Washington’s men rowers drub Stanford; women defeat WSU
Coupled with a decisive win by the third-ranked Washington women’s varsity eight, which defeated No. 14 Washington State by nearly five seconds, the men’s lopsided win over ninth-ranked Stanford made the mood around UW’s Conibear Shellhouse as sunny as the sky overhead.
By Terry Wood
Special to The Seattle Times
Over the past two weekends Stanford coach Craig Amerkhanian has faced the nation’s three top-ranked men’s rowing teams: No. 1 Harvard, No. 2 Washington and No. 3 California.
After falling to the Huskies by 15 seconds on a blue-sky Saturday on Montlake Cut, Amerkhanian knows which team will be at the top of his ballot.
“We’ve seen the competition,” said Amerkhanian, whose team rowed against Harvard and Cal last Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic.
“Washington is the No. 1 team in the country right now. The defending national champions expressed themselves very well today.”
Coupled with a decisive win by the third-ranked Washington women’s varsity eight, which defeated No. 14 Washington State by nearly five seconds, the lopsided win over ninth-ranked Stanford made the mood around UW’s Conibear Shellhouse as sunny as the sky overhead.
“We’re pleased by the structure of the race we had,” UW men’s coach Michael Callahan said.
“We wanted more of a complete race than we got last week (a six-second win over eighth-ranked Brown), and we got that. We wanted to do better in the last 500 (meters) for sure, and the guys brought that.”
Washington’s winning time in the men’s varsity eight was 5 minutes, 40.78 seconds to Stanford’s 5:55.61. Callahan said the Huskies broke open a tight race around the 750 mark of the 2,000-meter race.
“We were both running a pretty hot pace, so who blinks first?” he said. “If we want to be one of the elite teams, we have to run at that speed, and we can’t back off.
“You can’t start fast and get comfortable. We wanted to be more on the red line, closer to our optimum speed after the first couple of minutes.
“We say that 90 percent pressure and 100 percent pressure feel about the same,” Callahan said “They both hurt. But one is different than the other one. Getting guys to go to that fence physically and mentally, that’s what we’re trying to do — push that barrier out and try to break it.”
“We’re trying to make an impression and set the tone right from the first stroke,” said senior captain Rob Munn, a Redmond grad who rows in the third seat. “We put down (a fast pace) and kept pushing and kept pushing and eventually we got the results that we wanted.”
• After a solid performance last week in San Diego, the UW women won in 6:34.8 to 6:39.7, sustaining the upward trajectory of the women’s program.
“We’re starting to get a core of world-class athletes in our program, and that’s what it takes,” women’s coach Bob Ernst said. “The NCAA level is so close to world-championship level, you need to have a really solid core of elite athletes in your programs or you’re not going to be able to race against the big guys.
“We didn’t win in San Diego, but we came pretty close to the two teams (USC and Virginia) that I think are the two best right now,” he said.
“We have a good core and they’re working hard.”
Erin Lauber, an Edmonds-Woodway grad, rows in the third seat and is one of just two seniors in UW’s V8 boat. “This is a good push in the right direction,” she said of UW’s fast start in 2012. “It’s a good confidence boost.” The team’s strength? “As corny as it sounds, we all get along. We all really enjoy rowing with each other. We want to work together and help each other get better. We don’t settle.”
• Washington won 10 of Saturday’s 11 races. Washington State won the women’s novice eight (6:53.0 to 6:56.3).
• The 158th edition of the famed Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford race took place Saturday on the River Thames in London and featured a bizarre interruption when an intruder swam onto the course and forced the race to be stopped and restarted. Later, a clash of oars snapped one of the Oxford oars and Cambridge, with 2011 UW grad Niles Garratt (a Shorecrest grad) rowing stroke, sprinted to the win. “We’re really proud of him,” Callahan said