No. 1 Huskies Look To Defend Title At IRA Championships
June 2, 2010
INTERCOLLEGIATE ROWING ASSOCIATION (IRA) Championships
Thursday - Saturday, June 3-5
Cooper River Cherry Hill, N.J.
Racing Schedule (Pacific Times Listed)
Thursday, June 3
5:00 am - Varsity 8 heats
5:15 am - Varsity 8 heats
5:30 am - Varsity 8 heats
6:00 am - Second Varsity 8 heats
6:15 am - Second Varsity 8 heats
6:30 am - Second Varsity 8 heats
6:45 am - Freshmen 8 heats
7:00 am - Freshmen 8 heats
7:15 am - Freshmen 8 heats
7:30 am - Open 4 heats
7:45 am - Open 4 heats
8:00 am - Open 4 heats
8:15 am - Varsity 4 heats
8:30 am - Varsity 4 heats
8:45 am - Varsity 4 heats
11:00 am - Varsity 8 repechage
11:15 am - Varsity 8 repechage
11:30 am - Second Varsity 8 repechage
11:45 am - Second Varsity 8 repechage
12:15 am - Open 4 repechage
12:30 pm - Varsity 4 repechage
12:45 pm - Varsity 4 repechage
Friday, June 4
6:30 am - Open 4 semifinal
6:45 am - Open 4 semifinal
7:00 am - Varsity 4 semifinal
7:15 am - Varsity 4 semifinal
8:15 am - Freshmen 8 semifinal
8:30 am - Freshmen 8 semifinal
8:45 am - Second Varsity 8 semifinal
9:00 am - Second Varsity 8 semifinal
9:15 am - Varsity 8 semifinal
9:30 am - Varsity 8 semifinal
Saturday, June 5
5:36 am - Open 4 Petite Final
5:48 am - Open 4 Grand Final
6:00 am - Varsity 4 Petite Final
6:12 am - Varsity 4 Grand Final
6:30 am - Freshmen 8 Third Final
6:45 am - Second Varsity 8 Third Final
7:00 am - Freshmen 8 Petite Final
7:15 am - Freshmen 8 Grand Final
7:30 am - Second Varsity Eight Petite Final
7:45 am - Second Varsity Eight Grand Final
8:30 am - Varsity Eight Third Final
9:00 am - Varsity Eight Petite Final
9:15 am - Varsity Eight Grand Final
Setting the Scene: IRA Championships
The No. 1 Washington men's crew team is looking to put a stamp on its season at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships. The 108th annual IRA regatta is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Jun 3, and will last through Saturday, June 5, on the 2,000-meter Cooper River course. The Huskies are bringing five crews to New Jersey: a varsity eight, second varsity eight, freshmen eight, varsity four and an open four. Defending champion UW is looking for back-to-back varsity eight national championships for the first time since 1940 and 1941. The Huskies have won 13 IRA varsity eight titles overall.
A recap of each day of racing will be available on GoHuskies.com. The team's official Twitter feed (@UWHuskyCrew), will also provide on-the-scene analysis and updates from the Cooper River course. Live updates from the Cooper River course will be available on PowerhouseTiming.com.
The Huskies won four of five races at the IRA Championships in 2009, taking Gold Medals in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, freshmen eight and open four on the Lake Natoma course in Rancho Cordova, Calif. All five boats medaled. Memorably, the varsity eight needed a furious sprint at the end, trailing two boats (Stanford & Cal) with 500 meters to go. But the Huskies responded with a push that catapulted them to a National Championship.
The Men's Trophies
The varsity eight competes for the Varsity Challenge Cup, the silver trophy first presented in 1898. Washington has won the Cup 13 times, dating back to 1923. The second varsity competes for the Kennedy Challenge Cup, originally presented in 1899. The Huskies claimed that award in 2004, 2005 and 2007, 2008 and 2009. The freshmen race for the Steward's Cup, first awarded in 1900. Washington won the 2006 freshmen eight championship, and then again in 2009. UW completed a sweep of the three premier eights races in 1950, 1997, and then again in 2009.
