the freshman eight and open four events. The varsity eight placed fifth in 2006 and the second varsity was fourth. All four of this year's UW entries are still in medal contention.

2007 Men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
(all races were 2,000 meters)


Varsity Eights
(top-two finishers in each heat to Friday semifinals, rest to repechage)

Heat I -- 1, Washington 5:35.95. 2, Brown 5:36.65. 3, Syracuse 5:48.82. 4, Purdue 5:52.03. 5, Holy Cross 5:59.80. 6, Dartmouth 6:00.74.

Heat II -- 1, California 5:37.83. 2, Princeton 5:38.98. 3, Navy 5:40.83. 4, Oregon State 5:48.38. 5, Georgetown 5:51.90. 6, Virginia 5:56.26.

Heat III -- 1, Cornell 5:37.86. 2, Yale 5:38.29. 3, Wisconsin 5:38.65. 4, Northeastern 5:49.97. 5, Marist 5:58.48. 6, George Washington 6:02.29.

Heat IV -- 1, Harvard 5:36.36. 2, Stanford 5:36.58. 3, Michigan 5:48.28. 4, Pennsylvania 5:54.25. 5, Boston University 5:58.83. 6, Columbia 6:05.99.

     UW lineup: cox- Katelin Snyder, stroke- Will Crothers, 7- Heath Allen, 6- Aljosa Corovic, 5- Rob Gibson, 4- David Worley, 3- Steve Full, 2- Jessiah Johnson, bow- Max Lang.

Second Varsity Eights
(top-two finishers in each heat to Friday semifinals, rest to repechage)

Heat I -- 1, Wisconsin 5:47.80. 2, Syracuse 5:51.91. 3, Navy 5:55.19. 4, Delaware 5:58.96. 5, Michigan 6:00.03. 6, Georgetown 6:01.52.
Heat II -- 1, Brown 5:46.76. 2, Washington 5:50.67. 3, Harvard "B" 5:54.89. 4, Yale "B" 5:57.73. 5, Princeton 6:05.06. 6, Holy Cross 6:05.67.

Heat III -- 1, California 5:57.54. 2, Cornell 5:48.69. 3, George Washington 6:04.88. 4, Dartmouth 6:12.84. 5, Columbia 6:14.99.

Heat IV -- 1, Harvard "A" 5:46.60. 2, Northeastern 5:49.58. 3, Yale "A" 5:51.92. 4, Pennsylvania 6:05.38. 5, Colgate 6:10.51.

     UW lineup: cox- Micah Perrin, stroke- Bart-Jan Caron, 7- Lowell Neal, 6- Andrew Beaton, 5- Trevor Mollenkopf, 4- Drew Fowler, 3- Derek DeVries, 2- David VanBolt, bow- Alan Oriard.

Freshman Eights
(top-two finishers in each heat to Friday semifinals, rest to repechage)

Heat I -- 1, Washington 5:48.50. 2, Princeton 5:55.68. 3, Navy 6:01.92. 4, Syracuse 6:08.07. 5, Delaware 6:12.32. 6, Rutgers 6:13.99.

Heat II -- 1, California 5:49.63. 2, Orange Coast College 5:53.58. 3, Boston University 6:02.24. 4, George Washington 6:02.85. 5, Holy Cross 6:05.82. 6, Hobart 6:37.54.

Heat III -- 1, Harvard 5:48.24. 2, Cornell 5:48.83. 3, Northeastern 5:50.86. 4, Columbia 6:10.98. 5, Michigan 6:11.86. 6, Bucknell 6:12.71.

Heat IV -- 1, Brown 5:48.15. 2, Stanford 5:53.04. 3, Yale 5:56.03. 4, Wisconsin 5:57.75. 5, Georgetown 6:07.89. 6, Dartmouth 6:16.08.

     UW lineup: cox- Michael Welly, stroke- Aaron Luke, 7- Graham Oglend, 6- Roko Svast, 5- Blaise Didier, 4- Simon Taylor, 3- Dane Robbins, 2- Kit Culbert, bow- Maxwell Weaver.

Open Fours
(winners to final, rest to Friday repechage)

Heat I -- 1, Princeton 6:30.16. 2, Washington 6:34.77. 3, California 6:37.91. 4, Georgetown 6:58.70. 5, George Washington 7:02.05. 6, Michigan 7:04.91.

Heat II -- 1, Cornell 6:38.56. 2, Syracuse 6:42.17. 3, Wisconsin "B" 6:43.33. 4, Yale 6:56.26. 5, Navy 7:04.26. 6, Boston University 7:15.84.

Heat III -- 1, Northeastern 6:36.15. 2, Wisconsin "A" 6:46.05. 3, Harvard 6:50.95. 4, Pennsylvania 7:09.23. 5, Dartmouth 7:27.90.

     UW lineup: cox- Leah Downey, stroke- Peter Carlson, 3- Mike Flight, 2- David Goulet, bow- James Olson.

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