WHAT. A. WEEK.
Six days removed from the most successful WIRA Championships in program history, the 2018-2019 team continued pioneering into uncharted waters for Seattle University. With bows aligned with the University of Washington, University of Puget Sound, and UC Santa Barbara, the Redhawks sent their first V8+ down the Montlake Cut on Opening Day.
Taking the course just minutes before the Huskies’ eagerly awaited race against the Deutschland-Achter, Seattle U clawed their way to a second place finish. With cowbells, yelling, and yacht horns amplifying the electricity in the air, Seattle U was dealt a calamitous situation immediately out of the starting line. The University of Puget Sound, from lane 2, veered to starboard during their high 10, pinching the Santa Barbara Gauchos between them and the Redhawks. Six-seat Carson Huseby rattled his blade off the bow deck of UCSB, while stroke-seat Derek Heath pushed and fought his oar through the other crew. Unfazed, the Redhawks didn’t miss a beat, and as UCSB slowed down, Seattle saw their window to escape clear.
Settling into a rhythm of 40 strokes per minute, noise from the sidelines crescendoed as the red and white Pocock boat flew through the Montlake Cut. An open water advantage over third place gave Seattle the benefit of dropping a final sprint from the race plan, coasting across the 2000m mark with a final time of 6:18.991.
Only the ACRA Championships in Gainesville, GA stands between Seattle and the end of their season now. Departing from Sea-Tac International on May 22, it’s a dead sprint to end the year on a high note. In a season full of firsts, it seems appropriate to now chase the first-ever Varsity 4+ National Championship in program history.