July 1, 2012
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, United Kingdom - As coach Michael Callahan aptly summarized, "it was the perfect ending to a perfect season."
Washington's Class of 2015 put an exclamation point on what has been a year full of superlatives for the Huskies, winning the Temple Cup at Henley Royal Regatta by three lengths over Brown in the final.
Henley brings the best of the world to suburban London, and winning crews have to row five consecutive days - dual format - on a 2,112-meter course on the River Thames. The Huskies were up to the challenge, knocking off Manchester, Reading, Harvard, Harvard's lightweights and then Brown to win the second Temple Cup in program history.
UW finished the course in a sizzling time of 6:52, its fastest of the competition.
After the race, Callahan deflected praise to his assistant Luke McGee, who could not be in England because of coaching duties with the USA U-23 team. McGee has mentored and developed these student-athletes all season, and their success as a boat should only sustain Washington's high level of performance for years to come.
The breakaway move came on a call dedicated to McGee, and the Huskies doubled their lead at the halfway point after coxswain Lisa Caldwell suggested an "minute of power," an homage to McGee's training methods.
In the five years McGee has coached the Grunties, his teams have finished undefeated three separate times. Two of those seasons have finished with wins at Henley, furthering McGee's reputation as one of the best recruiters and developers of rowing talent in the nation.
Three of the members of the MF8+ had previous experience at Henley, which paid off over the course of the competition. The five days of racing is taxing on a team's fitness, and it was the Huskies who had the gas in reserves to outpace their opponents.
Huskies lineup: coxswain Lisa Caldwell, stroke - Alex Perkins, 7 - Henry Meek, 6 - Marcus Bowyer, 5 - Stephen Podwojski, 4 - Aleksander Malowany , 3 - Eric Ledbetter, 2 - Michael Evans, bow - Ian Drake