Seattle U Races First Ever V8+ at Opening Day


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.

Three-Peat: Seattle U Defends Covered Bridge V4+ Title

Fending off competition from Humboldt State and Washington State University, the Seattle U Redhawks won their third consecutive V4+ title at the Collegiate Covered Bridge Regatta. Beginning their run in 2016, the crew from Capitol Hill missed the chance to defend their title last year when the regatta was canceled due to high winds. With calm conditions in the grand final this year, the Redhawks crossed the line at 7:05.9 while holding an open water advantage over the second place Lewis and Clark Pioneers. Winning with a combination of juniors and one sophomore, the young varsity squad is eager to return to Dexter Reservoir in 2020 to pursue a fourth consecutive title.

The Seattle U Lightweight 4+, racing in the open weight event, finished third in the petite final registering a 7:42.4 time.

Despite leaving Eugene in high spirits and with medals in hand, the day started out cold, wet, and windy. During alignment, the SU Novice 4+ saw two stake boats capsize, including their own. Officials raced to sweep up the bobbing swimmers before calling for an impromptu floating start.

Later, during the Varsity 4+ A Heat, blustering winds sent whitecaps crashing into final 500 meters of the course and the outside lane offered no protection from the elements. Just as quickly as the conditions shifted, the Redhawks’ V4+ needed to adjust their race plan. Stroke seat Derek Heath lowered the rate, coxswain Chloe Farison called for more tap down, and the whole boat relied on unbroken concentration to push through.

Now, Seattle U looks ahead to their championship season. With just three races left in the year – WIRAs, Opening Day, ACRAs – the fight to the finish is underway. On April 11, head coach Nichole Martin announced the Men’s Crew lineups for the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Sacramento, CA. Racing will take place on Lake Natoma between April 27-28 and features 5 different SU boats.

While 2019 has been the year of the 4+ for Seattle U, the Redhawks will do their best to retain their dominion in the small boats category. Second-year varsity rowers Derek Heath and Bobby Murray will make their return in the pair after placing in the silver medal position last year, 0.9 seconds behind UCLA. Meanwhile, junior Ben Clarke, now joined by Carson Huseby, will be hoping to keep the Men’s Double trophy after winning the event last year in dominant (and stylish) fashion.

Seattle U Continues Early Season Roll at Husky Open

Seattle U arrived at the Conibear Shellhouse at 8:00 AM knowing they would need to dial in their top speed to reestablish themselves in the Collegiate Men’s 4+. The Redhawks had not competed against the University of Washington in a 2,000 km race since Opening Day in 2017 when they finished 4th behind the Huskies, UCD, and UCSB. Meanwhile, pursuing the pair and double last season meant Seattle U had not fielded a Varsity 4+ in over a year during the spring season. Some early season success hinted at a return to glory, but Husky Open was the Redhawks’ first chance to prove their merit against the fastest collegiate crew in the world.

The light from early morning sun ran across the flat water of Lake Washington as the openweight and lightweight boats launched from Conibear and paddled to the warm-up area on the square. Up against UW, Lewis & Clark, and Washington State University, Husky Open saw the Redhawks reaffirm their clout in the coxed four. Both Seattle U boats finished second in heats, and the openweight lineup notched the third fastest overall time behind the Huskies’ A and B boats.

The results represented a giant step forward for the entire program. With times of 6:47.6 and 7:20.2, the Redhawks are lining up for dual Grand Final appearances at the WIRA championships at the end of April. Head coach Nichole Martin was pleased with the results, saying to the team afterward that she saw “Solid rows and times from both boats.”

The success at Husky Open gave way to a well-deserved rest for the Redhawks after a week of training over spring break. With two-a-day practices Monday-Friday leading up the race, oarsmen and coxswains spent time on start sequences, film review, and race plans. While rowers had to fight through lactic acid to get there, the opportunity to concentrate entirely on rowing produced fantastic results. The Varsity Lightweight boat (S-Clarke, Thomas, Gibbons, B-Thelin, C-Brezynski) improved their 2k by 40 seconds from Tuesday to Saturday, a trend they hope to carry into the next week when Seattle U travels to Dexter Lake in Eugene, Oregon for the Collegiate Covered Bridge Regatta.

