Men’s crew edges Rochester in URA championships
Just 1.6 seconds and two points separated the Washington University men’s crew team from a race victory and the overall points trophy. When the Washington University men’s crew team reached the end of the final race in the University Rowing Association championships, it had earned both.
The Wash. U. victory over Rochester in the men’s Heavyweight Varsity 4 earned 12 points to Rochester’s nine, giving them the needed two-point boost for the overall win.
“In the end it came down to a few races where the varsity team came in first,” senior co-captain Derek Turnbull said.
Co-captain Jewell Thomas, juniors Andrew Warshauer and Ryan Bowers, coxswain Rui Hu and freshman Eamon Callison represented Wash. U. in the crucial Heavyweight 4. They made an important sprint halfway through the course, overtaking the squad from the University of Chicago.
“Halfway through, we made our move,” Thomas said. “We crept up on them. It was a very well-rowed race; Chicago and Rochester were ahead of us at the start.”
“We just have a really young team,” sophomore Miranda Timonen said. “This is a building year for us. We’re very pleased with how we performed against Rochester.”
Like the men’s team, the women saw the regatta as a positive indicator for the rest of the season.
In the women’s competition, the Bears finished in second behind the Yellowjackets, who claimed the top spot in each varsity race. The Varsity 8 proved to be the most exciting race, as the Lady Bears edged Rochester’s B boat by 0.7 seconds for second place. According to Timonen, Wash. U. made its move about 250 meters from the finish, erasing a boat-length deficit to overtake the Yellowjackets, a varsity program.
“This is sort of an opener to our official season…sort of a barometer, and were really pleased,” Timonen said. “It’s really been fantastic to see [the freshmen] develop as rowers.”
The URA represents the equivalent of a conference championship for Wash. U.’s crew squads. Schools from the University Athletic Association, including Rochester, the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University, competed for the title. But the URA is not officially part of the UAA or the NCAA.
The men’s overall-points trophy win left team members optimistic about future competitions.
“It’s my thought now going into this spring [that] we’re going to have one of the fastest crews that Wash. U. has seen in a long time,” Thomas said. “We have the opportunity to row in some of the high profile [regattas].”
The Bears are back in action at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta in Oakridge, Tenn., on April 17.
With additional reporting by Johann Quas Hiansen