May 22, 2012
A resurgent Washington women's crew program heads to the East Coast to test their boat speed against 16 of the nation's fastest crews at the season-ending NCAA Championships. The racing is a three-day event held on May 25-27 at Lake Mercer in New Jersey.
Once again the Huskies - who are in search of their fourth NCAA team title - continue their streak of reaching the 16-team NCAA field each year since its inception in 1997, one of just three teams to accomplish such a feat. Washington, which is ranked fifth in the latest CRCA-USRowing poll, will send three boats to Lake Mercer: a varsity eight, a second varsity eight and an open four. Novice eights do not compete at the NCAAs. The racing begins with the heats on Thursday morning, with the top three boats in each race advancing to Friday's semifinals. The bottom three move on to the repechage in a last-chance effort at the semifinals.
Following The Races
Race updates are available in real time with the official Washington rowing Twitter feed, which is available at www.twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. Official results and a race recap will also be available on GoHuskies.com following each day of racing. C.F.P.l Timing and Data Inc. will handle live scoring. Fans may also watch a live stream of the NCAA Championships on the organization's main page: http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule
In Search Of Hardware
Washington has won three National Championships since the NCAA began organizing the competition in 1997. The last Huskies NCAA team title came in 2001, featuring a lineup that included three eventual Olympians: Rika Geyser, Anna (Mickelson) Cummins and Mary Whipple. The varsity eight has won an NCAA national title four times (1997, 1998, 2001 & 2002), the second varsity eight once (2002), while the varsity four has captured four championships (1997, 1998, 2001 & 2008). Overall, the Huskies have won 11 National Championships.
Last season, the Huskies finished eighth in the nation at the NCAAs, which was highlighted by the 2V8's win in the Petite Final.
Huskies Coaching Staff
The Washington women's team is coached by the legendary Bob Ernst, who made the switch in 2007 after a 20-year stint coaching the men's program. Ernst is no stranger to women's rowing, having shepherded the program to six National Championships from 1981-87. Ernst also has significant Olympics and International experience and has been invloved with some facet of the UW program since 1974. In 1984, he coached the Gold Medal winning eight in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In his first season at Washington, Conor Bullis manages all coaching duties for the women's novice rowers.
Last Time Out
The Huskies finished second at the inaugural Pac-12 Championships, winning a pair of medals against a loaded field of conference opponents. Underlining the performance was a silver medal in the varsity four and a bronze in the varsity eight. In the latter race, the Huskies finished a mere four inches off USC and a second and a half away from the winning California boat.
The Lake Mercer course is located outside of Princeton, N.J. in West Mercer Township. The races will be the standard sprint distance of 2,000 meters.
Scouting The Huskies
Washington is moved to No. 5 in the CRCA/USRowing poll on the strength of their second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships. Overall this season, the Huskies have made marked improvements in speed, particularly in the varsity eight boat. The shell had positive finishes at the San Diego Crew Classic, won the Washington State Dual and then later captured the Windermere Cup over Gonzaga and Argentina. At Pac-12s, the Huskies' top eight was four inches from USC and the silver medal, and less than two seconds from No. 1 Cal.
The varsity four has made significant strides over the course of the season. After opening with a sixth-place finish at the San Diego Crew Classic, the four rebounded to beat Washington State and later capture silver at the Pac-12 Championships.
NCAA Championship Field
Sixteen teams are invited annually to participate in the NCAA Championships. Brown, Princeton and Washington are the only teams who have been invited to the NCAA Championships each year since 1997.
The 2012 field includes yet another group of elite crews, including four additional teams from the Pac-12 Conference (USC, UCLA, top-ranked Cal & Stanford).
The five programs from the Pac-12 tied with the Ivy League for best representation at the NCAAs. The Ivies are sending defending champion Brown, along with Princeton, Harvard (Radcliffe), Yale and Cornell.
The Big Ten was next on the depth chart with four teams: Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State. The Wolverines are currently the only team outside of Cal to receive a first-place vote in the CRCA/USRowing poll. The Buckeyes, ranked fourth in the nation, will bring a strong program to West Mercer.
Virginia, which spent most of the regular season ranked No. 1, is the lone representative from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Each year after the Class Day Regatta, the Huskies select a captain to lead their program into the brunt of the spring season. This year, senior Veronica Tamsitt will represent her boat and sport the star on Washington's traditional white oars.
Where To Watch
Spectators who attend the NCAA Championships need to purchase a tickets for the course at Lake Mercer. Adult single-day tickets are $15. Fans can also purchase a three-day pass for the event for $40. More information on the NCAA Championships is available at http://www.ncaa.com/championships/rowing/d1
Friday, May 25
8:30 a.m. Varsity Eight Heat 1
8:45 a.m. Varsity Eight Heat 2
9:00 a.m. Varsity Eight Heat 3
9:15 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Heat 1
9:30 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Heat 2
9:45 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Heat 3
10:00 a.m. Varsity Four Heat 1
10:15 a.m. Varsity Four Heat 2
3:30 p.m. Varsity Eight Repechage
3:45 p.m. Second Varsity Eight Repechage
4:00 p.m. Varsity Four Repechage
Saturday, May 26
9:00 a.m. Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:15 a.m .Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:30 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:45 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
10:00 a.m. Varsity Four Semifinals
10:15 a.m. Varsity Four Semifinals
Sunday, May 27
9:50 a.m. Varsity Four Third Final (places 13-16)
10:05 a.m. Varsity Four Petite Final (places 7-12)
10:25 a.m. Varsity Four Grand Final (places 1-6)
10:40 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Third Final (places 13-16)
10:55 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
11:15 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
11:30 a.m. Varsity Eight Third Final (places 13-16)
11:45 a.m. Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
12:05 p.m. Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
12:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony