June 8, 2009
SEATTLE - The University of Washington will hold a special ceremony Tuesday, June 9 at 6pm at the Conibear Shellhouse to honor the men's crew, the 2009 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Champions.
Athletes and coaches will be on hand, as will Director of Athletics Scott Woodward, who will address the crowd before turning the evening over to head men's coach Michael Callahan, who rowed for Washington 1992-1996. The crew earned its second-straight Ten Eyck team points trophy under Callahan, and its first varsity eight national title on June 6, 2009 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Food and drink will be provided.
The No. 6 Huskies completed a dominating IRA Championship Saturday by becoming the first team since 1997 to sweep the three eights races and winning gold in the open four and silver in the varsity four. Washington qualified four of its five boats directly to the grand finals on Thursday by winning each heat race in which it competed. On Friday, the varsity eight won its semifinal heat to qualify for the grand final, setting up a Pac-10 rematch between the Huskies, California and Stanford.
The open four started the day for the Huskies, defeating the field by nearly a full second, winning the Huskies' first national title of the day. The varsity four followed with a strong, silver medal-winning performance of its own. The heavily-favored freshman eight came next, annihilating the field by cruising across the line seven seconds ahead of the second place crew, posting the fastest time of the day. The second varsity eight collected the Huskies' third national title of the day, finishing four and a half seconds ahead of Brown for the crown. Washington's top boat capped an extraordinary day by posting an exciting come-from-behind win to take down Pac-10 champion California in the final 15 strokes, capturing the Huskies' first varsity eight title since 2007.
Tuesday's ceremony will also serve as a send-off for the 14 seniors graduating out of the program. Ricky Bargreen, Peter Carlson, Bart-Jan Caron, Stephen Connolly, Will Crothers, Leah Downey, Rob Gibson, Jessiah Johnson, Patrick Kavanagh, Bronson Kolde, Max Lang, Lowell Neal, Katelin Snyder and David VanBolt each finish their careers as members of the 2009 IRA National Champion team.