April 17, 2002
The Washington women's varsity eight sealed a perfect decade of racing against Wisconsin last weekend. Now it's the Huskies men's turn to claim the "W" trophy and keep its record intact since the dual regatta between the traditional rowing powers began in 1993. The Huskies host the Badgers Sat., April 20 on the Montlake Cut. The trophy goes annually to the winner of the competition between the varsity eights. This year, the junior varsity crews from both schools will also race, as will the Husky freshman men's eight.
The Washington women's team, coming off its dual victory over Wisconsin and Washington State last Saturday, does not compete this weekend.
Racing begins at 8:40 a.m. Saturday morning, in a change from schedules that originally listed 10 a.m. as the start time. The Washington and Wisconsin junior varsity eights, along with the Husky freshman eight, start that day with the first 2,000-meter race at 8:40 a.m. The varsity eight dual follows at 9 a.m.
Time Race Lane assignments to be drawn Friday morning 8:40 a.m. Junior varsity and freshman eight 9:00 a.m. Varsity eight,br>
The "W" Trophy: The Washington-Wisconsin dual regatta, a home-and-home challenge between the varsity eights from the traditional rowing powers, began in 1993 and is a battle for the "W" trophy. The Huskies have won all nine of the varsity races during that span. Last year, the Washington men used one final surge at the finish line to edge Wisconsin and extend its win streak to nine in a row on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisc.
According to the Coach - Quotes from head men's coach Bob Ernst
"It's going to be a fun race. Wisconsin is an unknown at this point. Usually we see them down in San Diego and they didn't make the trip this year. From what I know, they've had one race and we've had one race. They beat Oregon State by three seconds and we beat Oregon State by two seconds. On paper, that probably means we're going to have our hands full. We need a good race right now. Wisconsin always has a lot of big, strong, tough guys. I think it's going to be a good race."
What's Been Going On: The men's varsity and junior varsity eights had a weekend off from competition when scheduling challenges forced the separation of the men's and women's races in the annual dual between Washington and Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, Washington opened its season at the San Diego Crew Classic, where the varsity eight finished second in the Copley Cup grand final and the junior varsity and freshman eights won gold medals.
In the Rankings: The Washington men's varsity eight is ranked No. 3 in the April 17 USRowing Collegiate Coaches Poll. The University of California is first, followed by Harvard, in the weekly rankings. On the women's side, Washington maintains the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive week.
Husky Notes: No other rowing program in the country had as outstanding a year as the Washington men's and women's crews combined. The women won the NCAA team title, its third in the last five years, after capturing gold medals in the varsity eight and varsity four and a silver medal in the junior varsity eight. For the third year in a row, the NCAA varsity four that won the gold medal was comprised of all novice rowers.
On the men's side, Washington also captured two gold medals, in the freshman eight and the pair, at the IRA National Championships. The junior varsity won a silver medal and the varsity won bronze.
Following the season, five current Huskies were named to the U.S. National Team and competed at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. They are John Lorton, Lucas Ahlstrand, Heidi Hurn, Anna Mickelson and coxswain Mary Whipple.
The Montlake Course: The start line for home regattas is on Lake Washington, parallel to the Governor A.D. Rosellini (Evergreen Point) Floating Bridge. The course runs from east to west through the Montlake Cut to the finish line near the mouth of Portage Bay at the west end of Montlake Cut. A good view of the race course is available along either side of Montlake Cut, or from the Montlake Bridge.
Team Captains: Washington announced its 2002 team captains during Class Day festivities last weekend. Senior Jenni Vesnaver (Adelaide, Australia), a fourth-year rower who is currently in the varsity eight five seat, will be the women's captain. Senior Matt Deakin (San Francisco, Calif.), a fourth-year rower in the varsity eight five was named captain for the men's team.
A Look at the Leaders: Bob Ernst enters his 27th season of coaching at Washington and his 15th year as head coach of the men's team ... Ernst is the only coach in the country to lead both men's and women's crews to national titles ... he is joined by freshman coach Fred Honebein, who directed his crew to a gold medal at the IRA Championships last year ... former Husky rower Bob Cummins, who stroked the varsity eight to a national championship in 1997, joins the men's staff as the varsity intern this season while Dan Garbutt (Princeton) and former UW coxswain Tim Lewis also serve as interns.
On the women's side, Jan Harville enters her 15th year as head coach... She was named the 2001 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year after leading the Huskies to their third NCAA title in the last five years.
Harville is assisted by novice coach Eleanor McElvaine, who has led an all-freshman crew to a gold medal in the NCAA Championships the last three seasons. Former Husky coxswain Erin O'Connell joins the women's staff for her fifth season as assistant varsity coach while former UW rower Romany McNamara is in her first season as the novice women's intern.