May 18, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Pacific-10 Conference runner-up Washington was one of 12 teams extended an invitation Tuesday to compete at the 2004 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships, May 28-30 at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
The Huskies are the No. 2 seed from the West Region that also supplied the championship regatta with top-ranked California and Washington State. Each of the 12 schools vying for the team championship is required to enter crews in three events; the varsity eight, junior varsity eight and varsity four competitions. The NCAA team champion is determined by combining the results from the three events. In addition, four schools received at-large berths to enter boats in the varsity eight competition.
The field includes 11 of the same schools from last season's championships. The only new entry for 2004 is Wisconsin which takes the spot occupied last year by Stanford. Three Pac-10 schools will send teams to the championships and a fourth, USC, received one of four at-large varsity eight entries.
The year's complete field of schools vying for the team championship includes, Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Virginia, Washington, Washington State Wisconsin and Yale. The four at-large eights are Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas and USC.
Harvard won last year's NCAA championship, breaking the stranglehold that Washington and Brown held on the team title, The Huskies and Bears had split the first six NCAA team competitions. UW took home the championship trophy in 1997, 1998 and 2001 while Brown won in 1999, 2000 and 2002. The Huskies placed third in the team standings last spring.
Washington is one of only four schools to receive invitations to all eight championships since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997. The Huskies are joined in that elite group by Brown, Princeton and Virginia.
Upholding Washington's tradition of NCAA appearances is Eleanor McElvaine who is in her first season as the women's head coach after 13 years as an assistant.
"I'm relieved. We're very happy to keep the streak going," McElvaine exclaimed. "We've gone the last seven years and we're excited to go again."
The Huskies are familiar with the Lake Natoma venue which annually hosts the Pac-10 Championships. On Sunday, the varsity four crew won a conference title, helping UW place second to California in the team standings.
"I anticipate that it's going to be great racing, The results are very mixed across the country and nobody is dominating so that tells me it should be a tough competition," said McElvaine. "Other than knowing where we stand within our region I have absolutely no idea where we're going to come out amongst the teams across the country. That's what we're going to find out."
The Pac-10 champion men, including the third-ranked varsity eight crew, compete at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, June 3-5 on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.
NCAA Women's Rowing Championships Field
May 28-30, 2004
Lake Natoma; Rancho Cordova, Calif.
At-Large Varsity Eights