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Washington Wins The Gallagher Great Race

Sep 15, 2014

HAMILTON, New Zealand – The University of Washington women’s rowing team earned a historic victory at The Gallagher Great Race on Saturday, Sept. 13 along the Waikato River, beating host Waikato University and the University of Melbourne to win the Bryan Gould Cup.

The Huskies were the first team from North America to be invited to compete in The Gallagher Great race and handed Waikato University just its third second-place finish in nine years. Waikato has won the race six of the nine competitions since the inaugural race in 2006.

"It was perfect execution out there today," said Auckland’s Kirstyn Goodger, one of three New Zealand natives on Washington’s squad. "The river was pretty challenging but I thought our coxswain handled it beautifully. The river was going a bit faster and we hit a couple of trees we hadn’t hit before so that was fun. Everything we planned, we executed."

UW and Waikato University separated themselves early as Melbourne dropped off the pace. The Huskies remained close and within striking distance of Waikato University. The Huskies’ attack forced Waikato into the strong current, but Washington fell behind by two lengths when the Huskies clipped a tree along the west bank.

Washington pushed back to close the gap and again forced Waikato into the middle of the river into the strong current. The Huskies used the advantage and pushed over the last 200 meters to overtake Waikato and win first place.

UW head coach Bob Ernst credited coxswain Marlow Mizer for helping navigate the team through the adventurous course.

"Most of our races are in swimming pools 1.25 miles long and everybody goes in a straight line,” Ernst said. “Our coxswain is very young but was a ski racer and so she understands the lines and she was perfect navigating on this river and in the currents today."

The race ended a week-long trip for the Huskies in New Zealand, which included visits to Schick Construction, the Waikato Diocesan School, the official Waikato University welcome called Powhiri, among other activities.

UW Women’s Crew Gallagher Great Race Roster

Kadie Brown, Soph., (Federal Way, Wash.)
Maddie Cornder, Grad., (Melbourne, Australia)
Allie Delarge, Jr., (Victoria B.C., Canada)
Fiona Gammond, Sr., (Bucknell, England)
Kirstyn Goodger, Grad., (Auckland, New Zealand)
Marlow Mizer, Soph., (Kailey, Idaho)
Patricia Obee, Grad., (Victoria B.C., Canada)
Grace Spoors, Jr., (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Phoebe Spoors, Soph., (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Courtney Thompson, Jr., (University Place, Wash.)
Elizabeth Vogt, Sr., (Trout Lake, Wash.)