WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Windy conditions slowed times, but the Washington men's rowing program qualified all of its boats for grand finals with three wins and a second-place finish in semi-finals Saturday at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships on Lake Mercer.
All five Husky boats will race for national championships Sunday as the UW looks to win its fourth straight national title (in the men's varsity eight) and eighth consecutive Ten Eyck Trophy (for overall points). The Huskies won their five heats on Friday and then three of four semi-finals Saturday. The freshman eight advanced straight from its heat to the grand final.
"When you put five boats into the grand finals, I think that's a pretty good indication of where the program is," head coach Michael Callahan said afterwards. "We're a program that stresses that every guy matters and that every guy pulls on the same oar. I'm proud that everyone made the final."
The Huskies picked up semi-final victories in the second and third varsity eights, as well as the varsity four, while taking second in their varsity eight semi-final race.
Saturday's action began with a relatively easy win for the Huskies' V4+ boat. The UW led from the start, fought off an early challenge from Boston University and cruised to a win by several lengths with a time of 6:36.804. The UW will move to the grand final alongside BU, Wisconsin, Cal, Brown and Georgetown.
Washington's M3V8+ won its heat despite a challenge from Northeastern over the first 1,000 meters or so. In the end, the UW won the semi-final by about seven seats over the other Huskies. Both will advance to the grand final along with Boston University, Cal, Brown and Princeton.
The Huskies had a similar race in the M2V8+, as both Northeastern and Navy challenged Washington and led in the early-going. But before the halfway point of the 2,000-meter course, the UW surged to a lead that it maintained the rest of the way, crossing the finish line with a time of 6:06.490. The Dawgs will face Northeastern, Navy, Cal, Princeton and Brown in Sunday's second varsity 8 grand final.
Washington's final race of the day was the first of two varsity eight semis. Cal and Brown moved ahead of the Huskies at the start, but the Huskies overtook the Ivy Leaguers near the midway point. Cal, however, was able to hold off Washington to take first. With those three through to the grand final, along with Yale, Princeton and Harvard, the UW will get another shot Sunday.
Cal won the race with a time of 5:47.397. The Huskies, who'd beaten the Golden Bears in two other races this season, finished in 5:49.863. The UW's time was around 12 seconds off of its performance in Friday's heat.
"Today was pretty challenging for everybody," Callahan said. "The wind was blowing up and changing directions. It was variable and gusting. I think we expected it. Looking at the forecast, everyone expected this to be the windiest day."
Sunday's grand finals get underway with the V4+ race at 9:20 a.m. ET/6:20 a.m. PT. That's followed by the third varsity 8 at 10:50/7:50 a.m., the freshman 8 at 11:10/8:10 and the second varsity at 11:30/8:30 a.m.
The biggest race of the weekend, the varsity eights, is slated to start at 12:45 p.m. ET/9:45 a.m. PT.
Men's Varsity 8+
Semi-Final 1: 1, California, 5:47.397; 2, Washington, 5:49.863; 3, Brown, 5:53.127; 4, Northeastern, 5:55.225; 5, Navy, 5:58.154; 6, Columbia, 6:03.831.
UW Lineup: Cox - Stuart Sim; Stroke - Grega Domanjko; 7 - Sam Dommer; 6 - Finn Schroeder; 5 - Henry Meek; 4 - Julian Svoboda; 3 - Marcus Bowyer; 2 - Sam Dawson; Bow - Myles Neary.
Men's Second Varsity 8+
Semi-Final 2: 1, Washington, 6:06.490; 2, Northeastern, 6:09.377; 3, Navy, 6:10.022; 4, Boston University, 6:10.563; 5, Pennsylvania, 6:26.379; 6, Oregon State, 6:35.037.
UW Lineup: Cox - Lisa Caldwell; Stroke - Jacob Morton; 7 - Eric Ledbetter; 6 - Michael Evans; 5 - Sebastian Peter; 4 - Aleksander Malowany; 3 - Matthew Milner; 2 - Alexander Perkins; Bow - Michael Trebilcock.
Men's Third Varsity 8+
Semi-Final 2: 1, Washington, 6:01.452; 2, Northeastern, 6:03.616; 3, Boston University, 6:05.306; 4, Cornell, 6:07.284; 5, Yale, 6:10.138; 6, Pennsylvania, 6:18.199.
UW Lineup: Cox - Parker Ksidakis; Stroke - Jackson Parma; 7 - Michael Thornton; 6 - Edward Nainby-Luxmore; 5 - Sam Helms; 4 - Nicolas Cypro; 3 - Sean Raffetto; 2 - Will Lytle; Bow - Zachary Hershberger.
Men's Varsity 4+
Semi-Final 1: 1, Washington, 6:36.804; 2, Boston University, 6:45.304; 3, Wisconsin, 6:52.319; 4, MIT, 6:58.235; 5, Temple, 7:00.193; 6, Princeton, 7:11.049.
UW Lineup: Cox - Joshua Klein; Stroke - James Erving; 3 - Matthew Medalia; 2 - Evan Hargreaves; Bow - Harrison King.
Sunday Race Schedule:
9:20 a.m. ET/6:20 a.m. PT – V4+ Grand Final
10:50 a.m. ET/7:50 a.m. PT – 3V8+ Grand Final
11:10 a.m. ET/8:10 a.m. PT – F8+ Grand Final
11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT – 2V8+ Grand Final
12:45 p.m. ET/9:45 a.m. PT – V8+ Grand Final