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Dawson Earns Olympic Bronze Medal In British Eight

Jul 29, 2021

Former UW men's team captain Jacob Dawson '16 earned a bronze medal in the Great Britain men's eight Wednesday as the 2020 Olympics regatta came to an end.
Both the men's and women's eights finals results were mild upsets as the New Zealand men won gold for the first time since 1972, while the Canadian women won their first eights gold medal since the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Washington had three women and five men compete in the eights finals. Three Huskies were part of the U.S. crew: coxswain Katelin Guregian and rowers Brooke Mooney and Jessica Thoennes.
With rain falling on the Sea Forest Waterway, all six crews in the women's final rowed sharply off of the starting dock, with the Canadians gaining the early lead, just ahead of New Zealand and Australia. At 500 meters, that was the order, with the United States in fifth place, but still well within striking distance.
At 1,000 meters, the order remained the same, but it was still a tightly packed field from first through sixth. 
By 1,500 meters, China had moved up to third, but the Americans were still in fifth position, leaving them with a lot of work to do to reach the medal stand. 
Canada (5:59.13) went wire-to-wire to win the gold medal, its first in the event since 1992. New Zealand (6:00.04) held off China (6:01.21) to win the silver. The United States finished with a time of 6:02.78, with Australia and Romania taking fifth and sixth, respectively.
The third-place finish by the Chinese marked their second-ever medal in the women's eight, as they also took the bronze in Seoul in 1988. The U.S. crew had won gold the last three Olympics, though they finished third in the most recent World Championships in 2019.
Huskies were members of four crews in the men's eight finals: Dawson (Great Britain), Ben Davison '17 (U.S.), Stuart Sim '16 (Australia), and both Simon van Dorp '20 and Bram Schwarz '20 in the Dutch eight. All five were making their Olympic debut.
Favored Germany led at 500 meters, with the Kiwis and Brits close behind and the U.S. fourth. At 1,000, New Zealand led by a hair, ahead of the Germans and Great Britain, with the U.S. still one spot out of the medals.
By 1,500 meters, the Kiwis had taken a significant lead and the U.S., still fourth, had narrowed the gap on Germany and Great Britain. But the U.S. was unable to catch the Brits at the finish, completing the 2,000 meters just over one second behind the bronze medalists. The Dutch crew finished fifth and the Aussies came in sixth.
Dawson, from Plymouth, England, won national championships in the Washington men's varsity eight as a sophomore and junior in 2014 and 2015 before captaining the team as a senior in 2016. He had rowed in three World Championship regattas since graduating from Washington.
Dawson is the 46th individual Husky to win an Olympic medal, dating back to the 1936 Olympics, when the famed UW men's eight won gold on behalf of the United States. Washington has had an alumus win a medal in the last five Olympics, and in six of the last seven.
Next month in Tokyo, UW alumna Danielle Hansen '17 will row in her second Paralympic Games. She won silver in the U.S. mixed four with coxswain in Rio in 2016.
Here is the full list of Washington rowers at the 2020 Olympics, including their final result:
Washington Rowing Alumni in the 2020 Olympics & Paralympics
(schedule subject to change)
Women's Pair – W2-
Megan Kalmoe '06, USA – finished 10th overall
Men's Pair – M2-
Conlin McCabe '12, Canada – finished 4th overall
Women's Double – W2x
Chiara Ondoli '18, Italy – finished 9th overall
Women's Quad – W4x
Valentina Iseppi '20, Italy – finished 4th overall
Men's Four – M4-
Will Crothers '09, Canada – finished 8th overall
Women's Eight – W8+
Fiona Gammond '15, Great Britain – finished 7th overall
Katelin Guregian '09, USA – finished 4th overall
Brooke Mooney '18, USA – finished 4th overall
Jessica Thoennes '18, USA – finished 4th overall
Men's Eight – M8+
Jacob Dawson '16, Great Britain – Bronze Medal
Ben Davison '17, USA – finished 4th overall
Bram Schwarz '20, Netherlands – finished 5th overall
Simon van Dorp '20, Netherlands – finished 5th overall
Stuart Sim '16, Australia – finished 6th overall
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four – PR3Mix4+
Danielle Hansen '17, USA
First race: heats on Fri., Aug. 27
Michiel Mantel '19, Netherlands
Kirstyn Goodger '14, New Zealand
Phoebe Spoors '17, New Zealand
Yasmin Farooq, U.S. women's team support coach