No. 1 Washington Women Win Fourth Straight Pac-12 Title
GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The No. 1-ranked Washington women's rowing team earned its fourth straight Pac-12 Championship Sunday at Lake Natoma, winning four out of its five races at the conference regatta.
Washington also won the men's team title as the two teams were victorious in nine of 10 men's and women's grand finals. The women's title is the 18th in school history, since the Pac-12 (then Pac-10) first sponsored a women's championship in 1987.
The UW women totaled 45.5 points, one point shy of the maximum in the women's scoring system, with victories in the first, second and third varsity eights, as well as a second in the varsity four. The Huskies also won the novice eight. No. 4-ranked Stanford finished second with 40 points while No. 8 California (31.5) finished third.
The Huskies entered the final race of the regatta -- the women's varsity eight -- with the championship still in doubt. The UW held a 1.5-point lead over Stanford, with the winner of the V8+ final earning 21 points, three more than second place (18), meaning whichever of the two won the varsity eight race would win the overall title.
"It's was a hard fought day of racing, but that's how the whole year has been," said head coach Yasmin Farooq. "This team made many sacrifices to get here. It was so rewarding to see the team step up today, for everyone here and for everyone back home who helped us have this opportunity."
The feature race was close throughout, the Huskies holding a 1.5-second lead through 1,500 meters, but the UW extended the gap over the final 500 and pulled away for the win. Led by coxswain Nina Castagna and stroke Ella Cossill – but without fifth-year senior Tabea Schendekehl, who was in Switzerland rowing for Germany in the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta – the Huskies finished with a time of 6:34.903, just shy of three seconds in front of the Cardinal (6:37.797). Cal finished third.
"We haven't had any races this year that were so close, so it showed us how deep we need to dig, but also that we have each other's backs when it gets tough," said Cossill. "We can trust each other and find that extra gear."
Cossill explained that the conditions became more and more windy as the final race went on, but that the Huskies were able to take advantage.
"We knew we could handle it," she said. "That's when we thrive. We capitalized on our ability to take that on and showed it in the sprint."
Washington's second varsity eight won its race by a larger margin over the Cardinal. Stroked by McKenna Bryant (Kent, Wash.) and coxed by fifth-year senior Dana Brooks, the 2V8+ won in 6:33.336, better than five seconds faster than Stanford and 15 seconds in front of third-place Cal.
The Huskies' lone loss of the day came in the varsity four, where Stanford picked up the win in 7:24.809. The UW four finished in second place (7:36.855).
In the third varsity eight race, Washington's crew, coxed by Izzy Angulo (Shoreline, Wash.) and stroked by Abby Adebiyi, also beat out Stanford (second) and Cal (third) at the front of the pack.
Washington's novice eight opened the women's events with a head-to-head win over California. The Huskies led the entire route and gained open water in the the third 500. The Huskies, stroked by Brooklyn Fehling (Puyallup, Wash.), won in a time of 6:52.189, nearly eight seconds in front of Cal.
"It's awesome great representation of all the hard work everyone has put in," said Cossill, who spent much of the last year at home in Australia, "whether they were stuck in their home county like I was or slogging away in Seattle through the fall and winter. I think it's really satisfying to be able to put it all on display."
The championship earned the Huskies an automatic berth to the 2021 NCAA Rowing Championships, May 28-30 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla. Washington won the last NCAA title, in 2019 (the 2020 season was canceled), and has won two of the last three, winning in 2017 and finishing second in 2018. In women's rowing, the NCAA champion is crowned based on points scored in varsity eights, second varsity eights and varsity fours races.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN'S RESULTS
Women's Total Points
1. Washington – 44.5
2. Stanford – 40
3. California – 31.5
4. Oregon State – 21
5. Washington State – 20
6. UCLA – 17.5
7. USC – 6
Women's Varsity 8+
1. Washington – 6;34.903
2. Stanford – 6:37.797
3. California – 6:48.820
4. Oregon State – 6:51.540
5. Washington State – 6:54.667
6. UCLA – 7:02.117
7. USC – 7:07.663
Women's Second Varsity 8+
1. Washington – 6:33.336
2. Stanford – 6:38.644
3. California – 6:48.748
4. UCLA – 6:56.757
5. Washington State – 6:57.769
6. Oregon State – 7:01.689
7. USC – 7:03.233
Women's Varsity 4+
1. Stanford – 7:24.809
2. Washington – 7:36.855
3. Washington State – 7:44.700
4. California – 7:45.980
5. Oregon State – 7:54.380
6. UCLA – 8:13.444
7. USC – 7:39.359
Women's Third Varsity 8+
1. Washington – 6:47.679
2. Stanford – 6:54.179
3. California – 7:01.278
4. Oregon State – 7:13.934
5. UCLA – 7:21.339
Women's Novice 8+
1. Washington – 6:52.189
2. California – 7:00.117
WASHINGTON WOMEN'S LINEUPS
Shell: Title IX Tenacity
Cox: Nina Castagna (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills)
Stroke: Ella Cossill (Gold Coast, Australia)
7: Teal Cohen (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School)
6: Holly Dunford (Tadworth, England, U.K.)
5: Holly Drapp (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest)
4: Isabel van Opzeeland (Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
3: Angharad Broughton (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.)
2: Lark Skov (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
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: Dimitra Tsamopoulou (Athens, Greece)
6: Molly Gallaher (Snoqualmie, Wash./Skyline)
5: Taylor Buell (Olympia, Wash./Capital)
4: Nikki Martincic (Newtown, Sydney, Australia)
3: Carmen McNamara-Smith (Seattle, Wash./Center School)
2: Joïe Zier (Orcas Island, Wash./Orcas Island)
Bow: Brittani Shappell (Bellingham, Wash./Walworth Barbour)
Shell: Wendell S. Sykes
Stroke: Katherine Slack (Everett, Wash./Kamiak)
3: Fiona Shields (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge)
2: Sophia Chaffey (Redmond, Wash./Bellevue Christian)
Bow: Jenna Phillips (Dayton, Wash./Dayton)
Cox: Sachi Yamamoto (Seattle, Wash./Franklin)
Third Varsity Eight
Shell: Jean LaFromboise
Cox: Izzy Angulo (Shoreline, Wash./Holy Names Academy)
Stroke: Abby Adebiyi (London, U.K.)
7: Laurel Safranek (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage)
6: Audrey Tarr (Seattle, Wash./The Northwest School)
5: Ellie Bruce (Snoqualmie, Wash./Mount Si)
4: Claire Marion (San Marcos, Calif./San Marcos)
3: Grace Epp (Redmond, Wash./Redmond)
2: Ava Trogus (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park and River Forest)
Bow: Claire Surbeck (Bellevue, Wash./International School)
Cox: Carina Baxter (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge)
Stroke: Brooklyn Fehling (Puyallup, Wash./Puyallup)
7: Mikayla Messinger (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington)
6: Haley Stoker (Bellingham, Wash./Bellingham)
5: Renee Rockett (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline)
4: Grace Vander Griend (Bellingham, Wash./Sehome)
3: Victoria Park (Bellevue, Wash./The Bush School)
2: Isabelle Boniface (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs)
Bow: Bridget Savage (Unalaska, Alaska/Unalaska)