April 11, 2012
SEATTLE - The Washington men's crew program is back on the water this weekend to take on Western Washington on the Montlake Cut. The Vikings have long run a successful men's club program out of their Bellingham campus, and will race the Huskies in five events, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The racing emphasis will be on the UW's lower boats, starting with the Husky 3V8, which will race WWU's top eight in the morning's first race. The Huskies 4V8 will then take on WWU's 2V8, in the next race, a race of freshmen fours. After a brief break, the Husky varsity four (comprised of members from the third varsity) will take on WWU's fours. The last race at 10:15a will feature freshmen eights.
For freshmen coach Luke McGee, the addition of Western gives his team another shot at live competition. And it's not just the speed down the course where the Huskies will be judged. Everything is taken into consideration, McGee said, starting with practice efforts during the week. All this data helps coaches formulate boatings for later in the season, and with the razor-thin margin between oarsmen at Washington, it's not uncommon to see student-athletes make the move from lower boats.
The Huskies also want to provide opportunities to race to all oarsmen. Traditional duals and regattas feature limited boat selections, leaving some rowers sidelined on race day. But the late addition of Western - both teams had an open date - to the schedule gives UW a chance to extend the chance to compete.
"It's important to us," McGee said. "All the guys have worked really hard over the course of the year, and the fun part is racing."
McGee noted it's important for Pacific Northwest schools to compete against one another. Because the region is isolated geographically, it can be difficult from teams to find outside competition.
"We're trying to help other programs in the Northwest," McGee said. "Rowing here is so important to us, not only here but in other areas. So if we can help other Pacific Northwest teams, we'll do that."
Western competes in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC) and the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA). The program competes annually at events such as the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
8:30am Varsity 8+ (UW's 3V / WWU)
8:45am Second V8+ (UW's 4V / WWU)
9:00am Freshmen 4+ (UW's 2F "A" / UW's 2F "B" / WWU "A" / WWU "B")
10:00am Varsity 4+ (UW's 3V / UW's 3V / WWU "A" / WWU "B")
10:15am Freshmen 8+ (UW's 2F / UW's 3F / WWU)