Sept. 2, 2011
SEATTLE - Taking gold in the World Championship finals are becoming routine for Washington alum Mary Whipple.
The former UW coxswain once again led her eight to a first-place finish at the 2011 Rowing World Championships on Friday, a remarkable sixth straight gold for the USA women. This time, the Americans needed a strong effort in the final 500 to secure victory on the 2,000 meter course in Bled, Slovenia, overtaking the Canadian women's eight and finishing with a time of 6:03.65. With the win, the USA women automatically qualified their boat for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, which would give Whipple a shot at a third medal. Not surprisingly, the USA women will head to England next summer as the favorites.
Whipple didn't seem too concerned afterward at the tight finish with the Canadians. A former NCAA champion with the Huskies, Whipple has been the guiding force behind the USA women's dominance in recent years.
"There are so many good crews out there, and so for London 2012 we're going to expect it to come down to six boats across with 10 strokes to go," Whipple said to Row2k.com. Whipple was the sixth Husky to pick up a medal at the 2011 Rowing World Championships, joining three Dawgs from the Canadian men's eight (Rob Gibson, Conlin McCabe and Will Crothers) along with Adrienne Martelli and Megan Kalmoe from the USA quad.
Another Husky competing on Friday was Blaise Didier (2010), who finished sixth in the men's pair.