May 17, 2011
SEATTLE - The field of 16 was announced for the NCAA rowing championships on Tuesday afternoon, and holding true to form, the No. 7 Huskies were included in that elite group.
Washington will attempt to win its fourth National Championship, and the first since 2002. The NCAA Championships will take place on May 27-29 on the picturesque 2,000-meter course on Lake Natoma, considered one of the best venues for the sport in the country. The Huskies are one of just three programs to make the NCAA Championships every year since their inception in 1997, a streak that's entering its 15th year.
Coming off a fourth-place performance in the Pac-10 Championships - which featured a pair of medals - the Huskies have two weeks to build additional speed and momentum for the end-of-the-year NCAAs. The Huskies will take their top (varsity) eight, a second varsity eight along with a varsity four to Natoma.
Once again, the Pac-10 Conference exhibited its strength in the sport with five programs selected for the NCAA Championships, the most of any conference participating in the event. The Huskies were joined by No. 1 Cal, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 USC and No. 14 Washington State. The Golden Bears are the defending conference champions, while the Cardinal were National Champions in 2009.
The Husky varsity 8 will race against Princeton, Virginia, Michigan State and Michigan in their first heat. This is a difficult bracket that includes the defending National Champions (UVA), the No. 2 crew in the country (Princeton) and a Spartans crew that was ranked just behind the Huskies in the CRCA/USRowing poll.
Selection was based on the following criteria: eligibility and availability of athletes, head-to-head results, conference championship results, results versus teams selected, results versus common opponents, regional ranking, results versus regionally-ranked teams. What helped Washington earn a bid was a rigorous schedule that included the San Diego Crew Classic, duals against the Cougars and Cal, along with the 25th Windermere Cup that featured Big 12 stalwart Oklahoma.
A webcast of the NCAA rowing championships will be available on www.ncaa.com. Last year, the Huskies finished 10th at the NCAA Championships.
For ticket information, call the Washington State ticket office at 1-800-GO-COUGS or order online.