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Husky Crews Among Fastest in Heats at IRA Regatta
Release: 06/01/2006
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June 1, 2006


CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Washington registered the fastest time among freshman eight and open four crews while posting the second-best varsity eight mark in Thursday's heat races, during the first day of the men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships on the Cooper River.

The Huskies' open four earned an automatic spot in Saturday's grand final. They will be joined by the other heat winners, California and Yale. UW led from start to finish and won by open water with a winning time of 6-minutes, 28.07-seconds. Wisconsin had a second-place time of 6:33.11 in that heat. Cal's mark of 6:29.17 was the second best among open fours.

UW's varsity and freshman eight crews both earned automatic berths into Friday's semifinal races by virtue of their top-two finishes. The other crews in those competitions had second-chance repechage races Thursday afternoon to determine the remaining four semifinal entries.

The Huskies' second varsity placed third in the heats and will need to win their repechage Friday morning to earn a spot in Saturday's grand final. The Huskies were running in second most of the race, one boat-length behind Yale, before being nipped for second place at the finish line by Princeton. Yale's covered the 2,000-meter course in 5:45.28 seconds followed by Princeton in 5:48.73, Washington in 5:49.2 and fourth-place Michigan in 5:53.76.

The seventh-seeded Washington varsity eight was placed in the same heat with No. 2 California. The Golden Bears overtook UW in the final 500 meters to win by a deck in 5:35.84. That was the fastest time of the day and the Huskies clocked the No. 2 mark of 5:36.11. Cornell was a distant third in 5:45.88.

The seeds held to form in the featured event as each of the top-eight finished first or second in the varsity eight heats to advance into the semifinal round.

Top-ranked Princeton won the first heat with the day's third-best time of 5:40.3. Brown and three-time defending champion Harvard were the other heat winners.

The Huskies flew across the country, 2,400 miles from Seattle, only to be paired in the first round with rival California.

A two boat-length cushion from the other four boats enabled the Huskies and Bears to focus on each other. Despite the fact they had the two automatic berths sewn up, the two West Coast rivals raced hard throughout the entire course.

"It's interesting to see California again," remarked Husky head coach Bob Ernst. "There was no way either one of those crews was going to say `Uncle,' and give the other one a break today. Washington and Cal are never going to ease off and let the other one win. That's not the nature of the rivalry."

While UW might have preferred a less familiar foe, the matchup served as a barometer of its improvement.

In the annual dual race, Cal recorded an eight-second win, April 22 in the Bay Area. The Golden Bears equaled that margin of victory over UW en route to the Pac-10 championship.

Since the last outing on May 14, Washington altered its lineup. The Huskies moved every oarsman to a different seat and introduced sophomore stern pair Toby Dankbaar and Tad McCrea to the lineup from the second varsity.

"We changed our lineup around and did a little shuffle. It's really working," explained Rob Gibson, one of four sophomores in UW's top crew. "The last two weeks we've been gaining speed every time we are on the water. We're gaining a little more speed here and there and it's just all adding up right now. We kind of exploded today on the water and it felt great."

The newfound speed shocked even the Huskies.

"We definitely kind of surprised ourselves out there," Gibson said. "Our goal was to qualify for the semifinal and avoid the repechage in the afternoon. We got our goal and we gave Cal a pretty good scare. It was one of the best races I've ever had as a Husky."

The Husky freshmen were victorious in their heat, going wire-to-wire to win by a sliver of open water. UW posted a time of 5:43.83 that was nearly three seconds superior to the next best heat time of 5:46.48 turned in by top-seeded California. Princeton was second in UW's heat with a time of 5:47.19.

Despite the impressive time and finish, coxswain Katelin Snyder felt the freshman crew's effort was subpar.

"It definitely could have been better. It's definitely great to win the heat without having our best race. It's the heats and we still have the semis before the final to tweak it."

Joining Washington and Cal among the freshman eights automatic semifinal qualifiers were heat winners Penn and Harvard.

Three crews in Washington's four-boat fleet will compete Friday morning in races that determine the field for Saturday's six-boat grand finals.

Husky crews won national championships last year in the second varsity eight and open four events. The freshman eight collected the bronze medal while the varsity eight finished fourth. All four of this year's UW entries are still in medal contention.

