The University of Washington’s No. 1-ranked Varsity Eight captured its second consecutive Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championship Saturday morning on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, NJ., defeating Brown and four other crews in a course record time of 5:21.482. UW’s second Varsity Eight, Freshman Eight, Open Four and Varsity Four boats also won gold medals, giving the Huskies a 5-for-5 “sweep of the river.”
Coach Michael Callahan’s Varsity Eight hit the finish line in 5:21.482, beating Brown (5:23.476) by two seconds. Harvard finished third in 5:24.658, California fourth in 5:29.497, Syracuse fifth in 5:32.861 and Boston University sixth in 5:34.888.
Washington is the first school to win all five events at the national championships, and its 5:21.482 clocking was just two seconds off the world record.
“They really wanted to find themselves,” Callahan said of his varsity. “This is a whole new boat. They really wanted to be known for their own accomplishments. Now they have a record, so I guess they have it.”
The start of the Varsity Eight race was delayed when another crew committed a false start.
“We talked about staying composed,” said Callahan, “and we did.”
This is Callahan’s third IRA championship and the 15th in University of Washington history dating to 1923.
It also marks the eighth time that the Huskies have “swept the river,” winning all grand finals in a single IRA Regatta. UW “swept” in 1936, 1937, 1948 and 1950, 1997, 2009, 2011 and now in 2012.
Washington won the Open Four, defeating Wisconsin and California; took the Varsity Four, beating California and Brown; won the Freshman Eight, beating California and Northeastern; and took the Second Varsity Eight, prevailing over Brown and Harvard.
In the Open Four, UW raced from behind to win, closing in the final 750 meters. In the Varsity Four race, the Huskies won by two seconds. The Freshmen Eight pulled away from California in the final 700 meters. UW sprinted away from Brown in the Second Varsity Eight race in the final 1,000 meters.
Washington established unofficial course records in every race, and enabled the Huskies to win their sixth straight Ten Eyck Trophy, given to the overall points champion at the IRA regatta.
Washington’s IRA Championships
|1923||Poughkeepsie, NY||Rusty Callow||3 mi.||UW||Navy|
|1924||Poughkeepsie, NY||Rusty Callow||3 mi.||UW||Wisconsin|
|1926||Poughkeepsie, NY||Rusty Callow||4 mi.||UW||Navy|
|1936||Poughkeepsie, NY||Al Ulbrickson||4 mi.||UW||California|
|1937||Poughkeepsie, NY||Al Ulbrickson||4 mi.||UW||Navy|
|1940||Poughkeepsie, NY||Al Ulbrickson||4 mi.||UW||Cornell|
|1941||Poughkeepsie, NY||Al Ulbrickson||4 mi.||UW||California|
|1948||Poughkeepsie, NY||Al Ulbrickson||3 mi.||UW||California|
|1950||Marietta, OH||Al Ulbrickson||2 mi.||UW||California|
|1970||Syracuse, NY||Dick Erickson||2 km.||UW||Wisconsin|
|1997||Camden, NJ||Bob Ernst||2 km.||UW||Brown|
|2007||Cherry Hill, NJ||Bob Ernst||2 km.||UW||Stanford|
|2009||Ran. Cordova, CA||Michael Callahan||2 km.||UW||California|
|2011||Cherry Hill, NJ||Michael Callahan||2 km.||UW||Harvard|
|2012||Cherry Hill, NJ||Michael Callahan||2 km.||UW||Brown|