Dawg Daze: Huskies Dominate at the 2012 IRA National Championship Regatta
If you haven't seen the above video, then consider yourself among the few, but the fact is, it's well worth your attention. The Washington Huskies accomplished a rare feat over the weekend, sweeping the IRA Regatta and further solidifying their position at the top of men's intercollegiate rowing with an unprecedented sixth straight Ten Eyck Trophy as a result. The Huskies did this despite entering the 2012 season without the services of two of their top guns in 2011–Canadian standout Conlin McCabe, and physiological phenom Hans Struzyna, both of whom stoked the fires of the Husky 'engine room' last year. The Huskies also did this despite a late-season illness to one of their best international rowers, Mathis Jessen, who missed both Pac-12s and IRAs, causing head coach Mike Callahan to call up Austin 'AJ' Brooks into two-seat of the varsity eight (at all of 5'10" and 180 lbs, Brooks is a two-time USRowing youth national champion, a Henley winner in the Temple, and a three-time IRA champion, having won the frosh in 2010, the 2V in 2011, and now the varsity eight title), and Alan Meininghaus (6' and 180 lbs, last appearance at the IRA was a gold medal performance in the men's open four as a freshman in 2009) into the 2V to fill spots. Needless to say, they got the job done, further showing the depth, not only of talent, but also of commitment, of the Washington squad.
As if the 2012 season could get any better for the Dawgs, the crew members of the Husky varsity eight were named 'Student-Athletes of the Week' by the University of Washington on Monday.
While our picks for first in the men's and women's lightweight eights–Harvard and Stanford–got the job done over the weekend, with Harvard closing out a perfect season of its own with a new course record to boot, and Stanford making it three national titles in a row, the Brown heavyweight men exceeded our expectations, and backed up their Sprints victory, pushing further away from a very experienced and talented Harvard crew.
Congratulations to all who competed at the 2012 IRA National Championships!
Still to come this week: 2012 USRowing Youth Nationals Picks and Predictions from the RR Editorial Staff