2006 Men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
Thursday, June 1, 2006
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
(all races were 2,000 meters)


Varsity Eights
Heat I
-- 1, Princeton 5:40.3. 2, Yale 5:41.31. 3, Syracuse 5:50.97. 4, Michigan 5:53.00. 5, Holy Cross 5:53.34. 6, Oregon State 5:56.64.
Heat II -- 1, California 5:35.84. 2, Washington 5:36.11. 3, Cornell 5:45.88. 4, Boston University 5:46.12. 5, Rutgers 6:01.12. 6, Dartmouth 6:05.98.
Heat III -- 1, Harvard 5:41.44. 2, Wisconsin 5:45.59. 3, Navy 5:50.03. 4, Penn 5:53.86. 5, George Washington 5:57.26. 6, Columbia 5:57.76.
Heat IV -- Brown 5:41.23. 2, Northeastern 5:45.55. 3, Georgetown 5:50.21. 4, Colorado 5:54.77. 5, Army 6:06.48.
     UW lineup: cox-Micah Perrin, stroke-Toby Dankbaar, 7-Tad McCrea, 6-Ante Kusurin, 5-Rob Gibson, 4-Aljosa Corovic, 3-Colin Phillips, 2-Kiel Petersen, bow-Steve Full.

Second Varsity Eights
Heat I
-- 1, Yale 5:45.28. 2, Princeton 5:48.73. 3, Washington 5:49.2. 4, Michigan 5:53.76. 5, Navy 5:56.79. 6, Holy Cross 6:07.8.
Heat II -- 1, Harvard 5:43.25. 2, Brown 5:48.02. 3, Northeastern 5:52.08. 4, Cornell 5:58.95. 5, Syracuse 6:03.16. 6, Dartmouth 6:06.56.
Heat III -- 1, Wisconsin 5:47.33. 2, California 5:50.48. 3, Boston University 5:59.01. 4, Georgetown 6:00.64. 5, Temple 6:02.14.
     UW lineup: cox-Adrian Andrews, stroke-Drew Fowler, 7-Scott Schmidt, 6-Adam Van Winkle, 5-David Edward-Aron, 4-Andrew Beaton, 3-Derek DeVries, 2-Tyler Smith, bow-Craig Tyler.

Freshman Eights
Heat I
-- 1, Washington 5:43.83. 2, Princeton 5:47.19. 3, Cornell 5:51.5. 4, St. Joseph's 6:05.28. 5, Gonzaga 6:11.98. 6, George Washington 6:19.63.
Heat II -- 1, California 5:46.48. 2, Brown 5:49.05. 3, Yale 6:02.59. 4, MIT 6:05.8. 5, Michigan 6:08.57. 6, Lehigh 6:29.41.
Heat III -- 1, Penn 5:54.7. 2, Wisconsin 5:56.89. 3, Boston University 6:00.45. 4, Navy 6:05.16. 5, Syracuse 6:08.6. 6, Dartmouth 6:11.7.
Heat IV -- 1, Harvard 5:50.70. 2, Northeatern 5:55.08. 3, Georgetown 6:03.01. 4, Rutgers 6:05.98. 5, Columbia 6:19.77. 6, Ohio State 6:27.82.
     UW lineup: cox-Katelin Snyder, stroke-Will Crothers, 7-Mike Flight, 6-Jessiah Johnson, 5-Max Lang, 4-Bart-Jan Caron, 3-Trevor Mollenkopf, 2-Asa Bergdahl, bow-Lowell Neal.

Open Fours
Heat I
-- 1, California 6:29.17. 2, Harvard 6:45.35. 3, Penn 6:49.44. 4, Princeton "B" 6:56.65. 5, Michigan 6:59.35.
Heat II -- 1, Washington 6:28.07. 2, Wisconsin "A" 6:33.11. 3, Wisconsin "B" 6:43.3. 4, George Washington 6:55.12. 5, Cornell 6:58.04.
Heat III -- 1, Yale 6:36.55. 2, Princeton "A" 6:38.89. 3, Georgetown 6:49.05. 4, Brown 6:52.47. 5, Boston University 6:56.03. 6, Dartmouth 7:08.69.
     UW lineup: cox-Patrick Kavanagh, stroke-Peter Carlson, 3-Alan Oriard, 2-Dustin Kraus, bow-Jon Engel.

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