Pac-10 Championships Up Next for UW Crews

May 11, 2005

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Washington Crew at Pac-10 Rowing Championships
8:00 a.m. / Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Eight Washington crews travel to Sacramento, Calif. this weekend for the annual Pacific-10 Conference Rowing Championships. The 2,000-meter races will be contested, Sunday, May 15 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova. Two UW boats enter the conference regatta as the No. 1 seed in their respective races, the undefeated men's junior varsity eight and women's varsity four crews. The Husky men's varsity eight, the two-time defending Pac-10 champion, is seeded second behind California. The Golden Bears' top men's boat is ranked No. 2 nationally and UW is No. 4. The UW women's varsity eight is seeded third behind 2004 champion California and 2003 winner Stanford. The Huskies last won the women's featured race in 2002, capping a streak of 11 consecutive Pac-10 titles. UW won the overall men's team championship last year while the women were second to Cal.

Pac-10 Format
Six UW crews will race twice on Sunday as heats are scheduled to start at 8 a.m. with the top three finishers in each race advancing to the grand finals that begin at 11:30 a.m. No heats are scheduled for the men's junior varsity eight and varsity four events. Champions will be crowned in each of the eight events, all of which were seeded for heat draws. Overall men's and women's team champions will be declared, determined by a point system combining orders of finish in the four events for each gender.

Live Pac-10 Championship results can be found at: www.jamcotimes.comRowing results and race recaps will be available Sunday afternoon at:

The Washington Entries
> Men's Varsity Eight
-- No. 2 seed ... Ranked No. 4 nationally ... Won the last two Pac-10 titles ... Has a 5-1 record with only loss coming April 23 vs. California.

> Men's Junior Varsity Eight -- No. 1 seed ... Undefeated second varsity is 6-0 ... Huskies won last year, stopping California's run of six straight Pac-10 titles.

> Men's Varsity Four -- No. 2 seed ... Captured the last two IRA national championships ... Won last year, halting Cal's three-year run as Pac-10 titlist.

> Men's Novice Eight -- No. 2 seed ... Won back-to-back Pac-10 championships in 2001-2002 before Cal won the last two ... Lost twice this season to the Bears.

> Women's Varsity Eight -- No. 3 seed ... Ranked No. 12 ... Runner-up to California in 2004 and Stanford in 2003 ... UW won 11 straight Pac-10 titles from 1992-2002.

> Women's Junior Varsity Eight -- No. 2 seed ... Won six straight Pac-10 titles from 1997-2002 before finishing second to California the last two years.

> Women's Varsity Four -- No. 1 seed ... Defending Pac-10 champion ... Won four of the last six Pac-10 titles, including three straight from 1999-2001.

> Women's Novice Eight -- No. 2 seed ... Placed second to California in 2004 ... Seeks first Pac-10 title since 2000 crew won sixth straight (1995-2000).

Pac-10 Championship Schedule (Sunday, May 15)

8:00 a.m.    Women's Varsity Four (heat 1)
8:10 a.m. Women's Varsity Four (heat 2)
8:20 a.m. Men's Freshman Eight (heat 1)
8:30 a.m. Men's Freshman Eight (heat 2)
8:40 a.m. Women's Novice Eight (heat 1)
8:50 a.m. Women's Novice Eight (heat 2)
9:00 a.m. Women's Junior Varsity Eight (heat 1)
9:10 a.m. Women's Junior Varsity Eight (heat 2)
9:20 a.m. Women's Varsity Eight (heat 1)
9:30 a.m. Women's Varsity Eight (heat 2)
9:40 a.m. Men's Varsity Eight (heat 1)
9:50 a.m. Men's Varsity Eight (heat 2)
11:30 a.m. Women's Varsity Four (grand final)
11:40 a.m. Women's Varsity Four (petite final)
11:50 a.m. Men's Varsity Four (grand final)
12:00 p.m. Men's Freshman Eight (petite final)
12:10 p.m. Men's Freshman Eight (grand final)
12:20 p.m. Women's Novice Eight (petite final)
12:30 p.m. Women's Novice Eight (grand final)
12:40 p.m. Women's Junior Varsity Eight (petite final)
12:50 p.m. Women's Junior Varsity Eight (grand final)
1:00 p.m. Men's Junior Varsity Eight (grand final)
1:10 p.m. Women's Varsity Eight (petite final)
1:20 p.m. Men's Varsity Eight (petite final)
1:30 p.m. Women's Varsity Eight (grand final)
1:40 p.m. Men's Varsity Eight (grand final)

• The fourth-ranked Washington men's varsity eight has defeated five crews ranked in the top 20 of the current coaches poll, including No. 5 Stanford, No. 9 Cornell, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 11 Dartmouth and No. 14 Michigan.

• The Huskies captured at least one men's title at every Pac-10/Pacific Coast regatta since 1988.

• UW's defending national champion men's junior varsity eight crew is undefeated, posting a 6-0 record and a remarkable average victory margin of 10.8 seconds. UW's closest race was a 3.5-second, boat-length victory over California on April 23 in Seattle.

