Husky Crews Clash with Oregon State
May 5, 2004
SATURDAY, MAY 8 --
Washington at Oregon State Dual / 10:00 a.m. PDT
Lake Vancouver / Vancouver, Wash.
SUNDAY, MAY 16 --
at Pacific-10 Conference Championships / 7:00 a.m. PDT
Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif
The Washington rowing teams travel to the southwest part of the state for a dual regatta against Oregon State, Saturday, May 8 that marks their final regular-season competition. The 12-race schedule begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Lake Vancouver in Vancouver, Wash. All races will be conducted on a 2,000-meter course. This is the final tune-up for the Huskies before the postseason begins with the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, Sunday, May 16 in Rancho Cordova, Calif. near Sacramento. The Washington men's varsity eight resides in the No. 3 spot in the most recent (April 28) national coaches rankings while Oregon State is 12th. The UW women are ranked No. 8.
The future looks bright for the Washington women's program that fields a dominant group of first-year rowers. UW's novice eight crew is undefeated in five races this season heading into Saturday's dual regatta at Oregon State. The Huskies' average winning margin is an astounding 12 seconds, including a 20-second triumph April 24 at California. The newcomers have been so impressive that four of them have been promoted to the junior varsity boat. Freshmen Courtney Plitt, Kara Farquharson, Liz Simenstad and Asiha Grisby will row in the Huskies No. 2 boat Saturday against Oregon State.
Pac-10s Up Next
The Huskies make their annual trip south to the Sacramento area for the Pac-10 Championships. This year's event is Sunday, May 16 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The Husky men seek to defend their Pac-10 title after defeating five-time champion California last season. The Washington women's varsity eight aims to reclaim the conference crown captured last year by Stanford. The Huskies had won the previous 11 consecutive Pac-10 women's varsity eight titles.
Last Year's Regatta
Washington crews won 10 of 11 events May 10, 2003, including both men's and women's varsity eight races during a dual regatta with Oregon State on the Montlake Cut that marked the end of the regular-season schedule. The top-ranked Washington women's varsity eight easily dispatched No. 16 Oregon State by two boat lengths. UW covered the 2,000-meter course in 6-minutes, 32.5-seconds and the Beavers finished in 6:38.0. Washington also posted a two-length decision in the women's junior varsity event. The Huskies clocked a time of 6:50.3 and OSU had a 6:56.6. The top men's race featured a clash between UW and Oregon State varsity eight crews that finished third and fourth, respectively, at the 2002 national championship regatta. The Husky men, currently ranked No. 4, registered an eight-seat victory over No. 11 OSU. Washington's time was 6:01.0 and the Beavers finished in 6:03.6. The Washington men's junior varsity matched the winning varsity time of 6:01.0 to defeat Oregon State (6:09.5) by over eight seconds. The Beavers' lone win came in the men's freshman eight race. Oregon State held off a late UW challenge to record a six-seat decision. OSU's time was 6:09.8 and UW finished in 6:12.0. The women's varsity four race had added significance for the two Washington boats that both defeated OSU. The Huskies' varsity four was timed in 7:35.6, over three boat lengths ahead of the freshman four's time of 7:46.6. The Beavers finished in 7:56.3. Washington crews also defeated Oregon State in the men's varsity four and women's third varsity eight events along with the women's novice and second novice races.
Shuffling the Deck
Husky men's coach Bob Ernst has tinkered with his lineup all season, trying to glean the best eight rowers from a deep roster. The result is that 15 different rowers have competed in the varsity eight crew in four regattas this season. Junior Giuseppe Lanzone (McLean, Va.) is the only rower to compete in the top boat for every race. Even the coxswain spot is up for grabs as senior Chris O'Brien (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Greg King (Meadville, Pa.) have split time directing the lead boat. The competition for positions in the top crew has created a dynamic junior varsity eight that is undefeated in five races.
About the UW Men
In its last outing, Washington posted an open-water victory over No. 7 Navy and the Italian junior national team May 1 to win the Windermere Cup. The Husky men are currently ranked No. 3 among varsity eights after drawing the No. 2 ranking in the preseason poll behind defending national champion Harvard. UW placed third at the San Diego Crew Classic (April 4) behind California and Northeastern and was edged by Wisconsin in a dual race (April 17). The Huskies defeated No. 2 California by a boat length in a dual regatta (April 24). UW's varsity eight won the 2003 Pac-10 title and placed second at the IRA championships before winning the Ladies Challenge Plate competition at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England. Six rowers return from last year's varsity eight crew: senior Marko Petrovic (Belgrade, Serbia), junior Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), junior Giuseppe Lanzone (McLean, Va.), junior Kyle Larson (Mount Vernon, Wash./Mount Vernon HS), senior Sam Burns (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea HS) and senior Andy Derrick (Cincinnati, Ohio). A seventh rower, senior Ian Sawyer (Auckland, New Zealand), joined the crew for the Henley triumph. Bob Ernst is in his 30th season on staff, his 17th as the men's head coach. Ernst seeks to direct the Huskies' varsity eight to their first national championship since 1997. Serving as the men's freshman coach for the sixth season is Fred Honebein, a former Cal rower who captained the U.S. men's eight from 1993-96 and was the 1995 U.S. Rowing Athlete of the Year.
About the UW Women
In their last outing, the Huskies outraced UCLA and the Italian junior national team on May 1 to win the Windermere Cup. The Washington women's varsity eight was ranked No. 8 in the most recent (April 24) poll. They placed second to California at the San Diego Crew Classic (April 4) and defeated Washington State in a dual (April 10). UW finished three seconds behind No. 2 California in a dual race (April 24). The Huskies return only two rowers from the crew that placed fourth in the varsity eight event at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Seniors Mary Reeves (Dayton, Wash./Dayton HS) and Yvonneke Stenken (Sacramento, Calif.) are the only holdovers from last season's top boat. The changes aren't limited to the athletes as the UW coaching staff underwent a major overhaul. Eleanor McElvaine takes over as the women's head coach after serving 13 seasons as an assistant coach under Jan Harville who retired in July. Sean Mulligan was hired as the assistant varsity coach while Erica Schwab will work as the novice women's coach. All three members of the staff are former crew competitors at UW.
The Washington women's varsity eight crew features six rowers who were not in the top boat last season. The most noticeable newcomer is 6-foot-6 freshman Sarah Hubbard, a native of Adelaide, Australia. Hubbard is one of the rare true freshmen to compete for the varsity. Even rarer is the fact that she immediately earned a berth in the varsity eight and has rowed with that crew all season. Hubbard's parents are both employed as playground designers in Australia.
For the third straight week, the stroke seat in Washington's men's varsity eight boat will be occupied by sophomore Brodie Buckland (Olympia, Wash. / Capital HS). On April 24, he helped the Huskies defeat No. 2 California during his first appearance in UW's top boat. Last week UW beat No. 7 Navy and Italy. Ironically, Buckland never served as the stroke last year for the freshman crew. He rowed in middle seats all last season for the UW newcomers who finished fourth at the national championships.
The Washington men's roster includes a pair of individuals who were prep classmates at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Seniors Andy Derrick and Chris O'Brien have both spent time in the varsity and junior varsity eight boats this season. They have been competing together since junior high and last year were on different crews for the first time ever. They had participated in the same boat for the previous seven years before Derrick was promoted to the No. 2 seat in the varsity eight crew in 2003 while O'Brien coxed the junior varsity boat.
National Championship Schedule
Friday-Sunday, May 28-30 --
NCAA Championships (WOMEN)
Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Thursday-Saturday, June 3-5 --
Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships (MEN)
Cooper River / Camden, N.J.