UW men’s rowing edged by Yale, falls just short of national title

The Huskies were edged by Yale in the varsity eight grand final, but they won national titles in three other races and were the overall points champion.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — A split second and about two feet abruptly ended Washington’s two-week quest to sweep the men’s and women’s collegiate rowing championships Sunday.

The Huskies won their first three grand finals on the concluding day of the three-day IRA National Rowing Championships, but Yale held off a late Washington surge to claim the men’s varsity eight title in 5 minutes, 29.900 seconds on Lake Natoma.

The top-rated Huskies, rowing in lane two, finished in 5:29.969. It took an extended wait before officials reviewed film and determined the slim finishing distance. Harvard edged Princeton by .023 seconds to place third in 5:33.455.

Washington’s women swept the NCAA championships last weekend in New Jersey, a first in the history of the women’s regatta.

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With its victories and runner-up finish, Washington won the men’s team title on a calm, cool day at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. Temperatures peaked in the lows 80s. And with only periodic slight winds, the concluding session prompted low times.

“Yale has a very fast first half of the race, for sure,” Washington coach Michael Callahan said. “The idea was to stay with them to neutralize their early power and then use to whole 2k (two kilometer) course to get ahead.

“Yale had an outstanding race, and it looked we were in a position to do what we wanted to do, but in the end they had a better day. Yale has just developed a lot of experience. They have won a lot of close races this year and that’s give then a lot of confidence.”

Washington, Yale, California and Harvard advanced closely together in the early stages of the finale. The Bulldogs, rowing in lane three, moved to a three-seat advantage after 500 meters. Yale…

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