Ranking Report
Second-ranked California leads a group of six Pac-10 women's varsity eight crews ranked in the Top 20. Also ranked are No. 10 Stanford, No. 12 Washington, No. 13 USC, No. 18 UCLA and No. 19 Washington State. The men's field has four varsity eight entries ranked in the top 10, including No. 2 California, No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon State.

Quoting the Washington Coaches on the Pac-10 Championships
Men's Coach Bob Ernst
--'It is the most important race of the year so far. I think that all of the guys on the team are racers and I think that they are looking forward to having another shot at California. I think that Stanford is much better this year than they have been in the past. They recruited some guys and we are going to have them in the heat down there, so we can't take them lightly.'

Women's Coach Eleanor McElvaine --'We are excited for Pac-10's and I think that it is going to be a challenge for us. We are going to have to step up and row well in order to qualify for the national championships and that is how it should be. You shouldn't be able to just skate through and qualify. In the old days it wasn't an issue if we were going to go or not. It raises the intensity and the bar a little bit, but it will only help us down the road when we do get to race at nationals. I think that you are seeing more parity across the country and that is certainly true here on the West Coast. UCLA's program is really up and Stanford can pretty much get any recruit that they want. That is a big challenge for us and obviously Cal's program has come back to what it was in the mid-'70s. It is great for the sport and I am not going to whine about not winning all of the time. There are a lot of fantastic athletes and they are being spread around amongst more programs.'

2004 Pac-10 Men's Recap
The third-ranked Washington men's varsity eight crew trailed the entire race, much of it by a full boat length, before overtaking Cal in the final strokes at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma. Washington was clocked in a speedy 5-minutes, 52.9 seconds to finish three seats ahead of the Golden Bears who finished in 5:54.0. The Husky men won their second straight varsity eight conference championship race. In 2003, they upset Cal's top-ranked crew. The Bears had streaked out of the blocks and controlled the race for three-quarters of the 2,000-meter course. The triumph by the top crew led a sweep of all three varsity men's titles for the Huskies were also victorious in the junior varsity eight and varsity four events. The trio of first-place finishes, along with a fourth-place effort by UW in the freshman eight event, gave the Huskies the overall men's team championship. The Huskies amassed 66 points, one more than second-place California's score of 65. Oregon State had a third-place total of 48 points followed by Stanford (44), UCLA (32) and Washington State (24). UW's junior varsity men remained undefeated. The Huskies overcame an early deficit to pass Cal at the 750-meter mark. They gained five more seats on the Bears with a strong move at 1,000 meters and continued to increase the lead before crossing the finish line in 6:04.7. Cal finished over two lengths back with a time of 6:12.2. That win ended a six-year run of championships for the Bears whose last loss in a conference junior varsity race was to Washington in 1997.

2004 Pac-10 Women's Recap
The women's varsity four went wire-to-wire to post an impressive open-water victory, helping Washington finish second in the team standings at the Pacific-10 Conference Rowing Championships, May 16 on Lake Natoma. California scored 69 points to win the women's overall title while the Huskies totaled 62 points. Washington State finished third with 50 points followed by USC (48), Oregon State (40), Stanford (35), UCLA (31) and Oregon (4). The Huskies' four crossed the finish line in 7:43.7 and runner-up Cal had a time of 7:51.3. UW crews were runners-up in the women's varsity eight race and third among junior varsity competitors. California won both of those events. The top-ranked Bears' varsity eight clocked a time of 6:43.8 to beat the No. 9 Huskies by one length. UW finished with a time of 6:47.6 and USC was third in 6:50.4. Cal's winning time in the junior varsity race was 6:48.4. Washington State was second in 6:50.1 followed by the Huskies in 6:54.5. The Washington women's novice eight tasted defeat for the first time this season, finishing seven seats behind winner California. The Bears finished in 6:58.7 followed by the Huskies in 7:01.7 and Oregon State third in 7:03.0. The UW newcomers had defeated Cal in their previous two meetings, but half the Husky crew changed as four rowers were promoted to varsity boats two weeks earlier.

Shuffling the Deck
Husky men's coach Bob Ernst tinkered with his lineup all season, trying to glean the best unit from a deep roster. The result is that 13 different athletes have competed in the varsity eight crew in four regattas this season. Only five rowers have competed in the top boat for every race; Ante Kusurin, Giuseppe Lanzone, Kyle Larson, Brett Newlin and Dusan Nikolic. Even the coxswain spot was up for grabs as senior Stephen Hertzfeld (Bethesda, Md.) replaced Greg King (Manassas, Va.) prior to last week's Windermere Cup race. Two rowers made their varsity eight debuts last weekend, juniors Kiel Petersen (Poulsbo, Wash.) in the stroke position and Colin Phillips (Coronado, Calif.) in the No. 5 seat. The competition for positions in the top crew has created a dynamic junior varsity eight that is undefeated in six races this season.

