Oct. 21, 2001
Boston - Washington rowing team members Anna Mickelson (Bellevue, Wash.), Heidi Hurn (Redmond, Wash.) and coxswain Mary Whipple (Sacramento, Calif.) helped power the United States National Team women's eight-oared crew to a gold medal in the Championship Eight Sunday afternoon at the 37th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. The victory marked the first time in six years a U.S. crew won the event at the prestigious regatta.
The trio of Huskies reunited with all but one member of the crew that finished fourth at the 2001 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland in August. Joining the group was Ali Cox, a world championship competitor in the U.S. four.
In the women's eight, the crew of Whipple, Kate Johnson, Caroline Ingham, Megan Dirkmaat, Mickelson, Ali Cox, Hurn, Kate Ronkainen, and Wendy Wilbur covered the three-mile long course in a time of 16 minutes, 01.69 seconds, to knock off Princeton by nine seconds. The Tigers, defending champions in the race, finished at 16:10.84, followed by Canada's London Training Center in third place with a time of 16:17.76.
In Boston, crews from Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Croatia competeed, along with several traditional collegiate powers. The Head Of The Charles Regatta, the world's largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club. Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett proposed that a "head of the river" race similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River.
"Head" races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long-boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head Of The Charles."
Washington's Fall season includes a pair of races, the Portland Loop Nov. 3 and Head of the Lake Nov. 10 in Seattle. The 2002 racing season officially begins with Class Day, March 30, and the San Diego Crew Classic, April 6-7, 2002.