NCAA Women's Championships on Deck for UW Rowers

May 23, 2005

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Washington Crew at NCAA Rowing Championships

8:00 a.m. / Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif.

It's championship week for the Washington women's rowing team. The Huskies compete Friday through Sunday, May 27-29 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. at the ninth-annual NCAA Women's Rowing Championships. Pacific-10 Conference runner-up Washington is aiming for its fourth NCAA team title, the first since 2001. The Huskies are the No. 2 seed from the West Region that also supplied the championship regatta with California and USC. Each of the 12 schools vying for the team title is required to enter one crew in three events; the varsity eight, junior varsity eight and varsity four competitions. The NCAA team champion is determined by combining the results from the three events. In addition, four schools received at-large berths to enter boats in the varsity eight event.

NCAA Field
The NCAA field has 11 of the same schools from last year's championships. The only new entry for 2005 is USC which takes the spot occupied last year by Washington State. Along with the three Pac-10 schools sending full teams to the championships, Stanford and UCLA received two of the four at-large varsity eight entries. The complete field of schools vying for the team championship is comprised of Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Virginia, USC, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale. The four at-large eights are Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee and UCLA.

Quoting Coach Eleanor McElvaine
'We're really excited to have another two weeks in our season. We're looking forward to using those two weeks to get faster. It was really competitive out here in the West, so we're excited to be in the bunch. The pressure of the NCAAs can be overwhelming if you haven't experienced it before, so we're really excited to have so many returners. A lot of the experienced gals we are taking are pretty young.'

Live results from the NCAA Rowing Championships are available at the following web address: A daily recap will be available each afternoon at the official Husky website:

NCAA Regatta History
In 2004, Brown won its fourth national championship in six years. The Bears, who also captured team championships in 1999, 2000 and 2002, edged ahead of Washington for the most team titles. The Huskies won three NCAA rowing championships, in 1997, 1998 and 2001. The Huskies placed third in the team standings in 2003 and fifth in 2004. Washington is one of only four schools to receive invitations to all nine championships since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997. The Huskies are joined in that elite group by Brown, Princeton and Virginia.

The Washington Entries
> Women's Varsity Eight
-- Ranked No. 13 ... Fourth-place at Pac-10 championships ... Won petite final at 2004 NCAAs, placing seventh overall ... Won four of the previous eight NCAA races with back-to-back titles in 2001-01 and 1997-98.

> Women's Junior Varsity Eight -- Third-place at Pac-10 regatta ... Placed sixth at last year's NCAA Championships ... Finished first or second four straight years from 2000-03 ... Won UW's only NCAA second varsity eight championship in 2002.

> Women's Varsity Four -- Pac-10 runner-up ... Registered second-place NCAA finish in 2004 ... Won three consecutive NCAA championships from 1999-2001.

Shellhouse Grand Opening
Coinciding with the May 7 Windermere Cup celebration was the grand re-opening of the University of Washington's Conibear Shellhouse, which underwent a complete renovation. Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the shellhouse has served as the home for Husky Crew since it was originally constructed in 1949. The facility also houses UW's academic services and features an expanded dining facility with spectacular views of the water. Every area in the building was remodeled and updated, increasing space by 75 percent to 47,250 square feet. Nearly 20,000 square feet are dedicated to the rowing program with new team ergometer training rooms, locker rooms, improved offices and an additional shell storage bay. The architectural design features open, roomy spaces, with high glassed walls, natural lighting, and a larger balcony facing picturesque Lake Washington.

2005 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships Schedule
(All times Pacific)

Friday, May 27
8:00 a.m.-- Varsity Eight (heat 1)
8:15 a.m. -- Varsity Eight (heat 2)
8:30 a.m. -- Varsity Eight (heat 3)
10:00 a.m. -- Junior Varsity Eight (heat 1)
10:15 a.m. -- Junior Varsity Eight (heat 2)
11:00 a.m. -- Varsity Four (heat 1)
11:15 a.m. -- Varsity Four (heat 2)
4:00 p.m. -- Varsity Eight (repechage)

Saturday, May 28
9:30 a.m. -- Varsity Four (repechage)
10:00 a.m. -- Junior Varsity Eight (repechage)
10:30 a.m. -- Varsity Eight (semifinal 1)
10:45 a.m. -- Varsity Eight (semifinal 2)
11:00 a.m. -- Varsity Eight third final (places 13-16)

Sunday, May 29
10:30 a.m. -- Varsity Four (petite final)
10:45 a.m. -- Varsity Four (grand final)
11:00 a.m. -- Junior Varsity Eight (petite final)
11:15 a.m. -- Junior Varsity Eight (grand final)
11:45 a.m. -- Varsity Eight (petite final)
12:00 p.m. -- Varsity Eight (grand final)

Familiar Waters
The Huskies are familiar with the Lake Natoma venue which annually hosts the Pac-10 Championships. On May 15, the varsity four crew was the conference runner-up, helping Washington place second to California in the team standings.

