EAGLE CREEK PARK, Ind. – On the final day of competition for the 2014 season, the University of Washington women’s rowing team finished seventh as a team overall at the NCAA championships on Sunday with a total of 101 points. After an incredible weekend of competition, the extremely close races were ones for the books at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
The varsity 8+ would finish fourth (6:49.645), the second varsity 8+ would also earn fourth in their petite final (7:08.530), putting them 10th overall and the varsity 4+ finished fifth (7:48.519).
The first-ranked team from Ohio State won the overall title for the second year in a row with 126 team points, followed by California (118), Brown (116) and Stanford (110).
The V8+ had a spectacular weekend of racing against the fastest boats in the country. The races were even closer in today’s grand final than they had been all weekend. Other than Ohio State’s V8+ who finished almost a whole length ahead of the next boat, the crews who finish second-fifth were separated by less than two seconds. The difference between the silver finish for Brown and the bronze for Cal came down to less than .1 seconds, with Washington just a second behind for fourth.
“I was pleased with the way the varsity raced today, it was a great race. Everyone was looking forward to a real barnburner and Ohio State proved they were the class of the field, my hat’s off to them. When you look at the margin between second and fifth, it was really, really good,” head coach Bob Ernst said.
“Our girls had a really courageous race; they did what they needed to do. They got their face in it early on and they fought all the way down. It was a really good showing for them.”
Right of the start of the varsity race it was obvious that the Huskies wanted it, they were right on the Buckeye’s and then-second Michigan’s tails. The Dawg’s eventually caught the Wolverines, but so did Brown and Cal. Those three crews would battle over the last 500 to earn a spot on the podium.
In UW’s other grand final of the day, the V4+, it was another extremely deep field that would attempt to take home the NCAA title. The Huskies were in the mix to take home a medal until the very end, and again the margin of victory was not a massive one for the eventual champion, Cal. Only five and a half seconds elapsed between the first team crossing the line and the Huskies fifth place finish.
The 2V8+ petite final, featuring three other crews from the Pac-12, would also be a close one, with again only about five seconds separating the top-four teams. The Huskies jumped out to an early lead on the field and held on to the first-place position for nearly 750 meters before Michigan, who would end up claiming the top spot in the race, caught up.
UCLA and Notre Dame caught up to the leading boats by the 1,500 mark and though there was some back and fourth in the last 500, the boats crossed the finish in the same order they crossed the three-quarters point. Michigan took home gold with the Bruins, Irish and Huskies just behind, in that order.
“We had a really good group of seniors, five in the varsity, 6 if you include the coxswain. They were great and made an excellent contribution to the program. Now it’s time to look to the young kids in the program and see what they can do,” Ernst finished.
WV8+, Grand Final:
1. Ohio State, 6:44.476
2. Brown, 6:48.471
3. California, 6:48.509
4. WASHINGTON, 6:49.645 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
5. Michigan, 6:50.134
6. Stanford, 6:52.927
W2V8+, Petite Final:
1. Michigan, 7:02.998
2. UCLA, 7:05.603
3. Notre Dame, 7:06.847
4. WASHINGTON, 7:08.530 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
5. Washington State, 7:10.070
6. Southern California, 7:20.936
8. Harvard, 7:32.275
WV4+, Grand Final:
1. California, 7:43.088
2. Stanford, 7:44.379
3. Virginia, 7:45.948
4. Brown, 7:47.978
5. WASHINGTON, 7:48.519 cox – Hannah Lukanuski stroke – Elisabeth Odland 3 – Sayra Engh 2 – Camilla Andersen bow – Hannah Allen
6. Southern California, 7:56.865