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Seniors Win George M. Varnell Trophy At 120th Class Day

Mar 27, 2021

SEATTLE – After nearly two years away, the Washington men's and women's rowing teams returned to the Montlake Cut Saturday for the 120th Class Day Regatta, the UW's traditional start of rowing season.
The two featured Class Day races include one boat each from each class of men and women, racing down the 2,000-meter Montlake Cut race course. Last year, the season was canceled due to the pandemic just a couple of weeks before the regatta.
Saturday, the seniors won the George M. Varnell Men's Eight trophy, while the junior women, racing in an unusual five-boat field, won the Seattle Times Women's Eight.
"It was so exciting," women's head coach Yasmin Farooq said afterwards. "I thought it was probably going to come down to the juniors and seniors. The sophomores were kind of an unknown quantity, and they didn't get Class Day last year, so this was their shot. They had to wait a whole year before they got to race."
"I think this race was a little bit more emotional than others. It's been more than a year and a half since we've raced at all," men's head coach Michael Callahan said. "This is the traditional way of opening our season, and I think just the fact that we're opening another season after having had it canceled a year before is a pretty emotional moment for everyone."
The Seattle Times Women's Eight
Along with the four "regular" class boats, the women's race also featured an entry of four members of last year's senior class, all NCAA champions who opted to return for 2021. Those four – Tabea Schendekehl, Lark Skov, Skylar Jacobson, and Molly Gallaher – rowed in a quad sculls shell against the four other classes in eights.
The juniors went to the lead off the start with the seniors and sophomores close behind, just in front of the quad with the freshmen trailing. That order held through the halfway mark, but in the third 500, the sophomores moved in front of the seniors and into second place.
In the end, the junior crew, coxed by Nina Castagna and stroked by Carmen McNamara-Smith, finished with a time of 6:40.191, just shy of a length in front of the sophomores (6:44.732).
The fifth-year senior quad held on to finish 13-plus seconds in front of the freshmen.
""We just wanted to make sure it was clear that today we set the quad Montlake Cut record," said Gallaher, omitting that college rowers don't compete in sculls.
"It was very special," Gallaher continued. "We talked before the race, the fifth-years, and we had decided to come back without knowing whether or not we were going to have a racing season. Then we spent two quarters training, still not knowing. Then today, it was reassurance that it's going to happen and we're going to have the opportunity to showcase what we've been working on and why we came back."
"I thought the junior boat, once they got to base, they looked like a team that knew exactly what they were doing," Farooq said. "And the sophomore boat just scrapped to stay in there.
"Meanwhile, you had the fifth-years in the quad," she added. "They had lobbied to get to race that boat. They had an excellent start. They were in the race for a fair amount of time, which was pretty awesome."
George M. Varnell Men's Eight
The men's race was a tight one for the entire 2,000 meters as none of the crews were ever able to establish an unassailable lead. The junior class crossed the 500-meter mark in first by seven-tenths of a second, but by the 1,000-meter buoy, the seniors had closed the gap to a half-second. 
In the third 500, the seniors went in front, led by coxswain Adam Gold and stroke rower Gert-Jan van Doorn. They crossed 1,500 just three-tenths of a second in front of the juniors.
The seniors stretched their lead over the final portion of the race anad won by just under three seconds with a time of 5:53.178. The juniors, sophomores and freshmen followed, in that order.
"When you reflect on what everyone has done the last year, and what it took to get here – the commitment that all these students had for something that was so uncertain for this amount of time is pretty exceptionable," Callahan said. "It has an extra bit of emotion to it just because they've been so dilligent."
Men's & Women's Classless Race
The opening race of the day was an unusual one as a men's four raced against a women's eight. Both boats featured a mix of classes, though each was half filled with freshmen.
The men's four opened up a lead off of the starting dock. Led by fifth-year seniors Felix Reinhold and Austin Regier in the stroke and three seats, the men opened up a lead of about three lengths at the 1,000-meter mark.
The men won with a time of 6:57.770. The women's crew, which included six athletes racing in a UW shell for the first time, finished in 7:27.935.
As a part of the Class Day weekend, Washington announced its team captains and winner of awards for top GPA and most inspirational. Here are the winners:
2021 Team Captains
Women: Holly Drapp
Men: Steve Rosts
Pigott Award Winners (most inspirational)
Women: Klara Grube
Men: Jack Walkey
Schaller Award Winners (highest GPA)
Women: Katherine Slack
Men: Chase Deitner
Up Next
The next event for the UW men is a dual regatta vs. Oregon State at Dexter Lake, just outside of Eugene, Ore., on April 3. Two weeks later, the Huskies will compete for the Andrea and Everett Peter Paup Cup at the Stanford dual at Redwood Shores, Calif.
The UW women will have a couple of weeks to prepare for the Lake Las Vegas Pac-12 Women's Invitational, April 10-11, at Lake Las Vegas, where the Huskies already opened the 2021 season with a sweep of Washington State on March 6. Two weeks later, the UW women will compete at the Dexter Lake Invitational in Oregon.
