July 26, 2010
BREST, Belarus - A quintet of Washington rowers picked up medals at the U23 world championships this weekend, marking one of the most successful tournaments in the program's history.
Robert Munn, Ty Otto and Blaise Didier helped power the USA men's eight to a silver medal finish in Belarus while Anthony Jacob and Conlin McCabe were also silver medalists in the pair. The results of the U23 championships continue to prove the Huskies are one of the elite programs at cultivating young rowing talent.
The US boat started strong during their 2,000 meter race, trailing the Germans by less than a second. Going into the halfway mark, the Americans made a move to take the lead, going up by a seat over Germany. But the German rowers had another move in them, putting forth a punishing pace in the final third of the race to capture the gold in a time of 5:44.78, less than three seconds ahead of the USA.
Munn, Didier and Otto were bunched together in the boat's engine room, rowing in the 6-5-4 seats respectively. All but Didier - a departing senior coming off a national championship with the UW 2V8 - will be back for the Huskies next season.
In the pair, Jacob and McCabe continued to be successful in a discipline the longtime friends have dominated internationally. Although the boat got off to a slow start (fourth) at the first 500m mark, the duo soon rebounded to move into second at the halfway mark. With another move in the final third, the Canadians had taken a slim lead over South Africa. But the two boats ended up in opposite positions going into the finish, with the RSA edging out Jacobs/McCabe by a little more than a second (6.45.46 to 6:46.96).
Another Husky, Hans Struzyna, competed for USRowing in the quad. His boat finished fourth in the "B" final, albeit in a discipline (sculling) that has been tough for American rowers to break into internationally.
The successful U23 world championships should provide a jumping-off point for the Huskies when they reconvene on Montlake this fall.