April 21, 2001
Madison, Wisc. - The Washington men's varsity eight-oared crew used one final surge at the finish line to edge Wisconsin and extend its win streak to nine in a row in the annual dual regatta on Lake Mendota Saturday morning. The Washington's women's varsity eight also made it nine in a row as they posted a decisive victory over the Badgers in the annual home-and-home challenge between the traditional rowing powers. The series, which began in 1993, is a battle each year for the "W" trophy.
Racing in a gusty cross wind on Lake Mendota, on the University of Wisconsin campus, the Husky men covered the 2,000-meter course in a time of 5 minutes, 57.5 seconds, just edging the Badgers who crossed at 5:57.6. The Washington women posted a time of 6:44.7, open water ahead of Wisconsin at 6:57.4.
"It was one heck of a boat race out there," Husky coach Bob Ernst said following the men's race. "It was back and forth the whole, a real good tussle. Wisconsin chased us all the way down the race course and closed it to a few feet at the finish. It was a good gut check."
After an initial lead by the Badgers over the first 250 meters, Washington moved ahead and maintained a slim margin over the rest of the course. Entering the final 500 meters, the Huskies had a one-third boat length lead when Wisconsin started to close the gap.
"We settled a bit high," said men's coxswain Tim Lewis. "We were a little bit frantic coming down the course and Wisconsin was right on our heels. We had good moves in the middle of the race and were able to extend our lead. Going into the last 500, they started charging but we did a good job of sitting up and fighting and getting to the finish line first. It was a great race."
On the women's side, Washington led from start to finish en route to its ninth win in the series. The Huskies had a boat length lead at 500 meters and then used a strong second 500 to increase the margin and gain open water on the Badgers by the halfway mark.
"In all our moves, we were fully committed," said coxswain Mary Whipple. "We knew it was going to hurt but we just committed ourselves to keep pushing and get to the line. When we hit our third 500, we were very focused. By the last 500, we sat up, swung for the line, stayed long and executed our sprint."
"This was a good experience for our team," added head women's coach Jan Harville. "It's a great opportunity to race a quality team and continue building the tradition between these two programs. We had a good race. The team was aggressive the whole way down the course. It might not have been the prettiest race ever, but I was pleased with the aggressiveness from start to finish."
Washington returns home for its next dual regatta, the annual challenge with California, Sat., April 28. Racing begins at 9 a.m. on the Montlake Cut next to the UW campus. The Huskies have already seen the Golden Bears once this season, two weeks ago at the San Diego Crew Classic. On the men's side, Washington picked up victories over second place Cal in the junior varsity and freshman races while the Bears won the varsity eight race, ahead of the Huskies. On the women's side, the varsity eight finished second in its grand final at San Diego, ahead of a fourth place Cal team. The novice eight won its race while Cal finished third. The women's junior varsity crews have not raced, as California did not qualify for the grand final at the Crew Classic.
Washington at Wisconsin
Lake Mendota (2,000 meters), Madison, Wisc.
Women's varsity eight:
1, Washington 6:44.7
2, Wisconsin 6:57.4
Washington lineup: cox - Mary Whipple, stroke - Lauren Estevenin, 7 - Nicole Borges, 6 - Anna Mickelson, 5 - Rika Geyser, 4 - Adrienne Hunter, 3 - Carrie Stasiak, 2 - Nicole Rogers, bow - Annabel Ritchie.
Men's varsity eight
1, Washington 5:57.5
2, Wisconsin 5:57.6