No. 1 Washington Women Wrap Up Weekend Sweep In Vegas
HENDERSON, Nev. – The No. 1-ranked Washington women's rowing team continued its strong start to the 2021 season with wins in all four races on the second and final day of the Lake Las Vegas Pac-12 Invitational Sunday.
The Huskies beat No. 19 Washington State, No. 20 Oregon State and the University of San Diego in the first and second varsity eights and in the varsity four, and also won a second varsity four race against No. 8 Alabama for the second day in a row. On Saturday, Washington won all four races, against Bama and OSU.
"Coming away with a sweep is really nice," said varsity rower Skylar Jacobson, "but I think a lot of our focus coming into this weekend was to build off of Class Day and our first trip to Vegas [March 6 vs. WSU]. We did a really good job of making those improvements that we wanted to make."
In the final race of the regatta, the varsity eight, Washington State came out of the starting dock in front, but that lead was short-lived as the Huskies moved in front well before 500 meters.
UW's top eight, featuring fifth-year seniors Jacobson, Tabea Schendekehl and Lark Skov, was strong throughout the full 2,000 meters, continuing to increase its margin over the other crews. The Huskies' varsity eight, which has won all three intercollegiate races so far this season by more than eight seconds, earned the victory with a time of 6:22.80, nearly nine seconds in front of the Cougars (6:31.60), who edged out the Beavers for second.
"Having two days of racing is great," Jacobson explained. "You go into the first race knowing that you have a second one, and you can put things away from the first race into the next, or make changes. We were able to make those changes while keeping we we liked."
Washington's second varsity eight took command of its race from start, earning an open-water lead before passing the 500-meter buoy. The 2V8, featuring bow pair Joïe Zier and Brittani Shappell, led from nearly the very beginning and increased its lead throughout the race, once again leaving WSU and OSU to fight for second.
UW's second eight won by 13 seconds, with a time of 6:24.34. OSU (6:37.45) was second, ahead of the Cougars and Toreros.
In the varsity four race, OSU and WSU both got off to strong starts and were in front of UW in the very early going, but before 500 meters, the Huskies had moved to the front and to a full-length lead at about 600 meters.
While Washington continued to increase its lead, the Cougars and Beavers had a great race for second. In the end, the Huskies finished with a time of 7:04.24, well ahead of the field. WSU edged OSU for second place.
The Huskies beat Alabama in the second varsity fours race in the first event of the morning. Saturday, Washington beat the Tide by about 10 seconds in the same race. Sunday, Bama made it a closer race in the early portions, keeping contact with the Huskies throughout the first 1,000 meters. But, the UW four broke free in the second half of the course.
After the halfway mark, the Huskies, stroked by Abby Adebiyi and coxed by Lauren Preston, pulled away and actually beat Saturday's margin, winning in a time of 7:16.19, more than 12 seconds ahead of the Crimson Tide.
"Thanks to Jim Andersen and the Lake Las Vegas Rowing Club for collaborating with the Pac-12 rowing teams to host this regatta, and a big thank you to Alabama and University of San Diego for coming to join us," UW head women's coach Yasmin Farooq said afterwards. "The racing was top-notch, and it was awesome to feel that our sport is alive and well despite COVID. The 2021 season is looking to be as competitive as ever, and that's all we could hope for."
Jacobson, like her teammates, continues to be happy to be back to racing after the previous year's season was canceled. And while the world hasn't yet made it back to "normal," the feeling while on the water is familiar.
"Things are definitely still different, but that's becoming the new normal," she said. "Once we're on the course though, we get into race mode. Then it seems like it's back to normal."
With five other Pac-12 programs at the regatta – Cal and USC also raced, but not against UW – the weekend served as a preview of some of the biggest events still on this season's schedule.
"There's a really open playing field this year, just because of everyone has been through so many different things," Jacobson concluded. "It's going to be a true test when we get into Pac-12s and NCAAs."
Next up for the Washington women is the Dexter Lake Invitational, April 24 in Oregon. Next Saturday at Redwood Shores, Calif., the Washington men return to action in a dual regatta with Stanford.
Lake Las Vegas Pac-12 Day Two Results (UW races only)
1. Washington – 6:22.80
2. Washington State – 6:31.60
3. Oregon State – 6:33.81
4. San Diego – 6:50.66
Second Varsity Eight
1. Washington – 6:24.34
2. Oregon State – 6:37.45
3. Washington State – 6:41.90
4. San Diego – 6:49.89
1. Washington – 7:04.24
2. Washington State – 7:17.88
3. Oregon State – 7:20.03
4. San Diego – 7:34.08
Second Varsity Four
1. Washington – 7:16.19
2. Alabama – 7:28.98
Lake Las Vegas Pac-12 Invitational Lineups
Shell: Title IX Tenacity
Cox: Nina Castagna (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills)
Stroke: Ella Cossill (Gold Coast, Australia)
7: Tabea Schendekehl (Dortmund, Germany)
6: Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School)
5: Holly Drapp (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest)
4: Lark Skov (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
3: Angharad Broughton (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.)
2: Carmen McNamara-Smith (Seattle, Wash./Center School)
Bow: Skylar Jacobson (Lakewood, Wash./Steilacoom)
Second Varsity Eight
Shell: Title IX Sisterhood
Cox: Dana Brooks (Tiburon, Calif./Redwood)
Stroke: McKenna Bryant (Kent, Wash./Kennedy Catholic)
7: Isabel van Opzeeland (Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
6: Molly Gallaher (Snoqualmie, Wash./Skyline)
5: Taylor Buell (Olympia, Wash./Capital)
4: Trinity Billingslea (Santa Clara, Calif./Archbishop Mitty)
3: Jenna Phillips (Dayton, Wash./Dayton)
2: Joïe Zier (Orcas Island, Wash./Orcas Island)
Bow: Brittani Shappell (Bellingham, Wash./Walworth Barbour)
Shell: Wendell S. Sykes
Stroke: Hallie Jensen (Spokane, Wash./Lakeside)
3: Katherine Slack (Everett, Wash./Kamiak)
2: Fiona Shields (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge)
Bow: Claire Marion (San Marcos, Calif./San Marcos)
Cox: Sachi Yamamoto (Seattle, Wash./Franklin)
Second Varsity Four
Shell: Sam & Raz Sykes
Stroke: Abby Adebiyi (London, U.K.)
3: Bella Carter (Christchurch, New Zealand)
2: Ava Trogus (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park and River Forest)
Bow: Ellie Bruce (Snoqualmie, Wash./Mount Si)
Cox: Lauren Preston (Newton, Pa./Notre Dame)