This weekend saw the Washington Huskies fly across the country to take on rival Brown University, with a distinctively Northwestern trophy on the line (see below).
By all accounts, the Huskies—our preseason no. 1—appear to be firing on all cylinders entering a season that could be a historic one for the program and for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, and they certainly didn't disappoint on the Seekonk, winning all three races by a length or more.
The varsity race went to Washington after a very strong third-quarter push carried them to a length lead, while the JV race saw the Huskies win by just under seven seconds. However, given the relative water time, Brown raced quite well—just look back at recent years' match ups between the Bears and UW, and the Bears appear to be in better shape than before despite the extended winter season.
Perhaps the most interesting note from the above videos is the contrast in styles. While the Bears have a much more traditional approach (with the legs initiating the drive and a hang with the shoulders in front of the hips until the legs are halfway down), the Washington crews are clearly opening their bodies much earlier in the drive phase—prying their bodies and arms against the leg drive almost as soon as they place the blades. It's a trait that has been evident in Washington men's crews for several years, but never more so than this season. Given the speed of the program and the nature of head coach Mike Callahan's scientific approach, there's much to be learned from watching closely.
Keep an eye on our Rankings page for race previews, recaps, and updated rankings as the season progresses.