UW Freshman Eight and Open Four Crews Win National Championships

June 3, 2006

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - The Washington freshman eight crew won the gold medal Saturday and the Huskies captured their fifth consecutive national championship in four-oared competition during the final day of the men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships on the Cooper River.

The two event titles equaled the take from each of the last two seasons as the most for the Huskies' fleet of crews since 1997 when they swept top IRA honors in three events. The two victorious boats continued a streak that has seen at least one Washington crew win a national title during each of the last six years.

The seventh-seeded Huskies finished fifth in the varsity eight grand final that was won by Pac-10 champion California with a time of 5-minutes, 37.71-seconds. Princeton clocked a second-place time of 5:39.66 in the featured race and Brown was third in 5:40.92.

Harvard, the winner of the last three IRA titles, edged UW for fourth place. The Crimson's time of 5:41.96 was less than half a second faster than the Huskies' 5:42.44. Yale finished sixth in 5:42.84.

Washington had its two-year run as second varsity eight champion stopped when Harvard took control with a strong move midway through the 2,000-meter race. UW and Yale set the pace early, but were overtaken by the Crimson crew that cruised to a near boat-length win.

The winning time was 5:44.11 and Yale was second in 5:47.79. Wisconsin had a third-place time of 5:52.21, passing the Huskies in the final 10 strokes. UW posted a time of 5:54.21 followed by fifth-place Northeastern in 5:57.67 and Brown in 5:58.92.

Despite having only four crews compete, Washington placed third in the overall team standings with 193 points. California took home the Ten Eyck Trophy after topping the team standings with 196 points. Harvard, which won the last three team titles, was second with 195 points. Princeton had a fourth-place total of 169.

The Huskies' third-place showing is impressive as they entered a crew in only half of the eight events in which points are tabulated. They last won the overall team title in 1970.

UW's first-year rowers, who finished third at last year's IRA regatta, halted California's run of dominance in the freshman eights. The Golden Bears were undefeated in the last three seasons. They won the 2004 and 2005 freshman titles and had a perfect record in races this season.

Saturday marked the third meeting this year between the West Coast rivals' first-year crews. The Bears defeated UW by over four seconds, April 22 in their dual meet. That margin was trimmed to two-tenths of a second, May 14 at the conference regatta.

Washington won when it mattered most, taking home the Stewards Cup for the first time since winning back-to-back freshman championships in 2001 and 2002. The Huskies broke quickly off the starting line and went wire-to-wire. They made a decisive move 650 meters into the race to gain freedom from the field. Cal followed, but never seriously threatened UW's lead.

The winning time of 5:38.80 gave the Huskies a three-seat triumph over Cal, which finished in 5:39.98. Penn placed a distant third in 5:44.37.

UW sustained its success in the smaller boats, striking gold in a four-oared event for the fifth straight season. Washington won the varsity four championship at the 2003 and 2004 IRA regattas and the open four in 2002 and 2005. This year's UW four competed in the open race in which guidelines stipulate that each crew must contain at least one freshman rower.

An impressive start gave the Huskies a lead they would never relinquish. As they broke from the pack, Cal tried to keep in contact. The Bears pursued all the way to the finish line, finishing with open water between their boat and the champion Huskies. UW's first-place time was 6:26.95, followed by Cal in 6:29.58 and Wisconsin in 6:36.06.

Washington and Harvard were the only two schools to advance a crew into grand finals for each of the three major eight-oared events: the varsity, second varsity and freshman races. The Huskies were the last team to 'sweep the river' in those events, winning all three races in 1997. That was UW's fifth all-time sweep as the rare feat was also accomplished in 1936, 1937, 1948 and 1950.

(Following are the agate results from Saturday's grand finals at the IRA championships. A more complete recap, including quotes, will be available on this page later this afternoon.)

2006 Men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
(all races were 2,000 meters)

1, California 196
2, Harvard 195
3, Washington 193
4, Princeton 169


Varsity Eights
1, California 5:37.71
2, Princeton 5:39.66
3, Brown 5:40.92
4, Harvard 5:41.96
5, Washington 5:42.44
6, Yale 5:42.84

     UW lineup: cox-Micah Perrin, stroke-Toby Dankbaar, 7-Tad McCrea, 6-Ante Kusurin, 5-Rob Gibson, 4-Aljosa Corovic, 3-Colin Phillips, 2-Kiel Petersen, bow-Steve Full.

Second Varsity Eights
1, Harvard 5:44.11
2, Yale 5:47.79
3, Wisconsin 5:52.21
4, Washington 5:54.21
5, Northeastern 5:57.67
6, Brown 5:58.92

     UW lineup: cox-Adrian Andrews, stroke-Drew Fowler, 7-Scott Schmidt, 6-Adam Van Winkle, 5-David Edward-Aron, 4-Andrew Beaton, 3-Derek DeVries, 2-Tyler Smith, bow-Craig Tyler.

Freshman Eights
1, Washington 5:38.80
2, California 5:39.98
3, Penn 5:44.37
4, Princeton 5:47.49
5, Harvard 5:47.52
6, Wisconsin 5:51.11

     UW lineup: cox-Katelin Snyder, stroke-Will Crothers, 7-Mike Flight, 6-Jessiah Johnson, 5-Max Lang, 4-Bart-Jan Caron, 3-Trevor Mollenkopf, 2-Asa Bergdahl, bow-Lowell Neal.

Open Fours
1, Washington 6:26.95
2, California 6:29.58
3, Wisconsin 'A' 6:36.06
4, Princeton 6:41.64
5, Wisconsin 'B' 6:45.27
6, Yale 6:46.28

     UW lineup: cox-Patrick Kavanagh, stroke-Peter Carlson, 3-Alan Oriard, 2-Dustin Kraus, bow-Ricky Bargreen.

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