The UW men, after winning an unprecedented five straight national titles (2011 to 2015), placed fourth at last year’s Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships and are eager to restore the school’s customary prominence.

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The 116th edition of a Washington rowing tradition, the Class Day Regatta, took place Saturday, though the event in some ways signaled not just the start of a new season but a major reboot of one of the university’s most successful athletic programs.

The UW men, after winning an unprecedented five straight national titles (2011 to 2015), placed fourth at last year’s Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships and are eager to restore the school’s customary prominence.

“I feel like we’ve gone back to the team values of being humble Huskies,” said coach Michael Callahan, who has guided UW to six national championships in his previous nine seasons. “We really value work, and how we do the work. We define that as we show up every day, we pay attention to detail and we do things right, and we have a great attitude while doing it. That’s what we felt like we’ve re-established.”

Meanwhile, the Washington women begin their first season under new coach Yasmin Farooq. She coached Stanford for the past 10 years, winning an NCAA championship in 2009.

The UW women placed fifth at last year’s NCAA championships, one point behind Farooq’s final Stanford crew. The Huskies were guided last year by interim coach Conor Bullis, who stepped in after UW abruptly dismissed Bob Ernst in November 2015 after Ernst’s 42 years at Washington.

UW is ranked No. 3 in this year’s NCAA preseason poll.

“I’m a big believer in teamwork and work ethic,” Farooq said. “Those things trump talent every time if everything is equal. We’ve put a lot of effort into being the best team we can be. I can tell you the strides that they have made since the beginning of the year have been significant. I have a lot of confidence in our team’s ability to step up to the challenge.”

On Saturday morning, in the high 40s under partly sunny skies with — by Callahan’s estimate — a 15 mph southerly crosswind, the seniors, wearing headgear of numerous Super Mario characters, won the George M. Varnell Men’s Eight race in 5 minutes, 55.871 seconds, almost three seconds ahead of the sophomores (5:58.657), followed by the freshmen (6:04.103) and juniors (6:07.283).

In The Seattle Times Women’s Eight, the juniors (6:35.897) cruised to a five-seconds-plus victory over the sophomores (6:41.083), who were trailed by the seniors (6:45.180) and freshmen (6:47.874).

Callahan said UW is adapting to competitive shifts in his sport.

“There’s been changes in the landscape of men’s rowing,” he said. “Freshmen can now row for the varsity and second varsity and third varsity eights. So we’re fully integrating the freshmen all the way through the program.

“I’ve almost felt like a freshman coach again. At the Charles (a fall exhibition race in Boston), we didn’t race with a W on our chests. There’s a tradition here; when you’re a freshman you don’t race with a Washington W until spring. You have to earn it. So I said the whole team had to earn it.

“We’re back to everyone re-establishing the values of the team, the work ethic of the team and the attitude of the team. That’s what this year has been about. We’re in a really good place. This was kind of a reset. I think we’ll see a lot of growth over the next couple of years from it.

“The right word for this team is integrated. There’s less class division. Everyone is on a full, whole team. It’s really positive. Everyone realizes they’re an asset in some way.”

Notes

Arne Landboe, a 6-foot-9 junior from Shorewood, was named the men’s captain at a team banquet Friday night.

Maggie Phillips, a senior from Stanwood, was named women’s captain.

• Landboe said he likes the approach Callahan is taking with the men.

“Everyone is re-earning that W, basically,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, everyone kind of starting from scratch, doing a lot of things we did our freshman year. That really reinforces the details and pillars the team, which has been cool to see. There’s a lot of competition, a lot of hunger in this boathouse, and I think we’re on our way to doing something really powerful.”

Landboe said he sees “hunger” in teammates. “I describe it as a bed of coals. It’s really hot, but not a lot of open flames,” he said. “It’s been kind of growing and getting hotter and hotter, now the spirit is jumping up and the flames are starting to appear. I think if we just keep building on the energy we have, the desire that we have, we’re going to get a bonfire going by the end of the season.”