• Washington won three of the eight championships since the NCAA began hosting women's rowing in 1997 (1997, 1998, 2001).

• The Huskies placed among the top-five in the team standings at all eight NCAA Championships. They medaled every year between 1997 and 2003.

• UW is one of just three teams to receive invitations to all nine NCAA women's rowing championships.

• The Washington women won at least one of the three event national championships in six of the previous eight NCAA regattas. The Huskies won multiple national titles at the 2001 and 2002 NCAA women's championships. They won the varsity eight and second varsity eight titles in 2002 and the varsity eight and varsity four events in 2001.

Pac-10 Championships Recap
Washington tallied 56 points to finish as the runner-up for the second straight season in the women's team standings at the Pac-10 Championships, May 15 on Lake Natoma. California tallied 67 points to win the overall title. USC finished with a 53-point third-place total followed by UCLA (49), Stanford (43), Washington State (38), Oregon State (33) and Oregon (4). The lone winning entry for the UW women was the novice eight crew. The first-year Huskies went wire-to-wire, gradually increasing their margin throughout the entire race. UW finished in 6:38.0, leaving open water before second-place Cal finished in 6:42.2. The second-ranked Cal varsity eight won the women's featured race by two lengths over Stanford. The Bears finished in 6:20.6, followed by the Cardinal in 6:26.1 and USC in 6:26.3. The 12th-ranked Huskies finished with a fourth-place time of 6:31.0. The Bears also won the women's junior varsity race, with a time of 6:34.5. UCLA was second in 6:37.1 and the Huskies placed third in 6:40.6. USC was a surprising victor in the women's varsity four race. The Trojans were running fourth after the opening 500 meters, but passed the field by the midway point and won going away. USC's finished with a first-place time of 7:12.9 followed by early leader Washington in 7:17.0.

Experienced Huskies
The Huskies return 17 of 23 athletes from the squad that finished fifth at last year's NCAA Championships. Many are competing in different boats, leaving seniors Sanda Hangan and Michael Kohan along with junior Allison DePalma and sophomore Kara Farquharson as the only holdovers still rowing in UW's top crew. The Huskies' varsity eight, which placed seventh at the 2004 NCAAs, is currently ranked 13th.

Varsity Eight -- Results at NCAA Championships
cox - Dana Ryan -- 2003 JV-8 silver
stroke - Courtney Plitt -- 2004 JV-8 6th
7 - Kara Farquharson -- 2004 V-8 7th
6 - Sanda Hangan -- 2002 2V-8 gold, 2003 JV-8 silver, 2004 V-8 7th
5 - Allison DePalma -- 2004 V-8 7th
4 - Megan Kalmoe -- 2004 JV-8 6th
3 - Janelle Dubbins -- first NCAA appearance (spare in 2004)
2 - Michael Kohan -- 2003 JV-8 silver, 2004 V-8 7th
bow - Marah Connole -- 2004 JV-8 6th

Junior Varsity Eight -- Results at NCAA Championships
cox - Eva Anderson -- 2004 V-4 silver
stroke - Olivia Morrow -- 2004 JV-8 6th
7 - Liz Simenstad -- 2004 JV-8 6th
6 - Sarah Hubbard -- 2004 V-8 7th
5 - Asiha Grigsby -- first NCAA appearance
4 - Alina Tabacaru -- 2003 JV-8 silver, 2004 V-4 2nd
3 - Gemma Edward-Aron -- 2003 JV-8 silver, 2004 V-8 7th
2 - Andrea Sooter -- 2004 JV-8 6th
bow - Amanda Jensen -- 2003 JV-8 silver, 2004 JV-8 6th

Varsity Four -- Results at NCAA Championships
cox - Katie Peyer -- 2004 JV-8 6th
stroke - Katie Anderson -- first NCAA appearance
3 - Katherine Ramos -- 2003 V-4 7th, 2004 V-4 2nd
2 - Erin Lee -- first NCAA appearance
bow - Katie Gardner -- first NCAA appearance

Ashley Jones -- first NCAA appearance
Jamie Unwin -- first NCAA appearance

Nifty Newcomers
The future looks bright for the Washington women's program that fields a talented group of first-year rowers that won the Pac-10 novice eight championship on May 15. The Huskies won the race for first-year rowers by open water over second-place California. Along with that, six sophomores are competing in the top two Husky crews at the NCAA Championships.

