Women's Crew Prepares to Defend NCAA Title

May 27, 2002

This Week:
Washington makes a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Rowing Championships, held May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis. The Huskies, who enter the regatta as defending team champions, were the top seed from the West Region and earned an automatic bid. The championships are co-hosted by Indiana University and US Rowing, the national governing body for the sport.
Washington's 2001 team title was its third in the five years since the NCAA began administering the sport in 1997. The Huskies won the inaugural crown in 1997 and repeated the performance in 1998. Brown University is the only other team to win an NCAA team title, as the Bears claimed the 1999 and 2000 championships.

The Event
This season marks the sixth year the NCAA has governed the collegiate rowing championships, after taking over governance of the regatta in 1997. It is the first time the NCAA Championships have been contested on Eagle Creek, a course that has played host to several international regattas world championships.
The NCAA Championships are comprised of 12 teams and each team is required to field a varsity eight, second varsity eight (junior varsity), and varsity four. In addition, four eight-woman boats from institutions not represented in the team competition are selected to compete for the varsity eight title.

The 2002 Teams: Along with Washington, the following 11 schools earned team invitations: Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia and Yale. At-large teams invited to the varsity eights race include: Cornell, Notre Dame, Southern California and Washington State.

Washington Versus the Field
Looking at crews that earned NCAA bids, Washington's undefeated varsity and junior varsity eights faced Ohio State, California, Stanford, Virginia and Washington State at the season-opening San Diego Crew Classic (April 7) and met its Pac-10 Conference foes in during the regular season and at the conference championships (May 19). The current varsity four was defeated by California at the Pac-10 Championships.
Both Washington and Brown enter the championships with undefeated varsity eight and junior varsity eights. Incidentally, Brown head coach John Murphy was the women's freshman coach at Washington from 1979-80. Two other teams in the field are coached by former Washington rowers; Lori Dauphiny at Princeton and Kris Sanford at Syracuse.

Washington at the NCAA Championships
The Huskies captured the first two team titles, in 1997 and '98, when the sport first became sanctioned by the NCAA. The '97 crown was Washington's first NCAA title in any sport (the football national championship from 1991 is not sanctioned by the NCAA). Last year, Washington claimed its third team title in five years, earning the tiebreaker between the Huskies and Brown University, who had won two apiece. The Huskies captured the team title by winning gold medals in the varsity four and varsity eight and a silver medal in the junior varsity eight.
Since 1997, Washington has won three gold medals in the varsity eight race and three consecutive gold medals in the varsity four.

Just Another Day at the Boathouse
The UW women's team has had its share of excitement in the days leading up to the NCAA Championships.
Washington head men's coach Bob Ernst departed Seattle May 21, driving a trailer full of boats, half of which he would deliver in Oxford, Ohio for the women's pre-NCAA team training, on his way to New Jersey for the men's national championships. Ernst and his travel partners, two Huskies interns, encountered high winds in Wyoming early the morning of May 22 and the women's varsity eight shell was blown off the trailer. The Pocock shell suffered enough damage to render it unusable.
Back in Seattle, head women's coach Jan Harville and her staff quickly got on the telephone and the rowing network sprung into action. The University of Iowa offered to lend Washington a shell for its pre-NCAA training days in Oxford, so Ernst made a brief detour to Iowa City and loaded his trailer with another shell, courtesy of the Hawkeyes. In the meantime, Pocock, the boat builders based in Everett, Wash. was able to deliver a brand new racing shell (that had been originally constructed for Duke University) to Pullman, Wash. where the Washington State Cougars, the Huskies' cross-state rivals, loaded it onto their trailer and transported it to Indianapolis along with their shell. The Huskies are expected to get a practice run in their new boat Thursday morning and be ready to race Friday.
The trailer incident was preceded by the news senior team captain Jenni Vesnaver had contracted the chicken pox upon her return from the Pac-10 Championships, May 19. Vesnaver, from Adelaide, Australia, strokes the junior varsity boat and as a senior with three years of NCAA experience, plays a significant leadership role on the women's team. She missed four days of practice in Seattle but returned Friday morning (May 24) and is expected to compete in her usual spot at the championships.

