Hard Work and Dedication— On and Off the Water
By Michael Callahan
The 2018 Season is officially behind us, and I wanted to thank you again for your support throughout the year.
I could not be prouder of this team, and particularly our seniors. The Class of ‘18 stepped up last year (2017) to reembrace the hard work and dedication it takes to get to the top of our sport, and they continued this year as leaders both on and off the water. This year we had one of the highest GPA’s since I have been head coach, and their dedication to being complete oarsmen is clearly evident. The words of George Pocock come to mind as we reflect on the past year and watch the seniors graduate: “the kind of self-discipline required to achieve the ultimate from mind, heart, and body” is what we teach at Washington.
Underscoring these values, senior Luke Khoury achieved the highest cumulative GPA of all UW graduating student athletes (all sports at the UW), completing a degree in Chemical Engineering. Luke was also awarded two academic scholarships to continue his studies at the UW, and will be a candidate for both a Master’s, and a PhD, in Chemical Engineering. Congratulations Luke!
Last fall, we formally launched the “Beyond the Boat” life skills program. The program is centered on the concepts of personal accountability to teammates, valuing the University (and the academic and cultural opportunities that abound here), and contributing to the Seattle community in which we live. As part of the Beyond the Boat curriculum, the team completed over 40 hours of classroom work and participated in multiple service projects in our local community. Beyond the Boat brought in many alumni from various fields to talk about their industries and career paths. It was a great start and we hope to expand and refine it in the next few years.
The 2018 racing season was truly memorable. I challenged the team on the first day of the 2018 campaign to win the Cal Dual and bring the Schoch Cup back to Conibear. We did this with flair by rowing 5:27.6 and missing the Redwood Shores course record by tenths of seconds.
Our team finished the year as Pac-12 Varsity 8 and Team Champions, and National Team Champions (Ten Eyck Trophy) for the 11th out of the last 12 years. We fell short to a very good Yale team in the final V8 event at the IRA’s, and for that we congratulate them…but also look ahead to next year and the opportunity to get back to work.
To reward our team for a terrific season, we took a men’s eight to Henley in July. The crew—comprised mostly of members of second and third varsity eights from this past season—beat Yale in the semi-finals, and Oxford Brookes University in the Final, to go on to win the Temple Challenge Cup and breaking the event record by five seconds.
It is humbling to look back on the year and see what you – our most dedicated supporters – have done for these young men and women. It is your dedication to this program that creates the special opportunity that is Washington Rowing. Our culture here – and our community – is unique in collegiate rowing. The traditions and legacy that you uphold, and the commitment you make to these student-athletes, is a gift they will take with them throughout their lives.