March 24, 2012
By Sarah Ann Jennings
SEATTLE - As the sun peeked from behind the clouds, it set a perfect Saturday morning scene for the 111th Annual Class Day Regatta for the University of Washington Crew Teams.
On the women's side, the junior class put together an impressive race and cruised to victory in the Seattle Times women's 8 + race on the Montlake Cut. Stroked by Marie Strohmayer, the juniors were in control from the beginning and finished with a time of 6:25:30, more than two seconds faster than the second-place seniors (6:27:90).
The seniors had won the event the previous two years, providing extra motivation for the other classes to end the streak. The juniors did just that with the win and now hold bragging rights over their teammates on Class Day. They will also have a chance to defend their title as seniors next year.
"The juniors had a really nice race with the seniors, but they controlled it most of the way down," said women's coach and rowing director Bob Ernst. "They did a heck of a job. They were on a mission. I don't think they took a breath in the first two minutes. They just put it on everybody."
The sophomores finished third with a time of 6:40.00 followed by the novices at 6:50.50.
At the post-race ceremony, Ernst handed out the Class Day trophy as the junior class introduced themselves and celebrated their victory. The ceremony also included a touching boat dedication for a new 4+ shell that was donated by the John and Jean Anne Dobrowolski, parents of sophomore Margaret Dobrowolski. The boat was named after Margaret's great-grandmother and will make its debut in Mission Bay at the San Diego Crew Classic next Saturday.
Heading into the Classic, Ernst is looking forward to seeing what this year's team can do.
"We have a really powerful group of kids," Ernst said. "They've worked hard on refining their technique. The top eight is really powerful and they've improved their skills a lot, so it'll be interesting to see how fast they can go this year."
In the first race of the morning that pitted members of the women's varsity against the novices, the freshmen boat edged out their competition for a narrow victory with a time of 6:57:00, only seven-tenths of a second faster than the second place finishers.
Race 1 - Women's Varsity/Novice Challenge
1) Novices (6:57.00): coxswain - Margaret Wilson (Orlando, Fla.), stroke - Marissa Kump (St. Catherines, Ontario), 7 - Kenzie Jorgenson (Arlington, Wash.), 6 - Fiona Gammond (Bucknell, United Kingdom), 5 - Emily Duerson (Maple Valley, Wash.), 4 - Liz Vogt (Trout Lake, Wash.), 3 - Megan Smith (Bremerton, Wash.), 2 - Kelly Olsen (Portland, Ore.), bow - Mackenzie O'Brien (Los Altos, Calif.) 2) Mixed (6:57.07)
3) Mixed B (7:43.80)
Race 3 - Seattle Times Women's Eight
1) Juniors (6:25.30): coxswain - Hannah Fjortoft (Edmonds, Wash.), 2 - Anna Stehle (Denver, Colo.), bow - Lana Harshman (Stanwood, Wash.)
2) Seniors (6:27.90)
3) Sophomores (6:40.00)
4) Novices (6:50.50)