A Look Back at 2001
Husky Rowers Win Third NCAA ChampionshipVarsity Eight Seals Win with Gold Medal in Final EventThe Washington women's rowing team returned to the site of its last championship and claimed another as the varsity eight stormed from behind to win a gold medal in the final race of the day and seal the team championship for the Huskies at the 2001 NCAA Rowing Championships on Lake Lanier.
It was the third NCAA team title for Washington since the sport first became sanctioned by the NCAA. The Huskies won the inaugural title in 1997 and successfully defended it in 1998, on Lake Lanier. It also marked the third NCAA varsity eight gold medal by a Washington crew and the third consecutive event title by the varsity four.
Washington and a surprising Michigan team entered the final event of the regatta - the first varsity eight grand final - with the Wolverines leading the team tally by one point. In the four years since women's rowing became sanctioned by the NCAA, the team title has gone to the winner of the varsity eight race.
Washington started the championship day with a gold medal performance by the women's four, while Michigan picked up the silver medal. The Wolverines followed by winning the second varsity race (junior varsity), while the Huskies were second in that race, setting up the showdown in the first varsity eight grand final. Two-time defending champion Brown stood in third place with 22 points. Washington, Michigan and Brown only three schools with boats in all three grand finals.

National Champion Huskies: 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 '88 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 pre-NCAA years that Washington crews won national titles:
Varsity Eight - 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987*, 1988, 1997, 1998
Junior Varsity Eight - 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987*, 1989, 1994
Varsity Four - 1987*, 1999, 2000 * - swept all three races

The 2002 NCAA Field: Here is a breakdown of the teams that will be competing for the NCAA title and the three event championships:

Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Yale.

I EIGHTS (varsity eight)
Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Yale, Cornell, Notre Dame, Southern California, Washington State

II EIGHTS (junior varsity eight)
Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Yale.

FOURS (varsity four)
Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Yale.

Been There, Done That: Of the 23 Husky rowers competing in the three different events, 14 have NCAA Championship experience. Five rowers and the coxswain return to the varsity eight that will defend its gold medal from 2001.

Varsity EightName	Results at NCAA Championshipscox: Mary Whipple 	'99 V4 gold, '00 V8 silver, '01 goldstroke - Lauren Estevenin 	'00 V4 gold, '01 gold7 - Annabel Ritchie 	'01 V8 gold6 - Anna Mickelson 	'99 V4 gold, '00 V8 silver	, '01 V8 gold5 - Heidi Hurn 	'00 V4 gold, '01 JV8 silver4 - Adrienne Hunter 	'00 V4 gold, '01 V8 gold3 - Carrie Stasiak 	'00 V4 gold, '01 V8 gold2 - Kara Nykreim 	'99 V4 gold, '00 JV8 silver, '01 JV8 silverbow - Yvonneke Stenken 	'01 V4 gold

Junior Varsity EightName Results at NCAA Championshipscox: Anne Hessburg '00 V4 gold, '01 JV8 silverstroke - Jenni Vesnaver '99 JV 8 4th, '00 JV 8 silver, '01 JV8 silver7 - Jessica Harm first NCAA appearance6 - Shannon Oates first NCAA appearance5 - Erin Becht '99 V4 gold, '00 JV8 silver, '01 JV8 silver4 - Sanda Hangan first NCAA appearance3 - Marghe Pallotino '01 V4 gold2 - Erin Curry first NCAA appearancebow - Mandy Nelson first NCAA appearance

Varsity FourName Results at NCAA ChampionshipsCox: Maili Barber '01 V4 gold medalStroke - Karen Etsell first NCAA appearance3 - Mary Reeves first NCAA appearance2 - Nicole Mazikowski first NCAA appearancebow - Lisa Krikava first NCAA appearance

A Glance at the 2002 Huskies
Varsity Eight

Undefeated this season ... A veteran crew that features five rowers and the coxswain from the crew that won a gold medal in its event and helped the Huskies capture the NCAA team title at the national championships last year ... coxswain Mary Whipple, and six seat Anna Mickelson have competed in the same crew since their freshman year, winning an NCAA event title in their first season (with the varsity four) and leading the varsity eight to a silver medal in 2000. Whipple, Mickelson and five seat Heidi Hurn competed together in the U.S. Women's eight at the 2001 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland last summer (finished fourth) ... Hurn and senior Kara Nykreim are in the varsity eight for the first time ... junior class rowers Lauren Estevenin, Adrienne Hunter and Carrie Stasiak and senior Annabel Ritchie return to the varsity eight for a second year ... sophomore Yvonneke Stenken, who won a gold medal as a part of the varsity four last year, is the youngster in the group.

