March 25, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The University of Washington women's varsity eight is ranked 10th in the preseason poll produced by USRowing and the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).
Brown holds down the top spot in the preseason rankings despite failing to qualify for the six-boat grand final at the NCAA Championships last year. The Bears received just two first-place votes as six different schools drew votes for the top spot.
Michigan and Princeton are ranked Nos. 2 and 3, each receiving two first-place votes. Yale, which tied for the No. 3 ranking, received the most first-place tallies with eight. Defending champion Harvard had four first-place votes and was ranked fifth while Stanford is sixth with one vote for the top spot.
Virginia is ranked seventh followed by No. 8 Michigan State and No. 9 Ohio State. Along with No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 Washington, three other Pacific-10 Conference schools received preseason recognition. California was ranked 11th, USC 12th and Washington State 15th.
The Huskies return only two rowers from the crew that placed fourth in the varsity eight event at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Seniors Mary Reeves (Dayton, Wash./Dayton HS) and Yvonneke Stenken (Sacramento, Calif.) are the only holdovers from last season's top boat.
The changes aren't limited to the athletes as the UW coaching staff underwent a major overhaul. Eleanor McElvaine takes over as the women's head coach after serving 13 seasons as an assistant coach under Jan Harville who retired in July. Sean Mulligan was hired as the assistant varsity coach while Erica Schwab will work as the novice women's coach. All three members of the staff are former crew competitors at Washington.
The Huskies begin the 2004 spring season Saturday with the annual Class Day Regatta. Racing begins at 10 a.m. on the Montlake Cut. The first intercollegiate competition is April 3-4 at the San Diego Crew Classic.
2004 NCAA WOMEN'S ROWING PRESEASON POLL
(compiled by USRowing and the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association)
Rank School (1st-place votes) Points 1. Brown (2) 324
2. Michigan (2) 315
3t. Yale (8) 314
3t. Princeton (2) 314
5. Harvard (4) 294
6. Stanford (1) 289
7. Virginia 266
8. Michigan State 257
9. Ohio State 235 10. WASHINGTON 233 11. California 209
12. USC 204
13. Tennessee 127
14. Texas 117
15. Washington State 98
16. Boston University 80
17. Syracuse 76
18. Duke 54
19. Wisconsin 46
20. Iowa 40