WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — Sequim’s Elise Beuke was part of a historic achievement this weekend by the University of Washington’s rowing team.
Beuke was part of a team that won UW’s first NCAA rowing championship since 2001. Not only did UW win the national championship as a team all three of its boats (two eight-person boats and a four-person boat) won their finals, something that has never been done in the NCAA rowing championships.
UW’s rowing title was also the 500th national championship won by a Pac-12 school.
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Beuke said.
Beuke, a sophomore, was born and raised in Sequim and learned how to row in the waters of the North Olympic Peninsula. She won a silver medal in June 2015 at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships while she was a senior at Sequim High School. She went on to finish seventh at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Brazil in August 2015.
Beuke is part of a 20-woman juggarnaut for the Huskies. She sits in the seventh seat of UW’s varsity eight team, one of the Huskies’ two national champion eight-person boats. As a seven sitting behind the stroke seat, it’s her job to translate the rhythm being set by the stroke set to the rest of the rowers.
Beuke was proud that UW not only won the team title, but that all of UW’s boats won. She gave a lot of credit for her success to the Olympic Peninsula Rowers Association and all the support she has received over the years from the Olympic Peninsula for her rowing career.
“That’s where I learned that it’s a really cool sport and there’s a lot of cool people in it,” Beuke said.
The Huskies entered the NCAA championships as the No. 1 seed in all three of its boats. UW scored the maximum 132 points for the team title, beating out California’s 123.
“I was just so impressed by how every single person on this team stepped up from the first day,” said UW head coach Yasmin Farooq. “Today, they showed what great teammates do for one another. We always viewed it as a team championship where every person mattered.”
It was UW’s first rowing title since 2001 and the Huskies’ fourth overall since the NCAA championships began in 1997. The Huskies have the second-most rowing titles of any school.
Farooq, a two-time U.S. Olympic women’s eight coxswain, also won an NCAA championship as a coach as Stanford. She is the first rowing coach to win titles at two different schools.