Junior Varsity Eight
Undefeated this season ... An upperclass-dominated crew that features both veterans and newcomers to the NCAA regatta ... junior coxswain Anne Hessburg has coxed the jayvee crew the last two years, after winning a gold medal as a part of the varsity four in 2000 ... stroke Jenni Vesnaver is in her fourth season in the jayvee and brings championship experience and leadership, as team captain, to the crew ... she is joined by fellow senior Erin Becht, in her third year in the jayvee after winning a gold with the varsity four in 1999 ... newcomers to the NCAAs include senior Mandy Nelson and juniors Jessica Harm, Shannon Oates, Erin Curry and Mandy Nelson ... all are veterans of the Washington program ... the crew also features sophomore Marghe Pallotino, who was in the gold-medal varsity four last season and true freshman Sanda Hangan, in her first collegiate championship appearance.

Varsity Four
Crew is led by senior coxswain Maili Barber who led Washington's all-novice varsity four to a gold medal last season, after taking over for the novice coxswain just a week prior to the championships ... juniors Karen Etsell and Lisa Krikava and sophomores Mary Reeves and Nicole Mazikowski are veterans of the program but making their first NCAA appearances ... Washington enters the race as three-time defending champions in the event ... the Huskies have won the previous three years with all-novice crews drawn from the regular season novice eight ... this year saw the veterans earn the trip with strong late-season performances.

Schedule of Events - all times Central Daylight Time
Friday, May 31
8:00 a.m. First varsity eight heats
10:00 a.m. First varsity four heats
11:00 a.m. Second varsity eight heats
4:00 p.m. Varsity eight repechage (if necessary)

Saturday, June 1
9:30 a.m. Varsity four semi-finals
10:00 a.m. Second varsity eight semi-finals
10:30 a.m. First varsity eight semi-finals

Sunday, June 2
10:15 a.m. Varsity four grand final
11:15 a.m. Second varsity eight grand final
11:45 a.m. First varsity eight grand final
12:30 p.m. Awards ceremony

Washington 2002 NCAA Championship Lineups

I Varsitycox: Mary Whipple (Sr., Sacramento, Calif. / Adventist Academy)stroke - Lauren Estevenin (Jr., Fublaines, France /Bothell, Wash. /Inglemoor HS)7 - Annabel Ritchie (Sr., Blenhiem, New Zealand / Rangi Ruru Girls)6 - Anna Mickelson (Sr., Bellevue, Wash. / Newport)5 - Heidi Hurn (Jr., Redmond, Wash. / Eastlake)4 - Adrienne Hunter (Jr., Toronto, Ontario / Havergal College)3 - Carrie Stasiak (Jr., St. Catherines, Ontario / Holy Cross)2 - Kara Nykreim (Sr., Kirkland, Wash. / Lake Washington)bow - Yvonneke Stenken (So., Sacramento, Calif. / Rio Americano)

II Varsitycox: Anne Hessburg (Jr., Wenatchee, Wash. / Wenatchee)stroke - Jenni Vesnaver (Sr., Adelaide, Australia / Underdale)7 - Jessica Harm (Jr., Lakeside, Wash. / Lakeside)6 - Shannon Oates (Jr., Lakewood, Wash. / Lakes)5 - Erin Becht (Sr., Buffalo, New York / The Buffalo Seminary)4 - Sanda Hangan (Dorohoi, Romania / Traian Lalescu)3 - Marghe Pallotino (So., Rome, Italy / T. Mamiani)2 - Erin Curry (Jr., Encinitas, Calif. / La Costa Canyon)bow - Mandy Nelson (Sr., Enumclaw, Wash. / Enumclaw)

Varsity FourCox: Maili Barber (Sr., Lynden, Wash./Lynden)Stroke - Karen Etsell (Jr., Seattle, Wash./Summit)3 - Mary Reeves (So., Dayton, Wash./Dayton)2 - Nicole Mazikowski (So., Olympia, Wash./River Ridge)bow - Lisa Krikava (Jr., Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah)

Coaching Staff
Head coach: Jan Harville (Washington '74) 15th yearNovice Women's Coach: Eleanor McElvaine (Washington '85) 12th yearAssistant Varsity Coach: Erin O'Connell (Washington '96) 5th yearAthletic Trainer: Chrissy Price

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