Life as a full-time rower doesn’t last forever, though. The Redhawks return to their regular schedule of Row-School-Row on Monday as the new spring quarter begins. Despite homework assignments and regrettable sleep habits making their return, SU Men’s Crew is looking forward to the final months of its season. With two promising performances complete and four races to go, the young Redhawk squad is eager to become the biggest threat on any schedule.

Puget Sound Crews Come Together for Spring Season Kickoff

Men’s Crew delivered on their high expectations during their third visit to American Lake in the 2018-2019 season.

Competing in five events at the Pacific Lutheran Invitational, Seattle U podiumed in four races against Western Washington University, University of Puget Sound, and PLU. The Redhawks’ Varsity 4+ took home top honors, crossing the line ahead of the next crew by over 40 meters. Locked in a dead heat with WWU for the first 1,000 meters, SU pulled out a canvas ahead before dropping the hammer with a high-rate final sprint.

In the eights races, SU came close to breaking the 7-minute mark, coming up just short with a 7:02.2 time. Two hours earlier, the Western Washington Vikings posted the fastest 2k of the day, coming in at 6:46.1, seven seconds ahead of the second place UPS Loggers.

While the PLU Invite has always been a “friendly” scrimmage for Puget Sound crews to get together, 2019 united the PNW in a whole new way. Despite being on the calendar for months, disaster almost kept Seattle U out of both eights races. While trailer loading, SU discovered a crack in the hull of their Pocock 8+, the Doug Short. A repair too severe to fix overnight (even with a roll of duct tape), Men’s Crew didn’t have many options to save their race day. Fortunately, the University of Puget Sound loaned the Seattle crew one of their eights on last minute notice.

The Redhawks headed back to the Emerald City with lots of gratitude, and a much better idea of their opponents speed as well. Seattle U will rematch with their PLU opponents and other west coast competitors at the Covered Bridge Regatta in Eugene, Oregon on April 6. Before then, however, SU will be facing off against the Purple and Gold in the Montlake Cut at the Husky Open regatta on March 30 in the Collegiate Men’s 4+ event.

SeattleU Triumphs at NW Indoor Rowing Championships

On January 26th, Seattle University Men’s Crew headed to Ergomania, the Northwest Indoor Rowing Championships. Hosted by the George Pocock Rowing Foundation, the event featured over 330 athletes and enthusiasts competing in a variety of races. Taking a day off from the water, the Redhawks won six medals across three events, including a sweep of the Men’s Open / Collegiate 2,000 meter race.

Nearly all varsity members of the Men’s Crew team were able to compete except for a few rowers (and two coxswains). Across the 2,000m events, five rowers were able to achieve a new personal best time. Junior oarsmen Tommy Dang and Derek Heath set the tone for the Redhawks on their first 2k of the season, notching the fastest in-team lightweight and heavyweight times.

NW Ergomania Results

Men’s Open 2k

Men’s Open Lightweight 2k

Men’s Open 500m Dash

Derek Heath      🥇

Alex Twist            🥇

Bobby Murray  🥇

Liam Connor     🥈

David O. Smith    🥈

Liam Connor     🥈

Bobby Murray   🥉

Tommy Dang      🥉

Chris Weber       🥉

Attendees at Ergomania weren’t the only ones to take notice of Seattle University’s impressive showing. Fat Ergos, one of the largest rowing accounts on Instagram, shared a photo of SU Junior Bobby Murray wearing his gold medal following the 500m Dash event. 

With the opening salvo of 2k racing season complete, the Redhawks turn their attention to the Pacific Lutheran University Invitational on March 9th at American Lake in Lakewood, WA. The regatta traditionally serves as a trial run for many of Seattle U’s racing lineups, as well as the first ever race for the novice rowers on Men’s Crew. The invite pits several Pacific Northwest colleges against each other in a friendly scrimmage, with PLU, University of Puget Sound, and Western Washington University among the most frequent competitors.

