2002 IRA Final Results
This page will offer full and updated coverage of the finals on 6/1/02.
Mens' Varsity Open 4+
6/1 - 8:20 a.m. pdt Men's Open 4+ are National Champions! More news as it comes in - visit IRA National Championships for updates - pictures courtesy of Susan Reid and Dave Slepyan:
The Men's 4+ crosses the finish line in a new course record time of 6:17.
The 2002 National Champions! Left to right that's Dan Garbutt, Varsity Intern Coach, Jeff Jorgensen, Dan McKeegan, Melissa Wengard, Andy Altman, Evan Galloway, Bob Cummins, Varsity Intern Coach, and Tim Lewis, Varsity Intern Coach.
In front of the Christopher Wells - a fitting tribute to the former UW Captain and Olympian.
Here is a quote from Bob Ernst prior to the 4's race:
"It shows you that we have some decent depth in the program. Jeff Jorgensen and Andy Altman are tough guys and they are gifted guys... those guys are out there working every day. Add those two freshman guys and it's great. It just makes that much more depth. It looks good for next year. They will be super assets."
...and from Melissa Wengard after the race - "Remember
yesterday when I said I was going to pass out if we won? It may still happen."
"We were down at the start, anywhere from a seat to a deck. Wisconsin was up
on us and Cal had us by about half a seat. We had been talking the last couple days
about how are start is not our strong point, so we wanted to take it at a low
rate and work on the power. We knew we could do it after that. We just
started taking seats, one at a time, got open water and that was it. It was
exactly what we wanted to do today. We are pretty excited. I can't explain
it. There's no words. It's incredible. I've never wanted to be dumped in the
...and from Andy Altman - "We just wanted one more
chance to go out there and lay it down. Even if we didn't win, we just wanted to
have the best race we could. I think we did that. It's an amazing feeling right
"Everything came together. Our starts haven't been perfect this year and it
wasn't again today. It wasn't as good as it could have been, but we got back
together as soon as we settled down and got into our race pace. We
systematically started moving through people. By 500-meters we were up on
all the crews and we kept moving away. We didn't settle for one seat. Every
time we got a seat, we would take another. We kept taking more.
Men's Freshmen 8
Update 10:50 a.m. pdt: The Freshmen are National Champions in a time of 5:39.6, with open water over 2nd place Michigan and 3rd place Princeton. Congratulations Husky Freshmen!
The freshmen celebrate at the dock.
Here is a quote from Bob Ernst prior to the freshmen
race: "Fred (Honebein) has got those guys ready to roll. They have a very,
very strong team. They have every
opportunity to win this race. I'm looking forward to having those guys on
the varsity squad next year."
"Fred is the story with our program. He is the turnaround guy. He's made the
biggest difference in our program. I hope the people in Seattle understand
that California might be looking for a new coach and I hope they keep Fred
...and from coxswain Greg King, prior to the race:
"It's incredible to be a part of such a huge regatta, the national
championships. It doesn't get any bigger than this."
(on defending the frosh eight title) "That means so much. I'm pretty sure
that if we win, it will be the first time in a long time for a coach to win
back-to-back (IRA) freshman national titles. It's really important to us, to
win for ourselves and to win for Fred (Honebein, frosh coach). He's been an
amazing coach all year. Our victory would be all due to him. He never gave
up on us. We had some big lows during the season, but he never gave up on
...and from John Heylin, 2 seat, after the race:
"There was a tail wind and that made it pretty choppy. We had some weird
"When I crossed the finish line, I didn't know what to think. The last
250-meters went by so fast. Our coxswain was saying '250-meters to go' and I
looked to the side and we hadn't hit the green buoys yet. I thought he was
lying. I thought we still had 400-meters to go. Then all of the sudden he
was telling us we had 10 strokes to go. It couldn't have been more than a
few seconds before we were done. Then I heard all the screaming."
(on defending the championship) "We definitely thought about that. It was
trust. One reason we did so well this year is that we all trusted each other
to push it across the line. We trusted that if another crew put a length on
us we could power through them. It was trust that when we called our power
strokes, you weren't the only guy doing it. You could feel the move."
...and here is what Fred had to say - "These guys were
really ready for this weekend. Our training took a bit of a hitch earlier right
when we got out here, but they really rebounded and did a good job on getting
right into the heat of everything."
