University of Washington rowing claimed another place in the sport’s history books Sunday in West Windsor, NJ, when the Huskies women became the first program in the 21 years as an NCAA-sanctioned varsity sport to sweep the three grand finals for the team title. The win was the fourth UW women’s rowing championship.
Under first-year coach Yasmin Farooq, the Huskies, ranked No. 1 in all three categories entering the weekend, won all races over the regatta’s three days on Mercer Lake, including heats and semifinal races, for the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four.
“I was just so impressed by how every single person on this team stepped up from the first day,” Farooq told gohuskies.com. “They really, really did. Today they showed what great teammates do for one another. We always viewed it as a team championship, where every person mattered.”
UW scored the maximum 132 points to earn the team title, ahead of California (123) and Michigan (112).
— Washington Athletics (@UWAthletics) May 29, 2017
In varsity eight final, Washington led from the start to win in six minutes, 36.393 seconds. Stanford closed fast and finish second in 6:38.52 and Cal was third in 6:40.069.
“Outside of the Olympic finals, this is the most competitive racing on the planet at rowing at the NCAA’s,” Farooq said. “You see photo finishes every day. We knew it would come down to every boat having their best performance and also culminating in the varsity eight final.”
The Huskies had an easier time in the second varsity eight and varsity four, winning each wire to wire.
“Every single boat executed the race plan perfectly,” said Farooq. “It took a lot of courage for them to do that because it required a lot of commitment early in the race that most people would think would be unsustainable. Every one of those boats delivered on all 240 of those strokes in that race.”
The NCAA title was UW’s first since 2001. Seven other national titles were won before the NCAA made it a varsity sport. In 1987, Washington also swept all three titles. The win marked the 500th NCAA team championship won by a Pac-12 program, most of any conference.
Washington’s varsity eight won its fifth championship (1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002). The second varsity eight took first for the second time in Washington history, having also won in 2002. The Husky varsity four earned its fifth NCAA victory (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2008).
Farooq, a two-time U.S. Olympic women’s eight coxswain who won an NCAA title as head coach at Stanford in 2009, is the first coach to win the title with two schools. No other coach had won an NCAA rowing title in his or her first season at the winning school.
Washington, along with Brown and Princeton, is one of just three programs to have earned a berth in all regattas. The Huskies have never finished outside of the top 10 at nationals.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP LINEUPS
Phoebe Marks-Nicholes (Cox)
Chiara Ondoli (Stroke)
Elise Beuke (7)
Brooke Pierson (6)
Katy Gillingham (5)
Brooke Mooney (4)
Tabea Schendekehl (3)
Jessica Thoennes (2)
Annemieke Schanze (Bow)
Second varsity eight
Isabella Corriere (Cox)
Marlee Blue (Stroke)
Margaret Phillips (7)
Carmela Pappalardo (6)
Phoebe Spoors (5)
Karle Pittsinger (4)
Bella Chilczuk (3)
Anna Thornton (2)
Calina Schanze (Bow)