Frosh 8, Pair Win Gold Medals at IRA Championships
June 2, 2001
Camden, New Jersey - The Washington men's rowing team captured a pair of gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the 2001 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on the Cooper River Saturday. The Huskies' freshman eight-man crew and the UW pair each won gold medals while the junior varsity brought home a silver medal and the varsity eight, in the premier race of the regatta, captured bronze.
The freshman eight earned Washington's first national title since 1997, a year that saw the Huskies sweep the frosh, JV and varsity eight grand finals. The victory marks the 11th time a Washington crew has captured the Steward's Cup, the freshman award that was first presented by the IRA in 1900.
The premier race, for the Varsity Challenge Cup that has been awarded since 1898, saw California win the gold medal for the third year in a row. Princeton was the early leader off the line but by 800 meters in, the Bears had a length up on the Huskies, who had pulled even with Princeton for second place. At 1,200 meters, Cal had open water on Washington, while the Huskies had two seats on Princeton and open water on the rest of the field. At 1,500 meters, it was still Cal, with the Princeton holding a two seat advantage over Washington.
The Bears covered the 2,000-meter race in a time of 5 minutes, 34.62 seconds. Eastern Sprints champion Princeton was a length back at 5:37.76 and the Huskies' varsity eight, a crew that had endured three challenging races en route to the grand final, followed at 5:39.46.
'We had a great day on the last day of the year,' said Husky head coach Bob Ernst. 'It was a really, really good day for the Huskies across the board. It started with the pair winning, then the freshmen, the junior varsity had the race of their lives and then the varsity ends it with their best race of the year. Everyone made it to the award stand. I'm very pleased with the performance of all our guys. The varsity had four really tough races this week. They came out fighting. Everybody rowed really well. It was perfect execution.'
The race for the Steward's Cup saw the Princeton freshmen lead through the first 1,000 meters with approximately three seats on Washington, while the Huskies had three seats on Pac-10 rival California. Princeton maintained a deck length lead and with 800 meters to go, the Huskies started moving. The crew put open water on Cal and pulled even with Princeton and then made it's move to take the lead for good. The Huskies posted a winning time of 5:46.15, while the Tigers and Cal had a narrow finish right behind, with Princeton at 5:48.51 and the Bears at 5:48.98.
'It was an awesome race,' said Husky freshman coach Fred Honebein. 'They really took it to them. It was a dog fight through the first 1,400 meters and then our guys started pulling away. They did what they had to do to win. I'm so happy for them.'
Washington's second varsity (junior varsity) won a silver medal in the Kennedy Challenge Cup, its second silver in the last three years. It was yet another dual between Pac-10 rival California and the Huskies, with the Bears winning the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two crews. Washington, Wisconsin, California and Princeton were the early leaders off the line. At 500 meters, California had a seat on the Badgers, who had two seats over an even Washington and Brown. At 1,400 meters, the Huskies made up a quarter length lead by Wisconsin and pulled even with Brown before sprinting to the finish line. Cal posted the winning time of 5:40.09, with the Huskies two seconds back at 5:42.18 and Wisconsin in third at 5:44.33.
The duo of Jeff Jorgensen and Andy Altman collected Washington's first medal in the pair without coxswain event by posting a large open water victory. The pair, who earlier in the week set a course record, finished in 6:59.51. The next closest boat was Cornell at 7:07.82.
Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta Men's National Championships
Cooper River (2,000 meters), Camden, NJ
(light, variable winds, little bit of tail wind at times)
Grand Final Results - Saturday, June 2, 2001
Varsity Eight Grand Final1 California 5:34.622 Princeton 5:37.763 Washington 5:39.464 Cornell 5:43.935 Brown 5:45.206 Northeastern 5:50.22
Second Varsity Eight Grand Final1 California 5:40.092 Washington 5:42.183 Wisconsin 5:44.334 Brown 5:45.985 Cornell 5:50.656 Princeton 5:54.18
Freshmen Eight Grand Final1 Washington 5:46.152 Princeton 5:48.513 California 5:48.984 Brown 5:56.465 Wisconsin 5:59.496 Northeastern 6:06:15UW lineup: cox - Chris O'Brien, stroke - Ian Harrison, 7 - Ian Sawyer, 6 - Andy Derrick, 5 - Marko Petrovic, 4 - John Kenfield, 3 - Sam Burns, 2 - Nick Beles, bow - Seth Berling.
Varsity Pair w/o CoxGrand Final1 Washington 6:59.512 Cornell 7:07.823 Wisconsin 7:12.844 Cornell 'A' 7:18.055 Brown 7:23.066 Rutgers 7:25.35
UW lineup: Jeff Jorgensen, Andy Altman