The Washington women’s rowing team won its second NCAA national championship on June 2, with Sequim’s Elise Beuke picking up her second national championship as a member of the Huskies’ varsity eight second boat.
The UW women swept all three grand finals — women’s varsity, women’s second varsity and the women’s four-person boat.
It was the second time in three years the Huskies have swept all the grand finals. Two years ago, the Huskies did it for the first time ever. The Huskies women also broke the NCAA regatta records in all three race categories.
Beuke, a 2015 graduate of Sequim High School and a former member of the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, rowed in the second varsity eight boat in the No. 6 seat, which came from behind to beat Texas.
Texas held the early lead over Beuke’s boat, with Michigan and Washington close behind, trading second position with each stroke, at 250 meters. The Huskies quickly established a clear second-place position behind the Longhorns, pulling ahead of the other boats in the second 500 meters.
The Texas crew had a commanding lead of about seven seats over the Huskies, who were half a length up on Michigan and Stanford. In the third 500, the UW crew made a move and the Huskies pulled nearly even with the Longhorns’ boat.
At the finish line, the Huskies crossed just in front of the Longhorns for the victory. The Huskies’ time of 6 minutes, 11.262 seconds was a little more than a second ahead of Texas at 6:12.328. Michigan was third.
In the first varsity eight race, Washington won with a time of 6:07.284, just barely edging Texas 6:07.971. Michigan was third again. This race broke the old NCAA regatta record of 6:11.95, set by Stanford in 2009.
The victory was the fifth in NCAA rowing championship in UW history, and the Huskies’ 12th overall, including seven national titles from the era prior to the NCAA regatta.
The Huskies varsity four boat won with a time of 6:52.451, with Stanford finishing in 6:55.642. Texas was third and Michigan fourth. Washington broke its own NCAA regatta mark of 7:07.103, set two years ago in New Jersey.
Beuke’s boat is named Title IX Sisterhood. Her boatmates include rowers from Skyline, Chief Sealth, Roosevelt and Steilacoom high schools, and rowers from the United Kingdom and Germany.
Beuke and her boat also won their semifinals race on Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s finals.