Coming into 2016 Hungry to Win

We checked in with the Seattle University Men’s Crew team to see how the fall season went and what is on the horizon for the team’s 2016 run.

Head Coach Aidan Hennessey describes the fall season as “productive and focused.” He has the team training hard both on the land for fitness and on the water for technical proficiency. Improvements are being steadily gained.

V4 Fall 2015

On the novice side of things, coach Nichole Martin is developing the university’s largest novice men’s team in recent history. She sees this as a major opportunity, commenting that with such high numbers, she has many options for boats to compete in—two 8+s, or a lightweight 4+ and novice 4+.

Novice 8 Fall 2015

As we turn the corner into the new year, the team is ready to put in the training time during winter quarter. When asked to describe the team this year in one word, Club President, Matt Sneed, said “Hungry…I have never seen a higher desire to win than I have this year with the varsity rowers. They are putting in a lot of extra work outside of practice and it is paying off, but no matter how much they improve, they are constantly wanting more.”

Coach Hennessey will fuel that hunger with a focus on pairs, pieces, and meters. Coach Martin will have the novices focusing on slide control, clean bladework, and flexibility.

How do these rowers put in all the time, energy, sweat, and blood on top of their lives as collegiate students? Sophomore novice RJ Ollie, already feels the deep bond that rowing can create. Looking back on his first quarter of rowing, RJ recalls, “As the days turned into weeks, we not only began to improve on the water, but there developed a sense of teamwork. A sense of belong­ing. We began to view each other not simply as the person in front of or behind us in the boat, but rather as family.”

Novice crew fall 2015

Looking ahead to the spring racing season, it’s tempting to daydream about what might be on the horizon. Coach Hennessey stays true to the process and the present, affirming that “what we do this winter will determine how well we do this spring.”

Thanks for keeping up with the Men’s Crew Team here at Seattle University. If you’d like to make a donation, please see this page for more information.

Need a song to inspire your own winter workout? President Sneed recommends one of his erging favorites—Run This Town, by Jay-Z.





By: Morgan Frost, December 2015

SU Men’s Crew Gear Website 2015

For the first time, SU Men’s Crew will be opening a web store to purchase gear for any team-members, alumni, family, and friends that would like to represent the team. The store will remain open until December 14th to purchase gear that should be processed, ordered, and received around February for all to show off. Just follow the link over to the store and grab some gear to show off for the 2015 season!

2011 SU Logo Final

Welcome Nichole as Novice Coach!

Seattle University Men’s Crew welcomes Nichole Martin as the new head Novice Coach.

Nichole first heard about rowing from her older brother who was a lightweight at Washington State University. Talent for the sport runs in her blood, as Nichole soon became a successful rower and coxswain herself. She rowed as a lightweight rower and also coxed for Pacific Lutheran University. Nichole earned the Men’s Varsity 8+ coxswain position at WSU and took them to a gold medal finish at WIRAs and a bronze medal at ACRAs in 2015. Nichole has coaching experience with the Palouse Rowing Masters program.

Today Nichole continues to cox in the mornings for the Lake Union Crew Men’s Nationally Competitive Team, and as we publish this post she is in Boston as coxswain for the 3rd year in a row for a LUC Men’s Head of the Charles boat.

The 2015-2016 Seattle University team is excited to welcome Nichole on board. We currently have the largest novice team we have seen in years, and Nichole sees huge potential, saying she is “so excited to see what kind of speed we can put out there this season! ”


Nichole pic

2014 WIRA’s

This weekend, SU Men’s Crew had the pleasure of travelling to Lake Natoma in California for WIRA’s.

Congratulations to Jacobe Sell and Declan Connor-Boyle for coming in third at grand finals in the men’s pair!  The men’s lightweight 4+ and men’s novice 8+ fought a strong race, pulling into third and fifth in petite finals, respectively.