May 21, 2002
Seattle - The Washington women's rowing team has earned an official invitation to the 2002 NCAA Championships, May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, the NCAA announced today. The Huskies, who enter the regatta as defending national champions, received an automatic bid as the top seed from the West Region.
The 2001 team title was Washington's third in the five years since the NCAA began administering the sport in 1997. The Huskies won the inaugural crown in 1997 and repeated the performance in 1998. Brown University is the only other team to win an NCAA team title, as they claimed the 1999 and 2000 championships.
Washington also enters the 2002 regatta as defending champions in two of the three events, as the varsity eight and varsity four both won gold medals in 2001.
The NCAA team championship is comprised of 12 teams with each team required to field a varsity eight, second varsity eight (junior varsity) and a varsity four. In addition, four eight-oared crews from institutions not represented in the team field have earned at-large bids. The Pacific-10 Conference is well represented this year, as California and Stanford join Washington in earning a team bid, while Southern California and Washington State earned at-large invitations to the varsity eight race. The remaining field of teams includes: Brown, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Syracuse, Virginia and Yale. Joining USC and WSU with an at-large berth are Cornell and Notre Dame.
"We are excited to finally be at this point of the season," said Huskies head coach Jan Harville, who was named 2001 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year after her team won the NCAA title last year. "We've endured all the challenges up to this point. Now we're ready to go.
"We have our foot in the door," Harville continued. "Now we're going to try and jump right in. Entering as defending champions is nice, but it's history. Every year is a new year. We have experience and that's a plus, but we have to get out there and prove it on the water."
Washington's varsity and junior varsity eights are undefeated this season, having earned victories at the San Diego Crew Classic and the Windermere Cup, along with dual race wins over Wisconsin, Washington State and Oregon State. Most recently, both crews won gold medals at the Pac-10 Championships, May 19.
The varsity four enters the NCAA regatta as three-time defending champions in the event. In each of the last three years, Washington's entry has been comprised of the top four rowers from the regular season novice eight. This year, the crew is made up of two sophomore and two junior rowers and a senior class coxswain. The coxswain, Maili Barber, led the novice crew to its NCAA gold medal last season.
The Huskies depart Seattle Sat., May 25 and will train in Oxford, Ohio through May 29 before transferring to Indianapolis. The Washington men's team also departs May 25 for Princeton, where it will train for three days prior to meeting in Camden, NJ for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, May 30-June 1.
Women 2002 NCAA Championships
May 31 - June 2, 2002
Eagle Creek Reservoir; Indianapolis, Ind.
NCAA Teams - Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Yale.
At-Large Varsity Eights - Cornell, Notre Dame, Southern California, Washington State.