Varsity Eight Wins Semi, Advances To Grand Final At IRA Championships Regatta

June 5, 2009

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - The Husky men's varsity eight pulled out a great race Friday afternoon, defeating Stanford, Brown, Cornell, Syracuse and Northeastern to win the B semifinal of the 2009 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships on Lake Natoma. The win ensured the Huskies a place among the favorites in the grand final, slated for Saturday at 12:15pm.

'All five crews are excited for the opportunity in front of them tomorrow,' said head men's coach Michael Callahan.

In Thursday's heat race, Washington established an early lead, getting out ahead of the field before the 500-meter mark. Friday, the Huskies actually fell behind early, sitting in third place behind Stanford and Brown at the 500m. Washington quickly made up ground, overtaking Brown inside the first 1000, putting them around a half a length behind the Cardinal.

That margin remained through the third 500m, with Washington sitting about a half a length behind a strong Stanford crew.

In the final sprint, the Huskies made a move, turning the tables on the Cardinal. Washington walked through the Stanford boat and finished the race almost a length ahead of the Cardinal.

The Huskies crossed the finish line in 5:53.15, shaving nearly four seconds off Thursday's heat time. Stanford finished in 5:55.70, about two and a half seconds faster than its Thursday time.

'The varsity performed well against a very talented field today,' said Callahan.

All five Husky crews will take to the water Saturday for the grand finals, beginning with the men's open four at 9:24am.

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