Women's Crew Defeats Cougars to Capture Winchell Cup

March 30, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Oregon State Women's Crew team showed why it is often listed among the top collegiate rowing programs with a win over Washington State on Saturday. The Beavers swept all three varsity races for the first time against WSU in recent memory to win the Winchell Cup.

'We were excited about sweeping the varsity races,' said OSU head coach Charlie Owen. 'Our goal for this season is to get to the NCAA championships, and what we need to do to earn a bid is to get all three varsity boats winning.'

In the varsity eight race, OSU opened up an early lead and maintained it through the first 1000 meters. The Beavers extended their lead in the second half of the race, finishing almost six seconds ahead of WSU with a time of 6:32.5.

'I was pleased with how we handled the varsity race. We had talked about racing the same way we row in practice, and they went out and did that,' commented Owen. Senior Joy Jordan, who did not race against Victoria two weeks ago due to a fever, returned to action in six seat of the varsity eight.

In perhaps the biggest win of the day, the OSU 2nd varsity eight beat WSU with a time of 6:43.7. The Cougars finished with a time of 6:47.4.

'I was very excited about the second varsity race. It was our first win over Washington State in that race in a long time,' said Owen, explaining why the win was important. 'It means we are showing good progress in the rest of the program, not just our fastest boat.'

Oregon State's varsity four was also victorious, defeating WSU with a time of 7:37.6. The Cougars had a time of 7:44.5, and the Beavers' 2nd varsity four came in third with a time of 7:50.7. Like the varsity eight, the varsity four crew was able to open up an early lead and gradually extend it over the 2000-meter course.

The Beavers finished second in the novice eight, turning in a time of 6:48.8. In the 2nd novice eight, Washington State prevailed with a time of 7:02.3, and OSU finished second at 7:16.0. The Cougars also won the novice four, finishing 7.2 seconds ahead of the Beavers' time of 8:10.9.

'The novice crews raced well,' said assistant coach Matt Imes. 'But it was their first race at the Pac-10 level. They'll learn from this and hopefully use the experience to improve for next week.'

Following in the tradition of many other collegiate dual meets, Oregon State and Washington State established the Winchell Cup trophy in 2001. Points are awarded to each school for placing in each race. In 2001, the Cougars won the inaugural Winchell Cup. This year, Oregon State evened the series at 1-1 with a score of 72-69.

'The Cougars won it last year, and so coming into Pullman and winning it back was nice,' said Imes.

Looking ahead to Oregon State's next race, Owen expects the momentum from the strong finish against the Cougars to carry over.

'This creates confidence within our program,' Owen said. 'We got a good, solid race under our belts - one we feel good about. We'll take that feeling down to San Diego. We haven't always had a good race before we leave for San Diego in years past, and it can really help with nervousness at the line.'

Both the women's and men's crew teams will race next at the San Diego Crew Classic on April 6 and 7, in San Diego, California. Most of the top crews in the country will compete at the regatta, which is one of the largest in the country.

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