About the UW Women
The Washington women's varsity eight dropped one spot to 13th in this week's national coaches poll. The Huskies return four rowers from their top boat that won the petite final at the 2004 NCAA Championships, placing seventh overall. The repeat rowers from UW's 2004 varsity eight crew include seniors Sanda Hangan (Orsova, Romania), and Michael Kohan (Juneau, Ak.) along with junior Allison DePalma (San Jose, Calif.) and sophomore Kara Farqharson (Mississauga, Ontario). In addition, two members of last year's varsity eight will row in the junior varsity boat; Gemma Edward-Aron (San Anselmo, Calif.) and Sarah Hubbard (Adelaide, Australia). Washington also returns junior coxswain Eva Anderson (Seattle, Wash./Shorecrest HS) and junior stroke Alina Tabacaru (Bacau, Romania) from the Huskies' silver medal varsity four crew. They both will compete with the junior varsity crew at this year's NCAAs. Eight members of the 2004 sixth-place junior varsity eight will return to the NCAA Championships scattered throughout the three UW entries. Washington was the Pac-10 runner-up in the team standings during each of the last two years.

The Women's Staff
Eleanor McElvaine is in her second year as the women's head coach after serving 13 seasons as an assistant coach. The entire women's staff returns, including second-year assistants Sean Mulligan, who is the assistant varsity coach, and Erica Schwab, the novice women's coach. All staff members are former UW crew competitors, including varsity intern Mary Whipple and novice intern Ilia Ash. Whipple was the coxswain for the silver-medal winning U.S. women's eight at the 2004 Olympics.

Pre-NCAA Champions
Long before rowing became an NCAA Championship-sanctioned event, the Huskies were a fixture at the collegiate championships and collected several national titles. The first women's collegiate championship was contested in 1980 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Washington won its first varsity eight title in 1981, the first of an unprecedented five straight varsity titles. They won back-to-back varsity gold medals in 1987 and 1988 before earning the first NCAA title in 1997. The Huskies made a clean sweep of the varsity and junior varsity eight and varsity four in 1987.Here's a look at the national titles won by Washington crews, including championships won before the first NCAA regatta in 1997:
Varsity Eight - 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002
Junior Varsity Eight - 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1994, 2002
Varsity Four - 1987, 1999, 2000, 2001

Alaskan Athletes
The 49th state is not traditionally viewed as a hotbed of rowing recruiting. And yet, the Washington women's roster includes two senior rowers from Alaska. Both of them are expected to row in the Huskies' top boat. Janelle Dubbins, from Anchorage (Robert Service HS), rows in the No. 3 seat of the varsity eight crew. She is making her NCAA regatta debut after serving as a spare at the 2004 NCAA regatta. Michael Kohan, from Juneau (Douglas HS), rows in the No. 2 seat. Kohan earned a silver medal with the junior varsity crew in 2003 and was a member of the seventh-place varsity eight in 2004.

2004 NCAA Recap
Washington's varsity four crew collected the silver medal and the varsity eight was victorious in the petite final May 30, leading the Huskies to a fifth-place finish in the team standings at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma. The UW varsity four dueled Virginia throughout the entire 2,000-meter course before finishing one length back. The third Husky entry finished sixth in the junior varsity eight grand final. Brown won the varsity and junior varsity eight races en route to its fourth team title. The Bears broke a deadlock with Washington that was tied for the all-time NCAA lead with three team championships entering the 2004 regatta. The Huskies took home the team trophy in 1997, 1998 and 2001 while Brown previously topped the team standings in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Brown amassed 70 points to easily claim the team championship. Yale was second with 58 points followed by Michigan in third with 52, California in fourth with 51 and Washington in fifth with 43. Princeton finished sixth (36 points) followed by Virginia (36), Ohio State (33), Washington State (28), Harvard (24), Wisconsin (19) and Michigan State (18). Washington's best result came in the varsity four grand final. After opening an early lead, UW was overtaken by Virginia and Brown. The Huskies breezed past Brown at the 500-meter mark and broke away from the field along with Virginia. The Cavaliers sustained a swift pace and never let UW close the gap, finishing with a winning time of 7:27.5. The Huskies finished in 7:30.8 followed by third-place Brown in 7:32.2. The Huskies narrowly missed qualifying for the varsity eight grand final during Saturday's semifinals, placing one seat behind third-place Princeton. They took their frustration out on the petite finalists. Washington went wire-to-wire to win the petite final, placing seventh overall. The Huskies stormed off the starting line and held off the hard-charging second- and third-place boats that finished with their bow balls even to the Huskies' deck. UW clocked a winning time of 6:37.8 followed by Harvard in second at 6:38.4 and Virginia third in 6:38.6. The Husky jayvees advanced to the grand final with a first-place performance in Friday's heat race. In Sunday's championship race they jumped out to an early lead that was relinquished at the 500-meter mark. The other crews gradually passed UW, including Yale that moved into fifth place at the finish line. Brown won the second varsity competition with a time of 6:44.1 followed by California in 6:46.8, Washington State in 6:47.0, Michigan in 6:47.2, Yale in 6:50.4 and Washington in 6:50.41.

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