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Men's Crew Competes at IRA Regatta This Weekend
Release: 05/30/2001
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May 30, 2001

This Week: The Washington men's rowing team travels to Camden, New Jersey for the 99th Annual National Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships held on the Cooper River May 31 - June 2. The Huskies are competing in the first varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight races. Racing begins Thursday morning, followed by semi-finals on Friday and grand finals Saturday.

The I varsity eight competes for the Varsity Challenge Cup, the silver cup first presented in 1898. Washington has won the cup 11 times, dating back to 1923, and most recently in 1997. The junior varsity competes for the Kennedy Challenge Cup, originally presented in 1899. The Huskies have won the cup 10 times, most recently in 1997. The freshman men race for the Steward's Cup, begun in 1900. Washington won the cup in 1997, completing a Husky sweep of all three premier races. It was the 10th Steward Cup victory for UW and the first since 1969. Prior to the sweep in 1997, it was 50 years ago that Washington last swept all three races.

The sixth-ranked Huskies expect to contend with top-ranked and two-time defending champion California, as well as Eastern Sprints champion Princeton, whom Washington will meet in its first heat of the regatta. No. 4 Northeastern, which finished third at the Eastern Sprints, and No. 5 Brown and No. 7 Penn round out the top competition. Harvard and Yale, ranked third and eighth, respectively, are not competing at the IRA Regatta.

IRA Regatta History: The Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta is the oldest collegiate rowing championship in the country, and remains the premier event for national rowing honors for college men. The first IRA Regatta, on June 24, 1895, was a four-miler between Columbia, the winner, Cornell and Pennsylvania.

In 1923, Washington, coached by Rusty Callow, became the first Western school to win the IRA, followed by another victory in 1926. When Callow left Seattle to coach at Pennsylvania, he was succeeded by his assistant Al Ulbrickson, who continued the Husky winning ways with six IRA titles in 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941 and 1950. His freshman, jayvee and varsity crews "swept the river" in '36, '37, '48 and '49. Current Husky head coach Bob Ernst led his Washington team to a modern-day sweep in 1997, when UW crews won all three races on the Cooper River, site of the 2001 Championships.

A Look Back at 2000: Washington's varsity eight was left off the medal stand for the first time since 1994 as it finished fourth in the Varsity Challenge Cup grand final at the 2000 IRA Championships. California won the gold medal for the second year in a row while Brown was second and Princeton third. The second varsity (junior varsity) earned a bronze medal in the Kennedy challenge Cup and the freshman eight won a silver medal in the Steward's Cup. The varsity four placed fifth in its race.

Been There, Done That: Washington's varsity eight six seat, Dave Calder (Victoria, B.C.) is the lone Husky on the squad to have won a national championship during his collegiate career. Calder was a part of Washington's freshman eight that won a gold medal in 1997. That was the year that the Huskies swept al three races at the IRA Championships.

IRA Racing Format: Competition at the IRA Regatta consists of heats, repechage (second chance), semifinals, and finals. The repechage race assures that the three fastest crews advance to the semifinal round. The winners of each four heats advance to the semi-final round while the remaining crews are reassigned to repechage races. The top two finishers in each repechage also advance to the semi-finals, rounding out the 12 crew field. The top three crews in each semi-final make up the six boats in the grand final. The varsity and freshman eights qualify for the final under this system. Because of the number of entrants in the second varsity (junior varsity) event, the semi-final round is not needed. Winners of the three heats advance directly to the final and are joined by the winners of each of three repechage heats.

Washington Note: The Washington women's rowing team captured its third NCAA Championship last week in Gainesville, Ga. The Huskies won gold medals in the varsity four and the varsity eight, along with a silver medal in the second varsity, to claim its third team national championship.

A Glance at the 2001 Huskies

Men's Varsity Eight
The Huskies have a different this week at the IRA Championships. New this week in the coxswain spot is sophomore Ryan Marks, who took over the reigns from senior Tim Lewis. Marks directed the UW frosh to a silver medal at the 2000 IRA. Three men from last year's varsity eight that finished fourth at the 20001 IRA: (Matt Deakin, Peter Dembicki, Hans Hurn) ... a pair of sophomores, Morgan West (7) and John Lorton (4) are new in the varsity eight this year while senior team captain Dave Calder returns from an Olympic run with Canada ... rounding out the crew are Jon Burns (bow), who moves into the varsity eight for the first time after stroking the varsity four last year and stroke Lucas Ahlstrand, who moves up from the junior varsity eight that won a bronze medal last year.

What They've Done So Far: The men's varsity eight opened with a home dual win over Oregon State before traveling to San Diego for the traditional season-opener ... the Huskies finished second in the Copley Cup grand final, behind defending national champion California ... a cross country trip to Wisconsin saw the Huskies tested by a strong Wisconsin crew that had placed fourth behind UW in San Diego ... it was the Huskies' race in Madison as they edged the Badgers 5:57.5 to 5:57.6 on Lake Mendota ... following that it was the annual dual with Cal, just last weekend, where the Bears bested the Huskies on their home course in Seattle ... Washington finished third, behind the Croatian Olympic Team and the University of Victoria in the Windermere Cup May 5 ... the Pac-10 Championships saw the Huskies

A Look at the Leader: Bob Ernst enters his 26th season of coaching at Washington and his 14th year as head coach of the men's team ... Ernst is the only coach in the country to lead both men's and women's crews to national titles ... he is joined by freshman coach Fred Honebein, who directed his crew to a silver medal at the IRA Championships last year ... former Husky rower Mike Callahan joins the men's staff as the varsity intern this season while Steve Todd and Rob Lorenz return for another year.

