Oct. 29, 2011
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - In the opinion of Husky women's crew coach Bob Ernst, the Head of the American is the blueprint for the ideal fall race: close to Seattle, ideal water conditions and top-notch opponents. Even better, his team was back on a familiar course at Lake Natoma, posting encouraging results in both the morning and afternoon sessions with the pairs and the varsity eight Saturday afternoon.
Facing familiar Pac-12 rivals, the Huskies were the second-fastest eight (16:37.05) on the 3.1 mile course at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, finishing behind USC. During the morning session, all four UW pairs finished top-8, with the combination of Fiona Gammond and Skye Pearman-Gillman taking third place.
What made this a great trip for the Huskies, according to Ernst, was the multiple races in both the pairs and the eights. Small-boat training is the engine of the Huskies fall schedule, and high-intensity pair races are additional development opportunities for a program still striving for more speed on the water.
"It couldn't be better," Ernst said. "We had beautiful weather here in California, and for the kids this was a wonderful opportunity to prove themselves against tough competition and get better."
The Huskies took just eight rowers (plus coxswain) to Lake Natoma. Rowers were selected based on their success in the pair trials during the week. And the decision to race down in California was a change from years past, when the Huskies would jet across the country to Cambridge to take place in the Head of the Charles.
"I feel like we've put our rowers in good positions going forward," Ernst said.
Head of the American (3.1-mile race)
Lake Natoma: Gold River, Calif.
Huskies lineup: Coxswain - Kelsey Jackson, stroke - Erin Lauber, 7 - Kirstyn Goodger, 6 - Fiona Gammond, 5 - Haley Yeager, 4 - Ruth Whyman, 3 - Skye Pearman-Gillman, 2 - Veronica Tamsitt, bow - Adriene de Leuw