June 5, 2007
SEATTLE - "It was a great day to be a Husky."
Those were the words Coach Bob Ernst exclaimed tonight, referring to Saturday, June 2 when the Washington men's rowing team won the national championship.
The same statement could be made about Tuesday, as several hundred supporters gathered for the Husky Men's Crew Championship Celebration.
The crowd included former rowers, athletic deparment staff, family and friends who filled the Windermere Dining Room at the Conibear Shellhouse.
University President Mark Emmert opened the celebration with a few remarks. He recognized the crew program as the school's most accomplished sport.
"The university has an incredible sports history in all of our sports, but none of them has the long, long tradition of success that rowing has," he said.
Emmert was followed at the podium by Director of Athletics Todd Turner, who congratulated the Huskies and introduced Coach Bob Ernst.
Ernst introduced each of the four medal winning crews separately. As each crew came forward, the athletes introduced themselves and posed with their respective trophies.
At the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships on Saturday, Washington won its 12th varsity eight national championship. The Cooper River course in Cherry Hill, N.J. was also the site of national championship triumphs for the Huskies' second varsity eight and open four crews. UW's freshman eight crew collected the bronze medal.
The three event titles were the most for the Huskies' fleet of crews since 1997 when they claimed top IRA honors in the three eight-oared events. The trio of championship boats continued a streak that has seen at least one Washington crew win a national title during each of the last seven years.
The Huskies' top crew completed a perfect season. That marked their first undefeated campaign since 1997, which was also the last year they won the varsity eight event.