Shellhouse Grand Opening
Coinciding with last week's Windermere Cup celebration was the grand re-opening of the University of Washington's Conibear Shellhouse, which underwent a complete renovation. Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the shellhouse has served as the home for Husky Crew since it was originally constructed in 1949. The facility also houses UW's academic services and features an expanded dining facility with spectacular views of the water. Every area in the building was remodeled and updated, increasing space by 75 percent to 47,250 square feet. Nearly 20,000 square feet are dedicated to the rowing program with new team ergometer training rooms, locker rooms, improved offices and an additional shell storage bay. The architectural design features open, roomy spaces, with high glassed walls, natural lighting, and a larger balcony facing Lake Washington.

About the UW Men
The Husky men remained No. 4 in this week's national rankings. They have a 5-1 record, the only loss coming against No. 2 California. UW's varsity eight won the 2004 Pac-10 championship and placed second at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships. Senior coxswain Greg King (Manassas, Va.) returns along with five rowers return from last year's varsity eight crew: seniors Scott Schmidt (Grosse Ile, Mich.), Scott Gault (Piedmont, Calif.), Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), Giuseppe Lanzone (McLean, Va.) and Martin Rogulia (Zagreb, Croatia). Also returning are four members of the 2004 national champion varsity four, including senior Evan Galloway (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge HS) who has collected three gold medals at the IRA regattas. Three members of the Huskies' IRA champion junior varsity eight return: seniors Dusan Nikolic (Belgrade, Serbia), Kyle Larson (Mount Vernon, Wash./Mt. Vernon HS) and Matt Kopicky (Seattle, Wash./Ballard HS). Another high profile returnee is junior Ante Kusurin (Zagreb, Croatia) who stroked UW's silver medal varsity in 2003 before training all last year with the Croatian National Team.

The Men's Staff
Bob Ernst is in his 31st season on staff, his 18th 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 first season is Michael Callahan, a former Husky rower (1993-96) who was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. Two other Olympians help the staff, freshman intern Matt Deakin and varsity intern Bryan Volpenhein. They each collected a gold medal with the men's eight at the 2004 Olympics.

About the UW Women
The Washington women's varsity eight is ranked 12th in the coaches' poll. The Huskies return six rowers from the crew that won the petite final at the 2004 NCAA Championships, placing seventh overall. Washington was the Pac-10 runner-up last spring. The returning rowers from UW's top 2004 crew include seniors Sanda Hangan (Orsova, Romania), Gemma Edward-Aron (San Anselmo, Calif.) and Michael Kohan (Juneau, Ak.) along with junior Allison DePalma (San Jose, Calif.) and sophomores Kara Farqharson (Mississauga, Ontario) and Sarah Hubbard (Adelaide, Australia). Also returning are junior coxswain Eva Anderson (Seattle, Wash./Shorecrest HS) and junior stroke Alina Tabacaru (Bacau, Romania) from the Huskies' silver medal varsity four crew and eight members of the sixth-place junior varsity eight.

The Women's Staff
Eleanor McElvaine begins her second year as the women's head coach after serving 13 seasons as an assistant coach. The entire women's staff returns, including second-year assistants Sean Mulligan, who is the assistant varsity coach, and Erica Schwab, the novice women's coach. All staff members are former UW crew competitors, including varsity intern Mary Whipple and novice intern Ilia Ash. Whipple was the coxswain for the silver-medal winning U.S. women's eight at the 2004 Olympics.

UW's Last Regatta Recap
The Washington men's varsity eight registered a seven-seat victory and the Czech Republic national team won the women's main event, May 7 at the 19th-annual Windermere Cup Regatta on the Montlake Cut. Four members of the United States' eight that won the 2004 Olympic gold medal competed in the Olympic Challenge Cup match race. The tandem of Bryan Volpenhein and former UW rower Matt Deakin, both serving as intern coaches for the Huskies, posted a winning time of 6-minutes, 48.06-seconds. They edged their former Olympic crewmates Beau Hoopman and Daniel Beery who finished in 6:48.83. Tens of thousands of partisan spectators lined the 2,000-meter course, inspiring the Husky crews to win seven of the 10 races in which they were entered. UW's fourth-ranked men's varsity won the Windermere Cup trophy for the fourth straight season and the 14th time in the last 15 years. The Huskies finished in 5:41.70, followed by the Czechs in 5:44.50 and Cornell in 5:49.72. The Czech Republic won the women's Windermere Cup. Washington got a fast start and raced to a two-seat lead after 500 meters before the Czechs went ahead en route to an impressive open-water triumph and a winning time of 6:23.44. The 12th-ranked Huskies finished in 6:32.17 and No. 25 Cornell in 6:39.23. UW's junior varsity eight men remained undefeated, walking past Cornell in the final 500 meters to clock a time of 5:49.92. The Big Red finished in 5:54.61 and the Huskies' freshman eight was third in 5:58.03. The Huskies reclaimed the women's Cascade Cup, avenging last season's loss to Washington State that snapped a 13-year winning streak by the UW junior varsity eight from 1991-2003. The Huskies went wire-to-wire to post a winning time of 6:39.72. Four other Washington crews were victorious, including the men's and women's varsity fours, the men's freshman eight and men's open eight.

Upcoming Schedule -- National Championship Regattas

Friday-Sunday, May 27-29
NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Thursday-Saturday, June 2-4
Men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships
Cooper River / Cherry Hill, N.J.

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