The Huskies will row for national championships in the first, second and third varsity eights, as well as the varsity four, Sunday at Mercer Lake in New Jersey.

Share story

WEST WINSDOR, N.J. — The top-ranked Washington men’s rowing team had all four of its boats advance to Sunday’s grand finals, as three of the four finished first in their semifinals Saturday, with the second-varsity eight taking second.

The Huskies will row for national championships in the first-, second- and third-varsity eights, as well as the varsity four, Sunday at Mercer Lake. In men’s rowing, the winner of the varsity-eight grand final is considered the national champion.

Due to forecasts for bad weather, the schedule has been revised. The UW will race in the varsity-eight grand final at 4:30 a.m. Pacific Time, followed by the second- and third-varsity eights.

“Round two is in the books,” UW coach Michael Callahan said. “Now we go back to our corners, reassess and tomorrow, we’ll come out swinging.”

Washington’s varsity eight opened Saturday morning in the first heavyweight event of the day. The Huskies, rowing next to rival Cal, trailed Brown in the early stages as the Ivy League crew looked to earn its way into the grand final. The Brown crew led until about the 1,000-meter mark, when the Huskies moved in front. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears had to fend off Northeastern to guarantee their spot in the grand final.

In the end, the Husky boat crossed the line in 5:37.124, about six seats ahead of Brown (5.38.879), which just beat California (5.39.057),

The Huskies, Cal and Brown will row along with Yale, Harvard and Princeton in Sunday’s grand final.

In the Huskies’ next semifinal, the second-varsity eight, it was California that took charge from the start, rowing aggressively to take the lead. Washington went with the Bears and for the majority of the race it was clear that those two would finish first and second, with others fighting it out for the all-important third slot for the grand final.

Cal held off the Huskies, winning by eight seats in a time of 5:41.314. Washington was second in 5:44.128 with Princeton claiming the third spot. In the other semifinal, Yale, Harvard and Northeastern went through to the grand final.

Washington won its third-varsity eight A/B semifinal. Cal took to the front for the first 1,000 meters or so before the Huskies caught the Bears. As the Huskies slowly and steadily increased their lead, Northeastern, sitting fourth, gained on Princeton for the last qualifying spot. Northeastern timed its move well as the Huskies from Boston rowed past both the Tigers and Cal to earn second place.

Washington beat Northeastern by about eight seats, winning in a time of 5:50.155. Northeastern finished in 5:52.50, just ahead of California (5:30.016). In the other 3V8+ semifinal, Harvard, Boston University and Yale finished in the top three spots to move on to the grand final.

The Huskies won the varsity-four semifinal with a time of 6:26.013, about half a length in front of the Golden Bears, who came across in 6:27.943. Princeton held on for third place and a berth in the grand final.

In the other semifinal, Drexel, Boston University and Holy Cross advanced.