EAGLE CREEK PARK, Ind. – The 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships kicked off Friday morning with heat races in the varsity 8+, second varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ categories. The No. 6 University of Washington women’s rowing team advanced all three entered boats automatically to Saturday’s semifinal races after taking second in the V8+ (6:22.434) and V4+ (7:16.874) races and coming in third in an extremely close finish in the 2V8+ (6:31.299).
To kick off action for the Huskies at the championships, the varsity 8+ would take on the field in heat four. In the heat, the Huskies took on crews from Massachusetts, Indiana, Brown, Harvard and Boston University. The top two crews from the heat would automatically move on to the A/B semifinals on Saturday.
Right off the start dock, the boat from Brown and the Huskies would jump out to an early lead and would only continue to pull away down the course. Those two would battle all the way through the 2,000-meters, but Brown would eventually reach the finish ahead of UW by two seconds. But the second-place finish in the heat was all the Huskies needed to move on automatically to the semis, and their 6:22.434 finish ensured that.
Just after the V8+ finish, the 2V8+ headed out in heat number one of the event. In their draw they faced San Diego, Brown, Michigan and Wisconsin. Right at the start, the Dawgs took the lead, but the crews from Brown and Michigan quickly caught up.
At the halfway point, it looked as though Brown had locked down the lead, but neither the Huskies nor the Wolverines were willing to let them have it and stated making big moves. Washington, who at the time was in third, started walking up the Brown boat to fight for the top spot.
By the time the boats headed into the last 250, it was a true barnburner, all three crews separated by less than a second. In the end, Washington would cross the finish line third, in 6:31.299, just .07 seconds behind Michigan. After a protest was filed, it was decided by jury that the Huskies would move straight to Saturday’s semis along with Michigan, adding a seventh boat to the A-final, the B-final remaining a six boat field.
The last morning race for the UW was the V4+ with Stanford, Indiana, Washington State, Boston U and Massachusetts. The Huskies and Cardinal came off the start fast and quickly put open water space between themselves and the rest of the field. Knowing they had the automatic qualification into semis put the Dawgs at ease and they cruised the rest of the course, coming across the line in 7:16.874 behind Stanford’s 7:13.761.
All three Husky boats will be back on the water Saturday morning for the chance to advance to Sunday’s final winner-take-all races out of the A/B semifinals.
For complete results click here, heat sheets for tomorrow’s races will also be available on that site, when finalized. Full updates of the day’s action will be available through the team’s Twitter account, @UWHuskyCrew, and through the @GameDayIndy feed and live video will be available here.
WV8+, Heat 4:
1. Brown, 6:20.134
2. WASHINGTON, 6:22.434 cox – Maddy Johnston stroke – Patricia Obee 7 – Fiona Gammond 6 – Kirstyn Goodger 5 – Ruth Whyman 4 – Natasha Gay 3 – Amy Fowler 2 – Sarah Dougherty bow – Maddie Cordner
3. Indiana, 6:31.460
4. Harvard, 6:32.203
5. Massachusetts, 6:50.883
6. Boston U, 6:56.863
W2V8+, Heat 1:
1. Brown, 6:30.932
2. Michigan, 6:31.226
3. WASHINGTON, 6:31.299 cox – Reilly Dever stroke – Grace Spoors 7 – Elizabeth Vogt 6 – Abigail Ernst 5 – Phoebe Spoors 4 – Allie Delarge 3 – Danni Olson 2 – Kathryn Brown bow – Courtney Thompson
4. San Diego, 6:53.572
5. Wisconsin, 7:01.574
WV4+, Heat 4:
1. Stanford, 7:13.761
2. WASHINGTON, 7:16.874 cox – Hannah Lukanuski stroke – Elisabeth Odland 3 – Sayra Engh 2 – Camilla Andersen bow – Hannah Allen
3. Indiana, 7:24.721
4. Washington State, 7:27.551
5. Massachusetts, 7:51.479
6. Boston U, 8:02.793