Washington University Brings Home National Championship, 2nd in Program History
May 26-27, 2018
GAINESVILLE, GA -- This past weekend, the Washington University Crew team traveled to Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville, GA to compete at the 2018 American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships. With 5 out the 6 WashU entries finishing in the A and B finals, perhaps the most successful result for both the men's and women's squads recent history, 2018 has certainly proved a year to remember. Despite forecasted thunderstorms, the weather held out up until the last few hours of Sunday racing, making for a unseasonably comfortable weekend of 80° rowing.
- Men's 2-: 1st
- Men's 4+: 5th
- Women's 2x: 7th
- Women's 4+: 12th
- Men's 2x: 13th
- Men's Novice 4+: 24th
Highlights of the weekend included a National Title in the Men's 2- along with 5th and 7th place finishes in the Men's 4+ and Women's 2x events, respectively. In the Men's Pair (2-), juniors Chase Antonacci and Brooks Becker managed a nail-biting victory over 2nd place Arizona State, just fifteen one-hundredths of a second ahead. Michigan came 3rd, just over 5 seconds behind WashU and Arizona State. Despite both being lightweights in a open weight event, Antonacci and Becker managed an undefeated season culminating in a national title for Washington University, the first under Head Coach Andrew Black, now in his second year of coaching, and second* for the program overall.
Another top performance from Washington University in the Men's field came from the varsity 4+. Seniors John Braham and Jamie Fuhrman along with juniors Matt Heiken and Sam Vuchetich rowed their way into the A-final, finishing 5th in the nation just ahead of 6th and 7th place Michigan and UC Santa Barbara. Though the team fields an entry in the Men's 4+ just about every year, 2018 marks the highest performance in program history in this reliably competitive event. Following the Men's 4+ came an exciting A-final finish from the Women's 2x. Freshmen Patricia Collins and Emily Fox managed 7th in nation -- an very impressive finish, especially given both Collins and Fox are in their first year of rowing.
The Women's 4+ secured another strong finish at 12th in the nation, just behind Northwestern and UC Santa Barbara. The experienced crew, stroked by junior Catherine Tiffany and followed by Olivia Leupold '21 in 3, Jenny Bobo '20 in 2, Elizabeth Obeidat '19 in bow, and Isabella Solaro '19 (cox), all have at least another year in the program and are looking forward to putting together a competitive 4+ for the Head of the Charles this fall. Just behind the Women's 4+, in the Men's 2x, senior Tony Lee and junior Ivan Ginsberg rowed their way to a solid B-final finish, coming in 13th overall just ahead of Vanderbilt and behind UCLA. In his second year of rowing the 2x at ACRA, Ginsberg brought his experience and insight to the boat and teamed with Lee to achieve an even higher result than last year's entry, illustrating the continued advancement of the program as a whole.
Our Men's Novice 4+ finished the season well, having made huge progress and coming off with a win in their final, 24th overall.
Over the past few years, the program has focused on developing talent and building a program competitive at the highest level of intercollegiate club rowing. Results at this year's ACRA indicate successful progress and advancement towards that goal. The program looks forward to a successful 2018-19 season and wishes everyone a happy summer!
*Washington University's first ACRA National Championship was in the Women's 4+ in 2011.