Huskies Crew attempts history at IRA National Championships

SEATTLE -- The University of Washington Men's rowing program will go for it's 6th straight National Title in the Varsity Elite 8 this weekend in at the IRA National Championships.

"Everything's on the line," says Finn Schroeder, a senior on the crew team.

"It's bigger than you. Being apart of something like that it's almost impossible to put into words," says Arne Landboe, a sophomore on the squad.

Led by Coach Michael Callahan, the Huskies look to defend their title this weekend and take another stab at history. The Washington rowing program has won more than it's fair share of trophies but never six National Title's in a row.

"I think they see it as a challenge, something really inspiring and motivating. It's not a weight that's heavy on them. We're telling everyone it's a new chapter, it's a new era," says Callahan.

In a team that is usually led by seniors, this group only returns two of the nine men in last year's victorious Varsity Eight. But the young group is determined and are harnessing their emerging talents.

"This year's a different challenge. The mantra is RAW. We have a real young talented group and we turned talent into hard work and make that into boat speed so we've really been focused on process and not the result and getting better and it has been and it's been really rewarding to have such a young group and have them build up so much so far," says Callahan.

And come the final day of the season, Callahan says his guys are ready to race. "We're in a position where we're in striking distance. I think we're in the talk of a National Title and that's where we want to be. This program historically has been contending for titles and that's where we are and we're going to give this our best shot."