"I think you get really lucky with the athletes you get. They make the
program. One of the fun things about coaching freshmen is that you get them,
and then you get rid of them. But the unfortunate part about that is you get
them and then they are gone. That's it. It's special because when you're on
the varsity you have more chances to win a national champion. But you are
only a freshman national champion once. That's a pretty special thing,
especially for these guys.
"It also sets the tone for the next three years. I think that's why our
varsity and jayvee are really disappointed right now. They've had success as
freshmen. They've done a lot for the program. That's why the varsity guys
are so down today.
"I'm really happy for my freshmen and what they did today, but I also really
feel bad for the varsity and jayvee. They all got medals, which is nice, but
I think they both could have been in any of the top three places. They
definitely showed signs of speed and that they were capable of keeping up
with everyone. It just didn't happen today. That's why we race. It hurts but
they have nothing to be disappointed about."
Men's JV 8
11:25 pdt: The JV's have won the bronze medal in the JV8, just inching out Wisconsin and missing the silver by a few feet in a very close final. California won the event by about 2 seconds. Congratulations JV's on an exceptional effort...more information pending.
1:20 pdt: The Varsity Men have won the bronze medal at the 2002 IRA National Championships, finishing third to California and Wisconsin. Cal won by about 6 seats over Wisconsin, with the Huskies another 5 seats back of the Badgers. We will be getting post-race comments from the coaches and athletes later in the day. (See article added below)
Update 3:00 p.m. pdt: We've got a first hand review of the race - The first 500m the boats were within a deck, and it was in the 2nd 500 that Cal moved out on the Huskies by about a length. The margin stayed that way, with the Huskies ahead of Wisconsin, until the last 300m, when Wisconsin pushed past the Huskies on the sprint.
At the finish it is California, Wisconsin, Washington.
Update 6:00 p.m. pdt: Here's the article at GoHuskies.com --> Freshman Eight, Varsity Four Win Gold Medals at IRA Championships :: Varsity eight and junior varsity eight earn bronze medals
Here's what Bob had to say after the races:
"The thing that is interesting about this kind of
racing is when you are
competing to win it all, you're pretty focused on getting first place. I'm
certainly not taking anything away from Wisconsin. They've got a great crew.
It's just difficult, when you're on your way up. Obviously we are
disappointed with the results. But we are still a very good team and we've
got very fast crews. There are going to be growing pains anytime you are
trying to get to the very top. It just wasn't in the cards today."
"I thought the guys looked a little bit flat at the beginning of the race,
certainly not as quick and aggressive as they were yesterday. I think it's
distracting when you are fighting to win the race and when you discover in
the last third of the race that you're not, then you can get picked off by
someone that maybe you would normally beat. I'm not taking anything away
from Wisconsin. They deserve the silver medals. But we were here to try and
win this race today and we didn't. You can kind of blow up if you don't, if
it doesn't pan out exactly the way you want it to.
"This whole team has made a lot of progress this year. We've been chasing
California around for the last four years now. They probably still have a
bit more depth than we do. They've got some very skilled, accomplished guys.
They are a great crew. I'm glad we had the victory over them this year and
I'm glad we had a great race with them at Pac-10s. Today it just wasn't
happening. They were on and we weren't. That's boat racing."
From Chris Hawkins, 2 seat, Varsity 8:
It's a bit of a conspicuous day to have your worst row of the year. We just really didn't row well together. There was a strong tail and in conditions like that you have to stay quick and stay together and we might have been quick but we didn't stay together. We didn't handle the conditions. The conditions handled us. That was
unfortunate. California had a great race, probably the best one I've seen.
It's kind of hard to tell though, when you have a bad race. You don't know
how much of it is them and how much is you. But they handled the course
really well and had a great race. Then Wisconsin had a great race and just
went through us. They took advantage of it."
It's not the way you want to end your senior year especially when you've worked so hard all year long. This wasn't the way it was supposed to go. But, it's a young boat. We'll see good things from them in the future. It's just unfortunate I couldn't be part of it, part of that success. Maybe in the future, with some hindsight, I'll be able
to look back on it with a bit more gracious attitude. But right now it's tough, to be so close."
The Seattle Times: Sports: UW men's varsity eight takes third
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