No. 1 UW Women Sweep WSU In 2021 Opener
After more than a year since its last competitive race, the No. 1-ranked Washington women's rowing team opened up the 2021 season Saturday morning with wins in all three races vs. No. 19 Washington State at Lake Las Vegas.
Washington, the defending NCAA champion (2019), beat the Cougars in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. WSU had gone 490 days since its last competition.
The UW's varsity eight for the first race of the season included five rowers who won national titles in one of three boats at the 2019 NCAA Championships, including six seat Tabea Schendekehl and two seat Teal Cohen, who both rowed in the varsity eight that year.
"We were all talking yesterday about how it's been a year since we raced," said Schendekehl, who won NCAA titles in the varsity eight in both 2017 and 2019. "We all really wanted to channel that energy in every stroke, enjoy the moment, and have the best race we could have."
Saturday morning on Lake Las Vegas, the Huskies' top boat led from wire-to-wire, establishing an open-water lead in the first 1,000 meters. The Huskies won the race in a time of 6:21.36, 19 seconds in front of WSU's eight (6:40.40).
"It was a good start to our racing season," Schendekehl added. "It was good to get the cobwebs off since it's been a year. It's a good jumping off spot and we can keep building off of it."
Washington entered two crews – its second and third varsity eights – in the 2V8+ race, competing against WSU's second eight.
Both UW crews went out in front from the start and held first and second positions throughout. The Huskies' 2V8+ led by a full length at the 1,000-meter mark, with the Husky 3V in second and open water back to the WSU crew.
The Husky second varsity eight, coxed by Dana Brooks and stroked by Sophia Chaffey, won the race by several lengths of open water over the UW third varsity eight, coxed by Lauren Preston and stroked by freshman Brooklyn Fehling. WSU's crew finished third, several more lengths back. The UW 2V8+ finished in 6:33.37, 12 seconds ahead of the 3V8+ (6:45.55), and 24 seconds ahead of the Cougars (6:47.48).
The day's racing began with the varsity four race, with two Washington entries racing one crew from WSU. The UW "A" entry got out to the lead from the start, coxed by Sachi Yamamoto and stroked by Ellie Bruce. At 500 meters, that boat led the Cougar four by nearly a length, with the UW "B" boat in third. As the race progressed, the three boats remained in that same order, with the Husky "A" crew increasing its advantage consistently.
The Huskies won the race by several lengths of open water in a time of 7:21.09, a little more than 12 seconds ahead of WSU (7:33.35).
"We are all really grateful for this opportunity," Schendekehl concluded. "We're all aware that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and no one is taking anything for granted. We are so thankful to everyone behind the scenes who has helped us get to this day."
NEXT UP: The Huskies will now have some time to prepare for the 120th annual Class Day Regatta, March 27 on Montlake Cut. A reminder that spectators will not be allowed to gather along Montlake Cut this season due to local health restrictions. We encourage fans to view home regattas via the live video stream.
1. Washington – 6:21.36
2. Washington State – 6:40.40
Second Varsity Eight
1. Washington 2V8+ – 6:33.37
2. Washington 3V8+ – 6:45.55
3. Washington State – 6:57.48
1. Washington A – 7:21.09
2. Washington State – 7:33.35
3. Washington B – 7:45.92
Shell: Title IX Tenacity
Cox: Nina Castagna (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills)
Stroke: Carmen McNamara-Smith (Seattle, Wash./Center School)
7: McKenna Bryant (Kent, Wash./Kennedy Catholic)
6: Tabea Schendekehl (Dortmund, Germany)
5: Angharad Broughton (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.)
4: Lark Skov (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
3: Holly Drapp (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest)
2: Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School)
Bow: Skylar Jacobson (Lakewood, Wash./Steilacoom)
Second Varsity Eight – A
Shell: Title IX Sisterhood
Cox: Dana Brooks (Tiburon, Calif./Redwood)
Stroke: Sophia Chaffey (Redmond, Wash./Bellevue Christian)
7: Brittani Shappell (Bellingham, Wash./Walworth Barbour)
6: Molly Gallaher (Snoqualmie, Wash./Skyline)
5: Taylor Buell (Olympia, Wash./Capital)
4: Fiona Shields (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge)
3: Ava Trogus (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park and River Forest)
2: Joïe Zier (Orcas Island, Wash./Orcas Island)
Bow: Jenna Phillips (Dayton, Wash./Dayton)
Third Varsity Eight – B
Shell: H.W. McCurdy
Cox: Lauren Preston (Newton, Pa./Notre Dame)
Stroke: Brooklyn Fehling (Puyallup, Wash./Puyallup)
7: Mikayla Messinger (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington)
6: Laurel Safranek (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage)
5: Renee Rockett (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline)
4: Haley Stoker (Bellingham, Wash./Bellingham)
3: Maddie Murphy (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona)
2: Grace Epp (Redmond, Wash./Redmond)
Bow: Thora Hornewer (Chicago, Ill./Whitney M. Young Magnet)
Varsity Four – A
Shell: Raz Sykes
Stroke: Ellie Bruce (Snoqualmie, Wash./Mount Si)
3: Katherine Slack (Everett, Wash./Kamiak)
2: Claire Marion (San Marcos, Calif./San Marcos)
Bow: Claire Surbeck (Bellevue, Wash./International School)
Cox: Sachi Yamamoto (Seattle, Wash./Franklin)
Varsity Four – B
Shell: Sam Sykes
Stroke: Audrey Tarr (Seattle, Wash./The Northwest School)
3: Trinity Billingslea (Santa Clara, Calif./Archbishop Mitty)
2: Katie Dolan (Barrington, R.I./Barrington)
Bow: Hallie Jensen (Spokane, Wash./Lakeside)
Cox: Izzy Angulo (Shoreline, Wash./Holy Names Academy)