April 3, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Five of six Washington crews won their heats Saturday, including the men's and women's varsity eight units that registered the fastest times in their events during the first day of the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.
The Huskies' men's and women's junior varsity eights also won their heats as did the women's novice eight. Those five heat winners, along with Washington's runner-up men's freshman eight, will compete in their respective Grand Final races Sunday afternoon at the prestigious two-day regatta.
The UW men's varsity eight went wire-to-wire to win by five boat-lengths with a time of 5-minutes, 54.8-seconds. That was the fastest time of the day on the 2,000-meter course. Northeastern's 10th-ranked varsity eight was second in 5:55.99 followed by Temple in 6:03.23. California's winning time in the other heat was 5:58.6.
"We got a boat length to begin with and just held that the whole way down," described senior coxswain Chris O'Brien. "If we want to do well tomorrow we're going to have to come out a little stronger and settle into our rhythm a little better. It was a little sloppy today."
Washington's 17th-year head coach Bob Ernst concurred with O'Brien.
"The guys didn't have a particularly great row. They would have liked Northeastern to be a little easier than they were. You're always concerned the first race of the year because you don't know what these other guys have. To be honest, you don't know how good you are yet."
Ernst will have a better idea how good his second-ranked Huskies are after Sunday's confrontation with No. 3 California. The Golden Bears won the last five Copley Cups, awarded to the Crew Classic men's varsity winner. California edged Washington by just over one second last season in San Diego. The Huskies avenged that setback, defeating Cal to win the 2003 conference championship and finishing one place ahead of the Bears en route to a second-place performance at the IRA Championships.
The UW women's varsity eight have set their sight on California since last season when the Bears were declared the Crew Classic winners in a photo finish. The Huskies, who had claimed the Whittier Cup trophy 10 of the previous 11 seasons, finished eight-hundredths of a second behind Cal last year in San Diego.
"That's definitely been some incentive for us," junior coxswain Dana Ryan said about last season's narrow loss. "We've used that as a lot of our focus and drive. It's not going to happen to us again."
The deciding factor last season might have occurred during the heats when Cal edged Washington by less than one second to earn the preferred inside lane for the finals. The inside lanes, awarded to heat winners for the finals, are more protected from the strong cross-winds prevalent at Mission Bay.
The Huskies secured the inside lane with Saturday's four-seat heat victory over California. UW covered the course in 6:35.8, Cal was second in 6:37.40 and Wisconsin third in 6:42.30. Tennessee won the other heat in 6:38.5.
Six ranked teams meet in the women's varsity eight final, including No. 10 Washington, No. 11 California, No. 12 USC, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 15 Washington State and No. 19 Wisconsin. The highest ranked women's crew entering the regatta was No. 6 Stanford which finished fifth in the heats and did not qualify for the Grand Final.
The Huskies raced to a four-second victory in the men's junior varsity event. UW registered a time of 6:34.2 to finish with open water ahead of runner-up Oregon State which finished in 6:38.63. California won the second heat in 6:15.3.
"Our plan going in was to race the whole race all the way through and make sure we qualified for the final. We had a good half length after the start and just pushed away throughout the race," said UW JV coxswain Greg King. "We don't really know what to expect out of Cal in the final, but we've got some things to work on ourselves. We're pretty fast now and I hope that we can go a lot faster in the final."
Washington appears poised to maintain its dominance in the women's junior varsity event. The Huskies, who captured the last three and 11 of the last 12 Crew Classic titles, won their heat by one boat length. UW clocked a time of 6:52.2 followed by Oregon State in 6:56.09. Washington State and California were the other heat winners.
Washington handily won its women's novice eight heat with a time of 7:01.56. UCLA finished nearly 18 seconds back in 7:19.20. The other two heats were won by Oregon State and California.
The men's freshman eight race was the only event in which UW didn't win its heat. The Huskies placed a distant second to California. The Bears finished in 6:03.41 followed by UW in 6:20.89 and Santa Clara in 6:27.50. Stanford and Oregon State won the other two novice eight heats.
