After a successful day of racing on Fridaythe Washington men’s rowing team looked to extend their performance and earn a ticket to the Grand Finals for each of their entries on Saturday.
Washington’s men’s crew had won the last four consecutive IRA Championships. Prior to losing to Cal in 2016, Washington held the longest winning streak for the championship with seven straight wins.
In 2016, Cal won Pac-12 championships and then won IRAs. The only other Pac-12 championship Cal had won in the past 15 years through 2022 was in 2009.
Saturday morning started with the semi-finals for the V8+. Washington left the line first in lane 5, with Princeton holding the positioning closest to them. Then Cal started to walk away. In the 500 meters, Cal was just under three seconds ahead of Washington and Harvard, who were just inches apart.
At the 1000, Cal crossed a full boat length in front of Washington, with only Washington’s bow ball holding the connection to Cal’s aft deck. Harvard began to fall back, as the Huskies moved up a seat, clinching second place at the halfway point.
In the 1,500 meters, little had changed between the margins of the top three crews.
The final 500 came when UW tried to make their final move on Cal, but it wasn’t enough. Closing the one-second gap and moving even further away from Harvard, Cal crossed the finish line first at 5:33.31, Washington second at 5:35.98 and Harvard third at 5:33. 40.37. These three crews will take part in the grand finale on Sunday.
The 2V8+ was to follow. With equal margins on the line, the crews began to slip away at the first 500 meter mark. Yale was first, just one seat ahead of Washington, while Dartmouth was third by less than half a second.
Dartmouth didn’t challenge UW for long, at the 1,000 meter mark, and entering the third 500 was a race between Washington and Yale. Midway, Yale held a forward half deck above Washington.
Then the margins widened. Going into the final 500 meters, Yale extended their lead to three seconds and held it until the finish. Yale finished with a time of 5:42.25 and Washington with a time of 5:46.53, both crews will go to the Grand Finals alongside Dartmouth who placed third.
The last semifinal of the day for UW was the 3V8+. The Huskies took the lead early, with a full foredeck ahead. They took the lead through the first 500-yard mark where they cleared just half a second ahead of Yale.
Then Yale acted. Going back to Washington, and beyond, through the second 500, Yale placed two seconds ahead of Washington at the halfway point.
Although Washington got off to a good start on the line, Yale took first place, finishing with a time of 5:46.46. Washington finished at 5:49.30.
The Huskies will still go to the Grand Finals, which means every Washington boat still has a chance to defend their national title.
To conclude the day, the Huskies played the grand final of the V4+. Offline, Washington was in the lead alongside Princeton. In the first 500 meters, Princeton was first with less than a second ahead of Washington.
Princeton then began to pull away, extending its lead to nearly four seats ahead of Washington as it cleared the 1,000-yard mark.
Then Washington began to act in response for the second half of the race. At the 1,500, Washington had gained a second behind Princeton and was still advancing. Continuing to close the gap, less than an arc ball sat between Princeton and UW’s lead.
Despite the Huskies’ move at the 1,000-yard mark and sprinting at the end, they missed Princeton by less than a second. Princeton finished first overall at 6:20.00 and Washington was second at 6:20.90.
All of Washington’s eight who made the semifinals will advance to Sunday’s grand final at Mercer Lake in Princeton, New Jersey.
Contact reporter Tess Kadian at [email protected] Twitter: @tkadian21
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