March 26, 2011
SEATTLE - The finish for the women's hallmark Class Day Regatta event had neither the drama nor post-race discussions that defined their male teammates.
Instead, the seniors put together a tactful and complete row to cruise to victory in The Seattle Times Women's 8+ race on Saturday morning on the Montlake Cut. Stroked by Kerry Simmonds, who earned a U-23 gold medal this past summer, the seniors took control of the race at the halfway point and won with a time of 6:28.00, more than two seconds faster than the juniors (6:30.40)
It was the second straight victory for the seniors in the Class Day Regatta, and a meaningful one for this particular group, who had never won a Class Day race their three previous years. This was the motivation throughout the week as the seniors looked to complete their Husky careers with some Class Day silverware.
Thankfully, the seniors could revel in their win without any of the dramatics that were associated with the title race with the men's crew team, which had both leading crews stop short before the finish line because of an inadvertent horn from the sidelines.
"I thought both the featured races were really good races," said women's coach and rowing director Bob Ernst. "They were neck-and-neck all the way down. That's all you can hope for on Class Day; that you get some really good races and the kids get tested."
Because the senior class was limited in size, the boat had the chance to draft student-athletes from the freshmen class. Showing off skills that would please general managers in the region, the seniors took for freshmen who are competing for spots on the varsity (in women's rowing, freshmen are allowed to race with the varsity crews). And while the boat lacked cohesion that comes with growing as a class, they were able to create enough speed in the middle of the race to pull away.
"It was important for us because it was our last chance," said Hanne Trafnik. "A lot of people in our boat have improved so much (over four years at UW). In a way I was pleased that we had a shot to win this year because we never really had a chance before."
The sophomores finished third with a time of 6:44.20, while the freshmen - handicapped from having their best rowers selected for the senior boat - came in fourth at 6:56.30.
Trafnik credited Simmonds for her command of the boat as the stroke, setting the right tempo and starting the sprint at the halfway point that allowed the seniors to cruise ahead. Simmonds was later voted team captain by her peers in the post-race ceremony, and is in the hunt to stroke the varsity 8+ next week at the San Diego Crew Classic. If this was a public audition for the role, she acclimated herself well to the stage.
In the prelude to The Seattle Times Women's 8+, a "classless" boat stroked by Roosevelt High School product Elisabeth Odland dominated the four-boat field in a time of 6:55.95.
The Seattle Times Women's Eight
Lane 1 - Seniors (6:28.00)
Shell: Jean LaFromboise
Cox - Katherine Mahoney, stroke - Kerry Simmonds, 7 - Hanne Trafnik, 6 - Camilla Anderson, 5 - Kira O'Sullivan, 4 - Leslie White, 3 - Ruth Whyman, 2 - Kirstyn Goodger, bow - Sarah Velling
Lane 3 - Juniors (6:30.40)
Shell: Jan Harville
Cox - Ariana Tanimoto, stroke - Victoria Nenchev, 7 - Haley Yeager, 6 - Sydney Collins, 5 - Sky Pearman-Gillman, 4 - Erin Lauber, 3 - Ailish O'Sullivan, 2 - Veronica Tamsitt, bow - Adriene De Leuw
Lane 4 - Sophomores (6:44.20)
Shell: Hunter Simpson
Cox - Kelly Bell, stroke - Carlie Elledge, 7 - Monique Moore, 6 - Marie Strohmayer, 5 - Madison Culp, 4 - Allie Struzyna, 3 - Kayla Fencl, 2 - Alina Bischin, bow - Lana Harshman
Lane 2 - Freshmen
Shell: Irma Erickson
Cox - Madeline Johnston, stroke - Madeline Cordner, 7 - Margaret Dobrowolski, 6 - Anna Shortley, 5 - Margaret Misner, 4 - Helen Jeffries, 3 - Katie Woodman, 2 - Maja Chelstowska, bow - Rochelle Curdes
Women's Varsity/Novice Challenge
Lane 2 - Mixed (7:10.20)
Shell: Gretchen's Gold
Cox - Katie Krzyzanowski, stroke - Hannah Lauber, 7 - Alyssa Johnston, 6 - Kelly Nielsen, 5 - Krista White, 4 - Sidney Erickson, 3 - Emily Clary, 2- Kari Morgan, bow - Zoe Vais
Lane 4 - Mixed (7:16.38)
Shell: Jean Granger
Cox - Aya Shimizu, stroke - Lauren Fritts, 7 - Aimee Snow, 6 - TBD, 5 - Madison Shipley, 4 - Jesse Havens, 3 - Tamra Martin, 2 - Kelsey Jackson, bow - Lindsey Will
Lane 3- Novice (7:18.97)
Shell: Lois Kipper
Cox - Juleigh Duke, stroke - Stephanie Halamek, 7 - Maryann Watson, 6 - Alexandra Uhrich, 5 - Ashley Price, 4 - Cassandra Bongiovanni, 3 - Kayley Luhrs, 2 - Amanda Tenzler, bow - Timiah Bezovics