Husky Rowers Head to San Diego

April 3, 2001

Seattle - This Week: The Washington men's and women's varsity, junior varsity, freshman and novice eight crews travel to Southern California for the 28th annual San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay, April 7-8. Competition begins at 7 a.m. each day with the grand finals set for 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. All races are 2,000-meters in length and begin at Sea World Park in Fiesta Bay and finish at Crown Point Shores.

Washington will also host the Husky Invitational April 7 on the Montlake Cut. Racing begins at 7 a.m. and includes several UW crews along with area colleges, clubs and universities.

The Schedule: Here is a look at Washington's schedule at the Crew Classic this weekend:
Saturday, April 7 - Preliminary rounds
8:10 a.m. Heat 3 - Copley Cup (men's varsity eight)
8:20 a.m. Heat 1 - Jessop Whittier Cup (women's varsity eight)
9:15 a.m. Heat 2 - Men's Freshman Eight
10:00 a.m. Heat 2 - Women's Junior Varsity Eight
10:30 a.m. Heat 2 - Men's Junior Varsity Eight
11:10 a.m. Heat 2 - Women's Novice Eight

Sunday, April 8 - Grand Finals
10:50 a.m. Women's Novice Eight
11:00 a.m. Men's Freshman Eight
11:10 a.m. Women's Junior Varsity Eight
11:30 a.m. Men's Junior Varsity Eight
2:00 p.m. Whittier Cup Grand Final (women's varsity eight)
2:20 p.m. Copley Cup Grand Final (men's varsity eight)

About the Crew Classic: The San Diego Crew Classic is the first major regatta of the collegiate rowing season. Over 3,000 athletes from more than 100 clubs, universities and colleges from across the United States, Canada and Europe are entered in more than 80 races over two days. For two heat events, the top three finishers will progress to the Grand Final and the next three will progress to the Petite Final. For three event heats, the top two finishers will advance to the Grand Final and the next two will go to the Petite Final.

Defending Champions: Four of the six Husky crews traveling to San Diego enter the regatta as defending champions in their events. On the men's side, the junior varsity eight won a gold medal last season. The freshman men's eight enters as two-time defending champions.

On the women's side, Washington puts a nine-year win streak on the line in the Whittier Cup varsity eight race. The Huskies have won every race since 1992 and 15 gold medals overall, since competition began in 1978. The novice eight carries a three-year win streak entering the regatta this year. The junior varsity had a string of eight straight victories snapped by Virginia last year.

Washington at the Crew Classic: The Huskies have been a dominant force at the Crew Classic since its inception in 1973. On the men's side, Washington has won the Copley Cup (varsity 8) 13 times. Husky junior varsity crews have captured 14 grand final victories. The freshmen men have claimed 13 gold medals, and enter as two-time defending titlists, having won the race in 1999 and 2000.

On the women's side, Washington's varsity eight owns a commanding hold on the Whittier Cup, having won the last nine in a row and 15 overall, since women's racing began in 1978. The junior varsity has been just as dominant, winning eight of the last nine grand finals and 15 total. The novice women have three in a row and eight total since racing began in 1989.

The Washington women's team is coming off a silver medal team performance at the NCAA Championships last season ... the varsity eight, ranked No. 1 in the country through the regular season, won a silver medal in its NCAA grand final and then went on to capture the first-ever women's open eight title at the Henley Royal Regatta in England last July ... the Husky men's varsity eight posted a fourth place finish in the grand final at the IRA Championships last season ... the junior varsity eight won a bronze medal and the freshmen won a silver at the year-end regatta ... the varsity eight is ranked fourth in the preseason coaches poll released this week.

Team Captains: Washington announced its 2001 team captains during Class Day festivities last weekend. Senior Rika Geyser (Pretoria, South Africa), who helped lead the top-ranked Huskies to an undefeated regular season, a 10th straight Windemere Cup title, and the team's ninth consecutive Pac-10 victory, will be this year's women's captain. Senior Dave Calder (Victoria, B.C.), who competed with the Canadian men's eight at the 2000 Olympic Games and helped the Huskies to their ninth straight Windemere Cup title as a junior in 1999, was named the men's captain for 2001.

A Look at the Leaders: Bob Ernst enters his 26th season of coaching at Washington and his 14th year as head coach of the men's team ... Ernst is the only coach in the country to lead both men's and women's crews to national titles ... he is joined by freshman coach Fred Honebein, who directed his crew to a silver medal at the IRA Championships last year ... former Husky rower Mike Callahan joins the men's staff as the varsity intern this season while Steve Todd and Rob Lorenz return for another year.

On the women's side, Jan Harville enters her 14th year as head coach, extending a tenure that has seen her lead the Huskies to two NCAA team championships ... she is assisted by novice coach Eleanor McElvaine, who led an all-freshman crew to a gold medal in the NCAA Championships last season and then spent the summer as head coach of the junior national team that won a gold medal at the Junior World Championships. Former Husky coxswain Erin O'Connell joins the women's staff for her fourth season as assistant varsity coach while Jim Anthony is in his first season as the novice women's intern.

Coming Soon - 15th Annual Windermere Cup Regatta - Saturday, May 5 The Olympic bronze medal men's eight-oared crew from Croatia, the Romanian women's national team and the University of Victoria will join Washington in the 2001 Windermere Cup and Opening Day festivities May 5 on the Montlake Cut. All nine members of the Croatian team that captured the bronze medal in 2000 Olympic Games in Syndey, Australia, will visit Seattle. The Romanian women's team will be an elite group comprised of Junior World, Nation's Cup and World University Games Champions. Romania, traditionally among the world's finest crew competitors, won the last two Olympic women's eight gold medals, in 1996 and 2000. The University of Victoria women's crew provides rowing fans a rematch of the historical race at the 2000 Henley Royal Regatta last July. The Washington women's varsity eight made history last summer when it won the inaugural Henley Prize, defeating Victoria in the grand final to win the first women's eight trophy awarded at the historic regatta.

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