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Originally published Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

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Motivated juniors triumph in Class Day opening regatta

The "William Peter Allen" boat sang so well on the water, it was almost as if the Class of 2013 juniors had an extra rower bending an oar.

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The "William Peter Allen" boat sang so well on the water, it was almost as if the Class of 2013 juniors had an extra rower bending an oar.

That was the team consensus after a wire-to-wire victory for the juniors, the first crew to use the newly dedicated shell in action. The Huskies honored the boat with a Friday afternoon memorial to Peter Allen, a Husky rower who died last September in a hiking accident near Snoqualmie Pass.

Allen would have graduated in 2013, and it was clear his teammates were racing for more than just the George M. Varnell Varsity Challenge Cup.

Washington's juniors finished in a searing time of 5:35.79, crossing the 2,000-meter point almost three seconds faster than the second-place Grunties. The seniors were closely behind in third place, while the sophomores were the last boat across in 5:48.18.

Class Day is the traditional start of the spring racing season at Washington. It's an event rich with pageantry, with rowers competing against one another by class.

This was the first Class Day victory for the 2013 rowers, and it prevented the seniors from ending their careers with three Class Day victories. But in order to win, the juniors had to hold off a fast freshman boat, which pushed them until the 1,000-meter mark.

Washington returns to the Montlake Cut next weekend to host Ivy League power Brown. The Bears will bring five boats to Seattle for Saturday's meeting.

From sports-information reports.

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