May 15, 2001
Seattle, - The Washington women's rowing program earned an official invitation to the NCAA Championships, May 24-26 at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. the NCAA announced today. The Huskies received an automatic bid as the top seed from the West Region.
The Huskies, who won three of four events at the Pac-10 Championships last weekend, will aim for a third NCAA Championship title. Washington captured the first two team titles, in 1997 and '98, when the sport first became sanctioned by the NCAA. The '97 crown was Washington's first NCAA team title in any sport.
This year, the Huskies return to the site of the their 1998 championship run as competition takes place on Lake Lanier, site of the '96 Olympic rowing events. The Huskies successfully defended their team title in '98 with the help of four freshmen, now seniors, who seek to repeat the team gold medal performance in Georgia next weekend. Three of those freshmen - Nicole Rogers, Nicole Borges and Rika Geyser - now make up a part of the varsity eight, while the fourth, Noelle Anderson, strokes the junior varsity boat. The group competed in the varsity four that year and finished fourth in their grand final.
The NCAA Championships are comprised of 10 teams and each team is required to field a varsity eight, second varsity (junior varsity) and a varsity four. In addition, nine eight-woman boats from institutions not represented in the team competition are selected. Along with Washington, the following nine schools earned team invitations: defending champion Brown, Boston U., California, Harvard, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, Princeton and Virginia. Southern California, Syracuse, Yale, Michigan State, and Rutgers earned the varsity eight at-large bids.
"Our goal was to get the automatic West Region bid," said Husky head coach Jan Harville. "By our performance at the Pac-10 Championships, we earned a top seed. That was our goal. It puts us in a strong position going into the championships. Now we get to go back and race some other unknowns. It's going to be an exciting regatta."
Husky Race Notes: The Huskies were successful in defense of their Pac-10 team title last weekend in Sacramento, Calif. ...UW's varsity crew has only one loss this season, to USC by a margin of .52 seconds, at the San Diego Crew Classic April 8, ... the varsity redeemed that loss with a win over USC by 3 seconds at the Pac-10 Championships ... the junior varsity crew is undefeated this season as they won Pac-10s by 3.5 seconds over cross-state rival WSU ... the varsity four lineup will be set on Thurs., May 17, with a race off between the top four novice women and the varsity women who competed in the four at Pac-10s ... the four has been comprised of all novice women at the championships the past two years, resulting in back-to-back national titles in 1999 and 2000.