The University of Washington men’s varsity eight saw its five-year winning streak at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association end Sunday on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, NJ. The Huskies finished fourth in the grand final, behind winner California. The Bears also won the overall points trophy, ending the record Huskies streak at nine in a row.
“We have had an amazing run,” UW head coach Michael Callahan told gohuskies.com. “But I think things are evolving in collegiate men’s rowing. Other schools have answered the call. The elevation of rowing is higher. California is an outstanding boat. Princeton is outstanding, and so is Yale. If you are not operating at the highest level, you are going to be left behind.”
Yale and California came out of the start at the head of the pack, with Washington and Princeton not far behind. By 1,000 meters, the Bears had established their lead, and the youthful Huskies crew, stroked by freshman Philipp Nonnast and with just two oarsmen, Jacob Dawson and Ezra Carlson, from last year’s winning boat, settled into fourth.
Cal won the eight for the first time since 2010 with a time of 5:38.710. Yale (5:40.700) won silver and Princeton (5:41.880) bronze. The Huskies, who won seven of the previous 10 races, finished in 5:44.460.
“The goal was to have our best race on the final day and in the final race,” Callahan explained. “That is what you hope for your rowers and students. Not to have that today, you feel like you left something out on the water and could have gone faster. That is what we would have liked to have done.”
Washington’s freshman boat won a fifth consecutive IRA Stewards Cup, the 25th in school history. The UW four was victorious for the seventh consecutive season and the 10th time ever, taking home the Eric W. Will trophy. Washington finished fourth in the second varsity eight race, won by Harvard, and third in the third varsity eight, won by Princeton.
Cal won the Jim Ten Eyck trophy as the overall points winner, breaking the Huskies’ unprecedented streak of nine consecutive Ten Eyck wins. No other program has won more than four in a row.
“I think we have had a lot of success over recent years, and now it’s a new chapter in our program,” Callahan said. “Now it is time to reinvent it. The challenges are new; some of the rules have changed. So it is time for us to look at the program and then evolve, to put it in a positive way. I think that is the indication today.
“It’s time for us to raise it to the next level.That is the challenge and that is the exciting thing about intercollegiate rowing: It’s always evolving. It’s always getting better. I think it is great for our sport.”