The No. 1 Huskies have showed their class this season as the crews have yet to lose in the spring racing season. All four regularly competing boats (varsity eight, second varsity eight, freshmen eight and varsity four) are undefeated in 2010, a mark that includes sweeps of No. 2 Cal, No. 12 Stanford and No. 18 Oregon State, along with a dominating win over No. 10 Syracuse and Oxford at the 24th annual Windermere Cup. Washington is coming off their best performance of the season after taking all four races at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago on Lake Natoma.
IRA Racing Format
Competition at the IRA Regatta consists of heats, repechage (second chance races), semifinals and finals. In the varsity eight heat, the two fastest crews advance to the semis. This is the same format with the freshmen eight and the varsity four. In the second varsity eight and the open eight, the top three advance. The rest are relegated to the repechage race, where the top three boats will gain entry back into the semifinals. The crews outside the top three will race in the Third Final. In the semis, the top three crews advance to the six-boat Grand Final. The remaining crews will race in the Petite Final.
Washington Boat-By-Boat Preview
« Varsity Eight - Ranked No. 1 ... Undefeated entering IRA for third time in four seasons ... Pac-10 Champion ... Won last year's title and seeks first back-to-back IRA crowns since 1940-41 ... UW's last loss came in the grand final of the 2009 Pac-10 Championships ... Huskies seek their 14th IRA title ... UW varsity lineup features three sophomores, five juniors and one senior.
« Second Varsity Eight - Defending IRA champion ... Undefeated this season, culminating in a 2010 Pac-10 Championship ...Lineup features a rower, Simon Taylor, who competed in the National Championship winning varsity eight in 2009 ...
« Freshmen Eight - Undefeated season ... has not lost a race since the 2008 IRA semifinal & final ... 2010 Pac-10 Champions
« Varsity Four - Undefeated this season ... UW won back-to-back IRA varsity four championships in 2003 and 2004, as well as 2008.
« Open Four - Defending National Champions ... defeated Wisconsin by less than a second to seal UW's fourth win of the 2009 IRAs ... has not raced this season.
About The Huskies
The Huskies were ranked No. 1 in the preseason and have continued on an impressive course as we reach the IRA Championships. Although Washington was the defending National Champions, the Huskies split first-place votes with an equally impressive Cal squad. It was on the water, though, where the Huskies really proved their speed. UW has not lost a race this spring, sweeping the Stanford Invitational and a Northwest Invitational with Oregon State and Washington State to start the spring sprinting season. Then it was on to Redwood Shores again for the much-anticipated Cal Dual. But the Huskies put their stamp on the showdown by sweeping all four races in the Bay Area.
It was similar to what the Huskies accomplished at Windermere Cup, where the team faced one of the most storied programs in the sport - Oxford. Lastly, Washington is coming off a four-race sweep of the Pac-10 Championships.
Three varsity rowers graduated from last year's IRA-winning varsity eight (Will Crothers, Rob Gibson and coxswain Katelin Snyder). Part of what makes this UW program special, though, is the ability to seamlessly promote rowers to the varsity. This is what coach Michael Callahan was able to do in 2010, where he oversees a boat now stroked by Mathis Jessen, who stroked the undefeated freshmen eight in 2009.
Jessen is joined in the stern pair by Tom Lehmann, who also rowed in that historic freshmen eight.
The Huskies have not lost a varsity eight sprint race since finishing third in the Pac-10 Championships in 2009, a regatta that featured 108-degree temperatures in the Sacramento region.
IRA Regatta History
The Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta is the oldest collegiate crew championship in the country, and remains the premier event for national rowing honors for college men.
The first IRA Regatta, on June 24, 1895, was a four-miler between Columbia, the winner, Cornell and Pennsylvania. In 1923, Washington, coached by Rusty Callow, became the first Western school to win the IRA's featured varsity eight competition, followed by another victory in 1926. When Callow left Seattle to coach at Penn, he was succeeded by his assistant Al Ulbrickson, who continued the Huskies' winning ways with six IRA varsity eight titles in 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1948 and 1950. His freshman, second varsity and varsity crews 'swept the river' in 1936, 1937, 1948 and 1950. Bob Ernst ended a 20-year coaching run in 2007 with a national championship. Ernst, who now coaches the UW women, led his team to a modern-day sweep in 1997, when UW crews won all three races on the Cooper River.
