May 29, 2009
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - The Huskies managed to avoid the repechage races Friday, as all three crews placed in the top three of their respective heats to move directly into the semifinals. The semifinals will be held Saturday morning beginning at 9am (ET) on the Cooper River.
"Our goal this morning was to qualify," said Director of Rowing and women's head coach Bob Ernst. "Everybody did it, so that's all cool."
The varsity eight raced in the first Division I heat of the day. The Huskies were in lane five on the outside, furthest from the shore. While Stanford and Yale battled for first place, Washington engaged Harvard in a battle for third. By the midway point, Stanford had built an advantage, but the Bulldogs and Huskies were going at it for second, keeping the crew from Radcliffe at bay. In the last 250 meters, Yale and Washington kept it close, with neither crew able to get much of a lead on the other. Stanford finished first by open water and Yale took second. Washington came in third, edging Radcliffe by a deck, allowing the Huskies to advance straight to the semifinals.
In the next two heats, California, Brown, Michigan State, Virginia, Princeton and Clemson qualified for the semifinals, leaving the rest of the field to duke it out in the repechage, scheduled for 3:30pm ET.
"Everybody raced about the best they could this morning," remarked Ernst. "The varsity eight had one hell of a race to qualify today. Stanford and Cal look like the teams to beat, to me."
Washington's second varsity pieced together a strong race, taking an early lead. The University of Virginia made a move near the midway point and the two boats were nearly even after the first 1,000 meters. The Cavaliers continued their strong rowing, building a lead for themselves, with Washington staying just behind them in second place. Virginia had about a length on Washington with 500 meters to go. The two crews kept pace and the Cavaliers finished about a length ahead of the Dawgs. Ohio State finished third, with those three crews advancing to the semis.
The next two heats saw Cal, Yale, Stanford, Brown, Michigan State and Michigan qualify for the semis, with the rest of the field slated for the repechage race at 3:45pm ET.
Nearly an hour later, Washington's four took to the water for its race in the third heat of the varsity four event. The entire field started strong with Yale stroking a 44 and the rest of the field starting with a 39. Yale finally settled into a 35, with Washington, Brown and Michigan more or less grouped together. Brown caught a crab, leaving Washington and Michigan battling for second. Neither crew was able to establish a lead over the other. Yale took first with the Wolverines just edging Washington by less than half a second. In one of the closest races of the day, just 2.89 seconds separated first through third.
The Huskies will be joined by Virginia, Harvard, Cal, Ohio State, Clemson, Wisconsin, Yale and Michigan in the semis. The rest of the field will compete for the remaining spots today at 4:00pm ET.
"The four had a very consistent race," said novice coach Nicole Minett, who coached the four, made up of three freshmen and a senior. "It was good to get the jitters out. We're looking forward to racing hard again tomorrow in the semifinal."
"All three of our boats will have to row really well to make the finals," said Ernst. "I don't want to limit their capabilities in this. This is what they trained all year for. Last year was the first year I was involved in the NCAA regatta and what has impressed me most is the level of competitiveness in the field. Everyone is outstanding. Stanford's varsity is kind of off on a plateau by themselves, but everyone else is right at the same level. Getting through the semifinals tomorrow will be tough. But this is why people come to Washington. They want competitive racing."
Washington hits the course again Saturday morning at 9am ET for the varsity eight semifinals. The top three teams in each semi head to the grand finals which start Sunday at 10:15am ET.
NCAA Division I Rowing Championships, Day One Results
1, Stanford - 6:27.60; 2, Yale - 6:32.30; 3, Washington - 6:34.60; 4, Harvard - 6:34.80; 5, Ohio State - 6:42.80.
1, California - 6:29.40; 2, Brown - 6:32.80; 3, Michigan State - 6:40.40; 4, Oregon State - 6:46.60; 5, Wisconsin - 6:51.70.
1, Virginia - 6:29.51; 2, Princeton - 6:31.49; 3, Clemson - 6:32.57; 4, USC - 6:40.49; 5, Michigan - 6:48.83; 6, Dartmouth - 7:04.79.
Second Varsity Eights
1, Virginia - 6:43.99; 2, Washington - 6:48.30; 3, Ohio State - 6:52.27; 4, Oregon State - 6:54.55; 5, Harvard - 6:58.52.
1, California - 6:42.92; 2, Yale - 6:44.30; 3, Stanford - 6:48.42; 4, USC - 6:57.93; 5, Princeton - 7:01.74.
1, Brown - 6:42.96; 2, Michigan State - 6:44.21; 3, Michigan - 6:44.61; 4, Wisconsin - 6:47.02; 5, Clemson - 7:04.17; 6, Dartmouth - 7:14.17.
1, Virginia - 7:31.29; 2, California - 7:33.94; 3, Harvard- 7:34.98; 4, Michigan State - 7:36.10; 5, Princeton - 7:55.80.
1, Ohio State - 7:29.05; 2, Clemson - 7:30.49; 3, Wisconsin - 7:32.57; 4, USC - 7:39.21; 5, Oregon State - 7:41.72.
1, Yale - 7:29.83; 2, Michigan - 7:32.43; 3, Washington - 7:32.72; 4, Stanford - 7:42.36; 5, Brown - 7:48.75; 6, Dartmouth - 8:07.24.