May 26, 2000
CAMDEN, NJ - The No. 2-ranked and undefeated varsity eight and the defending champion varsity four opened Washington's quest for a third team title as racing got underway at the fourth-annual NCAA Women's Rowing Championships on the Cooper River. Washington won the inaugural team title in 1997, repeated the feat in `98 and posted a third place finish in `99.
The I Varsity (varsity eight) won its heat and advanced to the semi-finals beginning Saturday at 11 a.m. EST while the Varsity Four also won its heat and progressed directly to the grande final Sunday morning. Washington's II Varsity (junior varsity) finished third in its heat and will row in the repechage (second chance) Saturday at 10:20 a.m. EST. It marks the first time a Husky crew has had to race in a repechage, in the brief four-year history of NCAA-sanctioned competition.
The I Varsity won its race easily, in a time of 6 minutes, 23.60 seconds, nearly a boat length and one half ahead of Princeton at 6:38.10. The Huskies and Bears separated from the pack early and were followed by Pac-10 Conference rival USC, a distant third at 6:35.10.
"Things went really well for the first day," said coxswain Mary Whipple. "Everyone was relaxed and it was a good first race to build our confidence and get us ready for the next two days. Everyone was getting excited to finally race. We were thinking too much. We just wanted to race, let's just do it.
Brown, the defending NCAA team champion, won all three of its heats and posted the fastest time of the day in the I Varsity, with a mark of 6:18.29 in heat three. The Bears took over the No. 1 ranking, ahead of Washington which had held the top spot since April 2, in the USRowing Coaches Poll released last week. Virginia won heat two of the I Varsity in 6:22.79.
"It's going to be neck-and-neck racing this weekend," said UW coach Jan Harville. "I don't think you have to worry about what the clock says. But at the same time, Brown was very, very impressive."
The Husky II Varsity stayed in a tight pack early with Michigan and Brown before the Wolverines took a slight edge at the 750-meter mark and then the Bears made their move over the final 500 to win 6:29.89. Michigan followed at 6:34.00 and Washington was third at 6:36.60.
The Varsity Four opened the day for the Huskies, racing in the first event of the championships and clocking a time of 7:19.10 seconds over the 2,000-meter course to win its heat. Princeton, who along with the Huskies, had open water on the rest of the field, finished second in 7:22.50. They advance directly to the finals Sunday, with the Huskies drawing lane four, and will be joined by Brown and Virginia and the top two crew from the repechage.
The race marked the first NCAA exposure for this Husky crew, which is comprised of five freshman who helped lead their novice eight to an undefeated regular season. Washington enters the regatta as the defending champion in the event, having also used five freshmen to win in 1999.
Only the 10 teams competing for the team championship rowed in the Varsity Four and II Varsity Eight competitions. The I Varsity includes those 10 teams along with nine at-large entrants. The team champion is determined by a point-based system.
NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Cooper River (2,000 meters)
Friday, May 26, 2000
Day 1 Heat Results
Sunny, warm, strong tailwind
(top two in each heat advance to semi-finals Saturday. All others to repechage heats Friday afternoon). Heat 1: 1, Virginia 6:22.79. 2, Michigan 6:25.50. 3, Radcliffe 6:25.60. 4, Michigan State 6:26.70. 5, Boston U. 6:35.20. 6, Wesleyan 7:10.79.
Heat 2: 1, WASHINGTON 6:23.60. 2, Princeton 6:28.10. 3, USC 6:35.10. 4, Ohio State 6:38.29. 5, Northeastern 6:43.50. 6, William Smith 6:46.39. UW lineup: cox - Mary Whipple, stroke-Sabina Telenska, 7-Nicole Borges, 6-Rika Geyser, 5-Vanessa Tavalero, 4-Anna Mickelson, 3-Noelle Anderson, 2-Theresa Nygren-Birkholz, bow-Nicole Rogers.
Heat 3: 1, Brown 6:18.29. 2, California 6:26.20. 3, Syracuse 6:35.79. 4, Oregon State 6:39.89. 5, UC-Davis 6:47.20. 6, Williams 6:52.00. 7, Yale 7:24.39.
(top two in each heat advance directly to finals Sunday. All others to repechage Saturday) Heat 1: 1, Brown 6:29.89. 2, Michigan 6:34.00. 3, WASHINGTON 6:36.60. 4, Radcliffe 6:49.69. 5, Michigan State 7:02.10. UW lineup: cox-Lara Tilmanis, stroke-Noelle Anderson, 7-Romany McNamara, 6-Kara Nykreim, 5-Erin Becht, 4-Kim Oates, 3-Jenni Vesnaver, 2-Leslie Rattan, bow-Maggie Seay.
Heat 2: 1, Virginia 6,34.60. 2, Princeton 6:38.39. 3, California 6:42.20. 4, Ohio State 6:53.10. 5, Boston U. 7:07.50.
(top two in each heat advance directly to finals Sunday. All others to repechage Saturday) Heat 1: 1, WASHINGTON 7:19.10. 2, Princeton 7:22.50. 3, Ohio State 7:30.00. 4, Michigan State 7:35.50. Michigan 7:37.39. UW lineup: cox-Anne Hessburg, stroke-Lauren Estevenin, 3-Carrie Stasiak, 2-Heidi Hurn, bow-Adrienne Hunter.
Heat 2: 1, Brown 7:19.39. 2, Virginia 7:19.70. 3, Boston U. 7:22.29. 4, Radcliffe 7:27.10. 5, California 7:31.29.
Head coach Jan Harville (on the Varsity Four) "The four had a good race. They achieved their goal - they won their heat. The first goal is to qualify always, the second goal is to try and win if you can. They did a good job. It's going to be a big challenge in all the races.
"For the freshmen, a lot of things are new. You keep stepping it up a notch each time. They are rising to the challenge and they've got one more to go.
(on the II Varsity) "They had a pretty good race. The first 1,000 they raced well. The second 1,000 they probably didn't race as technically well as they would have liked or as we have in other races. It's not so much that we have to go back to the drawing board, we just have to put the peddle down and commit to rowing the best race we can row and see if we can be in it. The jayveess have a good challenge. Our goal is to race as well as we can and then see if we can pick off some of these teams. The competition is tough in all the races. You look at the depth of all these teams now and how it has increased. The first few years here, the depth of the varsity eights had increased. Now we're moving down to the second eight and the fours and the level of competition is moving up."
I Varsity coxswain Mary Whipple
" Our start was clean. At the 500, when we took our 20, that was our big move and we took three or four seats. Then we just kept walking. The third 500 we just kept it long and let the rate come down a little bit. Then in the last 500, we brought it back to our race pace."
(on the competition) "It was what we expected. We knew Brown was going to go all out. We know it's going to be a tough race. We just have to be smart and battle it out the whole way. We're not counting anyone out. You could see that Michigan did a really good job. You can't look at how anyone did during the season. This is a whole new atmosphere."