May 22, 2012
SEATTLE - The United States men's eight qualified for the Olympics on Tuesday, and a pair of former Huskies had an instrumental hand in the process.
Despite missing out on initial qualifications at last summer's World Championships, the USA eight took advantage of a last-chance window with a win at the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The USA eight featured two former UW rowers in Giuseppe Lanzone (McLean, Va.) and Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), who helped power the Americans over New Zealand by four seconds to cap a wire-to-wire victory on the Rotsee race course.
For the Americans, there was no other choice but to win or face the prospect of no berth in the Olympics. The back-door route became a necessity after the USA finished eighth in the men's eight at Worlds. The win-or-go-home design of the qualification races in Lucerne has often led many in the rowing world to term it the "Regatta of Death."
Lanzone and Newlin have been frequent fixtures on the USRowing national team since leaving Washington, from which they both graduated in 2005. The former, who came to UW from McLean High School in Virginia, competed for the USA in the coxless four at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing ninth. Newlin also rowed with Lanzone in that same four at Beijing.
Both Lanzone and Newlin had distinguished careers as Huskies. Lanzone helped the Huskies win a Pac-10 Championship in 2003, as well as the prestigious Ladies Challenge Plate at Henley Royal Regatta that summer in England. Newlin transferred to Washington after spending his freshman season at Michigan State, but quickly acclimatized himself at Conibear Shellhouse, often rowing in the same varsity eight as Lanzone.