SAN DIEGO CREW CLASSIC RESULTS
Saturday, April 3, 2004
Mission Bay; San Diego, Calif.
(all races were 2,000 meters)
Copley Cup (Men's Varsity Eight)
Heat A -- 1, California 5:58.6. 2, Oregon State 6:00.14. 3, Stanford 6:04.95. 4, Purdue 6:05.60. 5, Colgate 6:14.87.
Heat B -- 1, Washington 5:54.8. 2, Northeastern 5:55.99. 3, Temple 6:03.23. 4, UC Davis 6:09.70. 5, Sacramento State 6:20.31.
Whittier Cup (Women's Varsity Eight)
Heat A -- 1, Tennessee 6:38.5. 2, Washington State 6:39.19. 3(tie), USC and Notre Dame 6:39.69. 5, Stanford 6:43.78. 6, Villanova 6:49.15. 7, Purdue 7:10.41.
Heat B -- 1, Washington 6:35.8. 2, California 6:37.40. 3, Wisconsin 6:42.30. 4, Texas 6:46.84. 5, Oregon State 6:47.96. 6, Fordham 6:56.29. 7, West Virginia 7:04.82.
Men's Junior Varsity Eight
Heat A -- 1, California 6:15.3. 2, Minnesota 6:31.65. 3, Orange Coast College 6:34.98. 4, UC San Diego 6:45.68. 5, Santa Clara 6:48.52. 6, UCLA 6:52.12.
Heat B -- 1, Washington 6:34.2. 2, Oregon State 6:38.63. 3, UC Davis 7:03.03. 4, UC Irvine 7:18.83. 5, San Diego State 7:21.43.
Women's Junior Varsity Eight
Heat A -- 1, Washington State 6:49.40. 2, Wisconsin 6:54.07. 3, UCLA 7:06.66. 4, Stanford 7:06.76. 5, Sacramento State 7:14.85. 6, Loyola 7:16.60. 7, Southern Methodist 7:31.04.
Heat B -- 1, Washington 6:52.2. 2, Oregon State 6:56.09. 3, Texas 6:57.45. 4, Kansas State 7:14.86. 5, San Diego State 7:17.6. 6, San Diego 7:27.69. 7, UC Santa Barbara 7:40.97.
Heat C -- 1, California 6:51.19. 2, USC 6:57.89. 3, Notre Dame 7:08.99. 4, Clemson 7:15.21. 5, St. Joseph's 7:22.61. 6, UC Irvine 7:42.35.
Men's Freshman Eight
Heat A -- 1, California 6:03.41. 2, Washington 6:20.89. 3, Santa Clara 6:27.50. 4, UC Davis "B" 6:33.90. 5, UCLA 6:38.81. 6, St. Mary's 7:09.78. 7, Arizona State 7:29.02.
Heat B -- 1, Stanford 6:14.52. 2, USC 6:20.56. 3, Orange Coast College 6:21.00. 4, California "B" 6:25.37. 5, UC San Diego 6:27.49. 6, Sonoma State 7:04.79.
Heat C -- 1, Oregon State 6:20.3. 2, UC Davis 6:31.99. 3, Washington State 6:35.73. 4, UC Irvine 6:38.63. 5, Sacramento State 6:43.05. 6, UC Santa Barbara 6:59.79.
Women's Novice Eight
Heat A -- 1, Washington 7:01.56. 2, UCLA 7:19.20. 3, UC Davis 7:25.27. 4, USC 7:29.85. 5, San Diego State 7:32.12. 6, Sonoma State 7:57.89. 7, Chapman 8:07.05.
Heat B -- 1, Oregon State 7:13.3. 2, Washington State 7:14.65. 3, Texas 7:26.19. 4, UC Davis 7:37.60. 5, UC San Diego 7:44.48. 6, Santa Clara 7:47.10. 7, Arizona State 7:59.66.
Heat C -- 1, California 7:10.60. 2, Clemson 7:11.93. 3, Wisconsin 7:23.40. 4, UC Irvine 7:43.20. 5, Sacramento State 7:47.10. 6, UC Santa Barbara 7:48.03. 7, San Diego "B" 8:11.47.