Class Day Lineups
Race 1 – Men's & Women's Classless Race
Lane 1: Classless Men (4+)
Shell: Little Husky
Stroke: Felix Reinhold '20 (Cape Town, South Africa)
3: Austin Regier '20 (Burien, Wash./Mount Rainier)
2: Owen Malone '24 (Alexandria, Va./Gonzaga College HS)
Bow: Louis Gallia IV '24 (Sacramento, Calif./Jesuit)
Cox: Isabel Klein '21 (Seattle, Wash./University Prep)
Lane 2: Classless Women (8+)
Shell: Erickson Family
Cox: Cece Wendel '23 (Springfield, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy)
Stroke: Maddie Murphy '23 (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona)
7: Trinity Billingslea '21 (Santa Clara, Calif./Archbishop Mitty)
6: Katie Dolan '22 (Barrington, R.I./Barrington)
5: Dimitra Tsamopoulou '22 (Athens, Greece)
4: Victoria Park '23 (Bellevue, Wash./The Bush School)
3: Savanna Tucker '24 (Austin, Texas/L.C. Anderson)
2: Olivia Craig '24 (Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy)
Bow: Ellie Bertram '24 (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island)
Race 2 – George M. Varnell Men's Eight
Lane 1 –Seniors, Class of 2021
Shell: Grand Challenger
Coxswain: Adam Gold (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Academy)
Stroke: Gert-Jan van Doorn (Leiden, The Netherlands)
7: Peter Lancashire (Victoria, B.C., Canada)
6: Paolo Bifulco (Portland, Ore./Lincoln)
5: Ian Engstrom (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury)
4: Jeffrey Thiers (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt)
3: Chase Barrows (Snohomish, Wash./Archbishop Murphy)
2: Chase Deitner (Perth Australia)
Bow: Sebastian Ritter (Regensburg, Germany)
Lane 2 –Juniors, Class of 2022
Shell: Chuck Holtz III
Coxswain: Thomas Wenk (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier)
Stroke: George Esau (Long Lake, Minn./Orono)
7: Pieter Quinton (Portland, Ore./Grant/Harvard)
6: Jack Premzic (Davis, Calif./Davis Senior)
5: Mattijs Holler (Vienna, Austria)
4: Nils Vorberg (Hamburg, Germany)
3: Chandler Kovacevich (Snohomish, Wash./Monroe)
2: Samuel Halbert (Redmond, Wash./Woodinville)
Bow: Colin Kwiecinski (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier)
Lane 3 – Freshmen "Grunties," Class of 2024
Shell: Carl Lovsted
Coxswain: Nick Dunlop (Sydney, Australia)
Stroke: Blake Bradshaw (Auckland, New Zealand)
7: Luca Unkovic (Paris, France/Redwood (Calif.))
6: Giulio Acernese (Rome, Italy)
5: Abe Eligator (Larchmont, N.Y./Mamaroneck)
4: Archie Drummond (Twickenham, London, U.K.)
3: Caleb Cowles (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor)
2: Gus Altucher (Portland, Ore./Cleveland)
Bow: Robert Pluijmert (Dieren, The Netherlands)
Lane 4 – Sophomores "Rookies," Class of 2023
Shell: Chuck Holtz II
Coxswain: Grace Murdock (Roswell, Ga./Milton)
Stroke: Max Mason (Redmond, Wash./Redmond)
7: Jack Walkey (Victoria, B.C., Canada)
6: David Bridges (Portland, Ore./Jesuit)
5: Max Heid (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep)
4: Pablo Matan (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep)
3: Adam Krol (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2: Michael Thiers (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt)
Bow: Matt Peters (Redding, England, U.K.)
Race 3 – Seattle Times Women's Eight
Lane 1 –Seniors, Class of 2021
Shell: Title IX Tenacity
Cox: Sachi Yamamoto (Seattle, Wash./Franklin)
Stroke: Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School)
7: Holly Drapp (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest)
6: Taylor Buell (Olympia, Wash./Capital)
5: Fiona Shields (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge)
4: Ava Trogus (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park and River Forest)
3: Ellie Bruce (Snoqualmie, Wash./Mount Si)
2: Jenna Phillips (Dayton, Wash./Dayton)
Bow: Laurel Safranek (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage)
Lane 2 –Juniors, Class of 2022
Shell: Title IX Sisterhood
Cox: Nina Castagna (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills)
Stroke: Carmen McNamara-Smith (Seattle, Wash./Center School)
7: McKenna Bryant (Kent, Wash./Kennedy Catholic)
6: Ella Cossill (Gold Coast, Australia)
5: Sophia Chaffey (Redmond, Wash./Bellevue Christian)
4: Claire Marion (San Marcos, Calif./San Marcos)
3: Hallie Jensen (Spokane, Wash./Lakeside)
2: Brittani Shappell (Bellingham, Wash./Walworth Barbour)
Bow: Joïe Zier (Orcas Island, Wash./Orcas Island)
Lane 3 – Freshmen "Pups," Class of 2024
Shell: H.W. McCurdy
Cox: Anna Ellis (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor)
Stroke: Claire Surbeck (Bellevue, Wash./International School)
7: Renee Rockett (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline)
6: Brooklyn Fehling (Puyallup, Wash./Puyallup)
5: Zoe Null (Novato, Calif./San Marin)
4: Grace Vander Griend (Bellingham, Wash./Sehome)
3: Maya Flynn (Pewaukee, Wis./Pewaukee)
2: Bridget Savage (Unalaska, Alaska/Unalaska)
Bow: Wen Eckelberg (Seattle, Wash./Cleveland STEM)
Lane 4 – Sophomores "Rooks," Class of 2023
Shell: Jean LaFramboise
Cox: Carina Baxter (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge)
Stroke: Abby Adebiyi (London, U.K.)
7: Bella Carter (Christchurch, New Zealand)
6: Isabel van Opzeeland (Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
5: Angharad Broughton (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.)
4: Mikayla Messinger (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington)
3: Haley Stoker (Bellingham, Wash./Bellingham)
2: Katherine Slack (Everett, Wash./Kamiak)
Bow: Isabelle Boniface (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
Lane 5 – Fifth-Year Seniors (Class of 2020) - 4x
Stroke: Tabea Schendekehl (Dortmund, Germany)
3: Lark Skov (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
2: Skylar Jacobson (Lakewood, Wash./Steilacoom)
Bow: Molly Gallaher (Snoqualmie, Wash./Skyline)