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Huskies Three-Peat as National Champions
Release: 06/02/2013
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June 2, 2013

Washington 111th Annual IRA Championships
May 31- June 2nd | Lake Natoma - Gold River, Calif. | Live Streaming |
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2013 IRA Complete Results Get Acrobat Reader

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Gold River, Calif. – The Huskies made history on the final day of the IRA Championship Regatta at Lake Natoma, three-peating as national champions after a dominating performance at the 111th Annual IRA National Championships.

The No. 1 Huskies capped a perfect weekend by sweeping all five grand finals to win their third-consecutive and 16th overall National Championship. Washington also won its seventh-consecutive Ten Eyck Award, given to the team that earns the most overall points. The Huskies broke their own record in the IRA history books, with no team ever winning more than four Ten Eyck awards in a row until the Huskies made it five in 2011, six 2012, and now seven in 2013.

The last team to win three or more IRA Championships in a row was Washington’s Pac-12 rival California, who won four consecutive title from 1999-2002, but never swept all five finals as the Huskies have done the past two years.

The Huskies re-wrote the Washington record books, becoming the first team in Washington men’s rowing long and storied history to win three consecutive championship rings.

No team in any other collegiate sport has been as dominant as the Washington men have been during their championship stretch. Since head coach Michael Callahan took over the men’s program from women’s coach Bob Ernst, the program has won four national titles, finished second twice, never lost a Ten Eyck award and accomplished a feat no other program in collegiate rowing has ever accomplished—sweeping every IRA category at the finals. And they’ve done that twice now.

This year it was about making their own mark on Washington rowing history, and that’s exactly what they did. The pressure that comes with following two national championship teams could have easily rattled these Huskies, but they stayed composed and did what they knew they were capable of doing all along.

It may have looked like it came easy, but according to Callahan the season wasn’t without adversity.

“There have been hard moments,” said Callahan. “Sometimes from the outside it may not seem like that, but there are a lot hard days and a lot of hard workouts.”

Those tough moments paid off and these student-athletes executed when it mattered most.

The excitement built throughout the day as the Huskies took down each respective grand final one by one. As the wins poured in the pressure mounted. But varsity eight coxswain Seamus Labrum kept his boat in check by staying within the shell and sticking with the plan. The undefeated Huskies weren’t immune to the starting line nerves, however.

“I was definitely nervous,” said Labrum. “But once we got going we were just focused on our race and our boat. “

Washington’s top boat had a good start, but fell slightly behind early to Harvard in the first 500 meters, who exploded out of the blocks.

“Harvard got out ahead of us at first,” said Labrum. “But we knew what we needed to do and we stuck with the plan and pulled it out.”

By the 1000 meter mark Washington had taken control of the race and it was clear that nobody was going to be able to catch the determined Huskies. As it should be, Washington crossed the line with their fastest time of the season—5:39.68—to extend the varsity eight’s undefeated streak—now at three years. The Huskies haven’t lost since the 2010 IRA varsity eight final, a mind-boggling streak in any sport.

Callahan knew that crews would start strong and finish strong, so it was important that the team execute from start to finish.

“Harvard has a really strong start, but we knew they could go the distance,” Callahan said. “So it was two-prong to cover the guys who start fast and those that finish – so basically we had to have a complete race. I think the boat was really embracing it.”

Washington’s chances for a sweep were almost dashed earlier in the day during the varsity four grand final. The Huskies led for the first 1750 meters of the race, but in the final 250 meters, California made a push to steal the lead. With 15 strokes left it looked the Bears might pull off the upset, but varsity four coxswain and senior Ben Degang  made sure the Huskies bow ball was the first to cross the finish line. The win was a redemption race for this group, who suffered their only loss of the season to California on the same course just two short weeks ago. The margin of victory proves how close the race was, with only three hundredths of a second separating Washington and California. The Huskies crossed the finish line with a time of 6:26.49 and the Bears were right behind with a 6:26.79.

The Huskies showcased the depth in their program in the open four and freshmen eight grand finals. In both races Washington took control from the beginning and never relinquished the lead on the 2,000 meter course. The men’s open four finished with a time of 6:30.70, winning by almost two seconds over second-place Northeastern and third-place California.

The Huskies lose six seniors from the first boat, but the future for Washington continue to look bright as the freshmen dominated their grand final, winning by open water with a time of 5:52.77, which was five seconds faster than second-place Brown (5:57.73).

It was a perfect way to end the career of the seniors, who will remember this moment for the rest of their lives. Their place in the record books will never be forgotten.

Callahan’s explanation for the success his program is simple.

“We just embraced the hard work and the process,” Callahan said. “It’s kind of cliché, but it’s true. I think we have a lot of trust in what we do and the guys.” 

Official Results

111th Annual IRA Championship Regatta

Lake Natoma, Gold River, Calif.

June 2nd, 2013

Varsity 8+ Grand Final:

1) Washington 5:39.68 

Coxswain Seamus Labrum

Stroke Alexander Perkins

7 Henry Meek

6 Conlin McCabe

5 Mijo Rudelj

4 Marcus Bowyer 

3 Samuel Dommer

2 Ryan Schroeder

Bow Alexander Bunkers

2) Harvard 5:42.25

3) Brown 5:42.54

4) Northeastern 5:42.72

5) California 5:45.07

6) Princeton 5:49.55

Second Varsity 8+ Grand Final:

1) Washington 5:51.07

Coxswain Lisa Caldwell

Stroke Max Mannisto

7 Julian Svoboda

6 Myles Neary

5 Patrick Marre

4 Dusan Milovanovic

3 Aleksander Malowany

2 Austin Brooks

Bow Eric Ledbetter

2) Brown 5:54.16

3) California 5:54.78

4) Princeton 5:54.99

5) Boston 5:55.4

6) Northeastern 6:01.68

Freshmen 8+ Grand Final:

1) Washington 5:52.77

Coxswain Stuart Sim

Stroke Michael Trebilcock

7 James Erving

6 Jacob Dawson

5 Philip Walczak 

4 Samuel Helms

3 Samuel Lapage

2 Ezra Carlson

Bow Grega Domanjko

2) Brown 5:57.73

3) California 5:58.95

4) Cornell 5:59.51

5) Harvard 6:02.42

6) Pennsylvania 6:13.13

Varsity 4+ Grand Final:

1) Washington 6:26.49

Cox Ben Degang

Stroke Michael Evans

3 Mike Thorton

2 Jack Shepherd

Bow Will Lytle

2) California 6:26.79

3) Brown 6:32.7

4) Boston 6:33.83

5) Cornell 6:39.19

6) Wisconsin 6:40.12

Open 4+ Grand Final:

1) Washington 6:30.70

Cox Parker Ksidakis

Stroke James Erving

3 Stephen Podwojski

2 Cameron Grant

Bow Beddome Allen

2) Northeastern 6:32.01

3) California 6:35.94

4) Brown 6:38.76

5) Navy 6:47.67

6) Oregon State 6:49.11

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