99th Annual National
Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
May 31- June 2, 2001
Cooper River (2,000 meters), Camden, NJ

Thursday, May 31, 2001 - Trial Heats
Men's Varsity Eights (Winner of each heat to semi-finals Friday, all others to repechage heats) All times Eastern Standard.
7:36 a.m. Heat 1: Columbia, Navy, California, Wisconsin, Virginia, Rutgers
7:48 a.m. Heat 2: Temple, Oregon State, Cornell, Brown, Boston U., Georgetown
8:00 a.m. Heat 3: Michigan, Dowling, Princeton, WASHINGTON, Syracuse, Stanford
8:12 a.m. Heat 4: MIT, Marist, Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, UC Davis

Men's Freshman Eights (Winner of each heat to semi-finals Friday, all others to repechage heats)
8:24 a.m. Heat 1: Marist, Columbia, Brown, Rutgers, Cornell
8:36 a.m. Heat 2: Georgetown, Drexel, WASHINGTON, Navy, Syracuse
8:48 a.m. Heat 3: Boston U., Marietta, Wisconsin, California, Pennsylvania
9:00 a.m. Heat 4: Oregon State, Dartmouth, Northeastern, Princeton, Michigan

Men's Second Varsity Eights (Winner of each directly to grand final Saturday, all others to repechage heats Saturday)
10:12 a.m. Heat 1: Navy, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, WASHINGTON, Dartmouth, Colgate
10:24 a.m. Heat 2: Yale, Michigan, Brown, Princeton, Oregon State
10:36 a.m. Heat 3: Syracuse, Virginia, California, Northeastern, Cornell, Boston U.

Repechage Heats Thursday Afternoon
3:48 - 4:24 p.m. Men's Freshman Eights
4:36 - 5:12 p.m. Men's Varsity 4-oared with coxswain
5:24 - 6:00 p.m. Men's Varsity Eights

Friday, June 1, 2001
Repechage Heats
11:00 Men's Second Varsity Eights
Semifinal Heats
2:48 - 3:24 Men's Freshman Eights
4:24 - 5:00 Men's Varsity Eights

Saturday, June 2, 2001
3rd and 4th Level, Petite, and Championship Finals
1:00 - 1:15 PM Men's Freshman Eights Petite and Championship
1:30 - 1:45 Men's Second Varsity Eights Petite and Championship
3:15 - 4:00 Men's Varsity Eights 4th Level, 3rd Level, Petite, and Championship

Washington Lineups at the IRA Championships

Men's Varsity Eight
Cox- Ryan Marks (So., Dartmouth, Mass.)
Stroke- Lucas Ahlstrand (Jr., Oakland, Calif.)
7- Morgan West (So., Oakland, Calif.)
6- Dave Calder (Sr., Victoria, B.C.)
5- Peter Dembicki (Jr., Mill Bay, B.C.)
4- John Lorton (So., Seattle, Wash.)
3- Matt Deakin (Jr., San Francisco, Calif.)
2- Hans Hurn (Sr., Redmond, Wash.)
Bow- Jon Burns (Jr., Vancouver, Wash.)

Men's Junior Varsity Eight
Cox: Tim Lewis (Sr., Buffalo, NY)
Stroke: Charles Minett (So., Stratford, Ontario)
7 - Brendan Patterson (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.)
6 - Chris Clay (Sr., Woodbridge, Va.)
5 - Matt Farrer (Jr., Savannah, Ga.)
4 - Chris Hawkins (Jr., Seattle, Wash.)
3 - Patrick Stewart (Jr., Bellevue, Wash.)
2 - Gavin Grant (So., Canton, Mass.)
bow - Kevin Smythe (So., Homestead, Fla.)

Men's Freshman Eight
Cox - Chris O'Brien (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio)
Stroke - Ian Harrison (Fr., Victoria, B.C.)
7- Ian Sawyer (Fr., Tiburon, Calif.)
6 - Andy Derrick (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio)
5 - Marko Petrovic (Fr., Joplin, Mo.)
4 - John Kenfield (Fr., Visalia, Calif.)
3 - Sam Burns (Fr., Seattle, Wash.)
2 - Nick Beles (Fr., Olympia, Wash.)
bow - Seth Berling (Fr., Belvedere, Calif.)

Coaching Staff
Head coach: Bob Ernst (UC Irvine '67), 14th year as head men's coach, 26th year at Washington
Freshman coach: Fred Honebein (California '91), third year at Washington
Men's varsity intern: Michael Callahan (Washington '96), first year
Men's varsity intern: Rob Lorenz (Washington '93), second year
Men's freshman intern: Steve Todd (Washington '99) second year

Washington Crew
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