April 7, 2012
SEATTLE-- A near six-second win over a top Ivy League rowing power should buy you a lot of equity.
And it does, if your school isn't named Washington.
Coming off a sweep of Brown, the Huskies came into their race against No. 9 Stanford looking for more of a complete effort. This time, the No. 2 Huskies executed closer to what men's coach Michael Callahanbelieves is their full potential, sweeping the Cardinal in all six races on the Montlake Cut Saturday morning.
"It was definitely a good time on the Montlake Cut," Callahan said. "I think we were pleased by the structure of the race that we had. Our splits through the first 500, to the 1,000 and the last 500; I was pleased how we handled the whole race."
Washington was dominant in all areas on its home course, starting the morning with a wide-gap margin over Stanford in winning the battle of varsity eights 5:40.78 to 5:55.61. After tinkering with the lineup during practice leading up the race, the Huskies found another gear Saturday, turning an eight-seat lead at the half into an open-water victory.
"We knew this week we needed to improve (after the win over Brown)," said senior 3-seat and captain Rob Munn. "We needed to work on our start; really just improve the whole piece."
Stanford came into the race brimming with confidence after an uplifting performance at the San Diego Crew Classic last week, which saw the Cardinal shock rowing aficionados with their unorthodox "double bucket" rig. The Cardinal utilized the same setup (two port oars, four starboard oars and two port oars) this week against Washington, only to see their competition pull away right from the start.
The Husky 2V8 offered up a similar performance, showcasing the program's depth in a near 18-second win over Stanford.
On a morning drenched with sunshine, the Huskies continued on the momentum set by their varsity eights. The Grunties (UW frosh) had the most noteworthy performance, stunning their Cardinal counterparts with a haymaker effort. Washington's freshmen finished more than 32 seconds ahead of Stanford, 5:48.09 compared to 6:20.68. Coached by Luke McGee, the Husky freshmen have authored two robust efforts to start the season. The UW second freshmen eight and third eights were also successful, finishing 1-2 ahead of Washington State's top frosh boats.
This effort was mirrored by the UW 3V8, which beat the Washington State men's top varsity boat by almost 20 seconds (5:51.31 to 6:11.24). The regatta was capped with wins by the Husky 4V8, which beat WSU's 2V and 3V with a time of 6:04.18.
As satisfying as this win was for the Huskies, the endgame is always the same - to be the fastest crew in the final race. With that in mind, it's back to work for Washington when Monday morning rolls around.
"We need to get better ... the other teams out there are going to get better, so it's motivating for the guys," said Callahan. "We can't be this speed at the end of the year and expect to win."
Washington returns to action on the Montlake Cut next weekend when it hosts D-II power Western Washington. This serves as the warmup to the much-anticipated Cal Dual, the 101st running of the event. That race takes place on April 21 on the Redwood Shores in Belmont, Calif.