About The UW Coaching Staff
Now in his third year as coach of the men's program, Michael Callahan is coming off one of the most successful seasons the program has seen in its storied history. In 2009, Washington swept all three races at the IRA Regatta (and thereby earning the Ten Eyck Trophy), becoming the first team to accomplish the feat since the Huskies also did so in 1997. Prior to taking over the men's coaching position, Callahan served for three seasons as the Huskies freshmen coach. A 1996 graduate of the University of Washington, Callahan has also been an active member on the international level, where he's competed and coached. Luke McGee handles the coaching duties for the freshmen, who are coming off a historic undefeated season in 2009. Assistant coach Ben Fletcher, a four-year UW oarsman, handles the varsity four.
Max Lang is seeking his third National Championship in the varsity eight. The other Huskies to attempt to join Lang as three-time Gold Medalists are Michelle Darby and Niles Garratt in that exclusive category. Twenty-two of the UW rowers competing at the 2010 IRA Championships have won at least one National Championship.
Probable Washington Boatings
Men's Varsity Four
cox - Valaree Fowler (Tallahassee, Fla. / Leon)
stroke - Justin Hopkins (Davis, Calif. / DSIS)
3 - Roko Svast (Split, Croatia / 5th Gymnasium)
2 - Niles Garratt (Lake Forest Park, Wash. / Shorecrest)
bow - Jeff Gibbs (Cincinnati, Ohio / St. Xavier)
Men's Open Four
cox - Laura Denman (Winchester, Mass. / Winsor)
stroke - Reiner Hershaw (Palouse, Wash. / Washougal)
3 - Noah O'Connell (So. / Victoria, B.C., Canada / Brentwood School)
2 - Robert Chavan (San Jose, Calif. / Leigh)
bow - Garrett Rinden (Yorba Linda, Calif. / Newport Harbor)
Men's Freshmen Eight
cox - Seamus Labrum (Cape May, N.J./Holy Spirit)
stroke - Dusan Milavanovic (Novi Sad, Serbia/Gymnasium Svetozar Markovic)
7 - Alex Bunkers (Maitland, Fla./Winter Park)
6 - Ryan Schroeder (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks)
5 - Mijo Rudelj (Kastel Ctafilic, Croatia / Braca Radic)
4 - Max Mannisto (Belmont, Calif. / Summit Prepatory)
3 - Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif. / Folsom)
2 - Austin Brooks (Costa Mesa, Calif. / Newport Harbor)
bow - Brandon Taft (Fircrest, Wash. / Bellarmine Prep)
Men's Second Varsity Eight
cox - Sam Ojserkis (Linwood, N.J./Mainland Regional)
stroke - Max Weaver (Snohomish, Wash./Snohomish)
7 - Jay Thompson (Boulder, Colo./Fairview)
6 - Nenad Bulicic (Belgrade, Serbia)
5 - Robert Munn (Redmond, Wash./Redmond)
4 - Blaise Didier (San Francisco, Calif./John O'Connell)
3 - Simon Taylor (Hamilton, New Zealand/Hamilton Boy's)
2 - Ambrose Puttman (Cincinatti, Ohio/St. Xavier)
bow - Casey Dobrowolski (Seattle, Wash./University Prep)
Men's Varsity Eight
cox - Michelle Darby (North Andover, Mass. / Phillips Academy)
stroke - Mathis Jessen (Hamburg, Germany/Rudolf-Steiner-Hamburg-Bergstedt)
7 - Tom Lehmann (Rovershagen, Germany/Gymnasium an der Rostocker Heide Rovershagen)
6 - Hannes Heppner (Berlin, Germany/Fachgymnasium Molln)
5 - Anthony Jacob (Vancouver, B.C./Vancouver College)
4 - Conlin McCabe (Brockville, Ontario/BCI)
3 - Ty Otto (Burke, Va./Jefferson)
2 - Hans Struzyna (Kirkland, Wash./Bellevue Christian)
bow - Max Lang (Lumby, B.C./Shawnigan Lake School)