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UW Eights Settle for Petite Final Berths at NCAA Regatta
Release: 05/28/2005
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May 28, 2005

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - Washington's varsity and junior varsity eight crews came up short in their races Saturday and will compete in the petite finals at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma.

The three-day NCAA regatta concludes Sunday with the championship races. The Huskies have one crew rowing for a national title, the varsity four that had Saturday off after winning Friday's heat to automatically qualify for the grand final. Washington, which won the silver medal in 2004, will row in lane one Sunday alongside defending champion Virginia. The rest of the field includes Brown, California, USC and Wisconsin.

Washington's 13th-ranked varsity eight finished fifth in its semifinal. Only the top three in each race received berths into the grand finals.

"The gals felt like they had a pretty good race. It was better than yesterday," said UW head coach Eleanor McElvaine. "They felt like they had a little bit of a sag in the third 500, but then the best sprint of the whole year coming back to try to get Michigan. I just have a lot of respect for how fast these other crews are here. It's really a pretty amazing pack."

Top-ranked California jumped ahead early while the remaining five crews were bunched within two seconds of each other at the 500-meter mark. Harvard and Virginia laid claim to the critical second- and third-place positions by the midway mark, leading the other boats by open water. The Huskies dropped into sixth place with 500 meters remaining before surging past Tennessee and nearly catching fourth-place Michigan at the wire.

The Golden Bears finished the 2,000-meter race in 6-minutes, 32.62-seconds followed by Harvard (6:38.33), Virginia (6:40.54), Michigan (6:45.56), Washington (6:45.73) and Tennessee (6:49.72). Fourth-ranked Princeton won the other semifinal in 6:35.77.

Cal is the nation's only varsity eight crew that has not lost this season. The last crew to go undefeated en route to the national championship was Washington in 2002.

Washington, which has won 11 national titles in the varsity eight event, rows in the petite final for the second straight season.

"Our goal tomorrow is the same thing as last year, to win the petites," said junior Allison DePalma (San Jose, Calif.) who rows in the No. 5 seat for UW. "It's definitely a bummer. Everyone wants to go to the grand finals. But, you pick your battles and tomorrow, the petite final is our battle."

Last year, the Huskies narrowly missed qualifying for the grand final and took out their frustration on the petite final field. They won that race to finish seventh overall among varsity eight crews. UW seeks to replicate that feat Sunday.

"We'll just try to go into tomorrow with the idea of putting it all together, best race of the year and see if we can win the petite final," McElvaine said with the disclaimer that, "It's going to be harder than last year. We're going to have to beat Brown. The field is really deep. That's great for rowing. We don't enjoy being out of the top, but that's where we are right now. So we just have to focus on getting better and doing the best we can tomorrow."

Washington's varsity eight competes in the petite final field that includes defending champion and fifth-ranked Brown, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 8 Stanford, No. 10 USC and No. 12 Michigan.

In the junior varsity eight repechage, the Huskies started fast and rowed with the lead boats before dropping to third place. The top two repechage finishers advanced to the grand final field.

Washington overtook early leader Ohio State 1,000 meters into the race. The Buckeyes reclaimed the lead in the third quarter of the race, the same juncture at which Michigan State gained control of the second qualifying position.

"We had a boat meeting last night and our race plan was to just go for it, put it all out on the line," explained junior coxswain Eva Anderson, a product of Seattle's Shorecrest High School. "This was one of our best races. We were trying and the other boats, they just had a little bit more in them."

Ohio State posted a first-place time of 6:48.79 followed by Michigan State (6:49.03), Washington (6:56.24), Harvard (6:59.13) and Wisconsin (7:02.23). Brown won the other repechage with a time of 6:44.68.

"They had a great first 1,000 meters and then just didn't have enough gas left to answer when the charge came on from the other teams," McElvaine said of her junior varsity crew. "That's what we have to do. We've got to be aggressive and go after it. You just close your eyes and try to hang on."

The Huskies will not medal in the team standings as the finish in the varsity eight and junior varsity competitions are primary factors in the formula that awards points based on each team's combined results in the three events. California and Virginia have the inside track for their first national championships. They are the only schools to qualify a crew in all three grand finals.

Just three schools have captured the team title since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997. Brown won its fourth championship last season and Harvard won its only title in 2003. Washington claimed the crown on three occasions, in 1997, 1998 and 2001. The Huskies placed fifth last season.

Saturday, May 28, 2005
Lake Natoma; Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Varsity Eights
(top three finishers in each race to grand final, rest to petite final)

Semifinal I
1. Princeton 6:35.77
2. Yale 6:39.47
3. Ohio State 6:39.67
4. Brown 6:41.40
5. Stanford 6:47.92
6. USC 6:52.38

Semifinal II
1. California 6:32.62
2. Harvard 6:38.33
3. Virginia 6:40.54
4. Michigan 6:45.56
5. Washington 6:45.73
6, Tennessee 6:49.72

UW lineup: cox-Dana Ryan, stroke-Courtney Plitt, 7-Kara Farquharson, 6-Sanda Hangan, 5-Allison DePalma, 4-Megan Kalmoe, 3-Janelle Dubbins, 2-Michael Kohan, bow-Marah Connole.

Junior Varsity Eights
(top two finishers in each race to grand final, rest to petite final)

Repechage I
1. Brown 6:44.68
2. Michigan 6:46.86
3. Yale 6:46.87
4. Princeton 6:54.57
5. USC 6:59.26

Repechage II
1. Ohio State 6:48.79
2. Michigan State 6:49.03
3. Washington 6:56.24
4. Harvard 6:59.13
5. Wisconsin 7:02.23
Note: Friday heat winners Ohio State & Virginia already qualified for grand final

UW lineup: cox-Eva Anderson, stroke-Olivia Morrow, 7-Liz Simenstad, 6-Sarah Hubbard, 5-Asiha Grigsby, 4-Alina Tabacaru, 3-Gemma Edward-Aron, 2-Andrea Sooter, bow-Amanda Jensen.

Varsity Fours
(top two finishers in each race to grand final, rest to petite final)

Repechage I
1. Brown 7:27.21
2. Wisconsin 7:30.45
3. Yale 7:39.96
4. Ohio State 7:44.37
5. Harvard 7:51.38

Repechage II
1. California 7:24.28
2. USC 7:27.26
3. Michigan 7:29.97
4. Michigan State 7:32.89
5. Princeton 7:42.29
Note: Friday heat winners Washington & Virginia already qualified for grand final


Varsity Fours
10:30 a.m. PDT -- Petite Final

1. Michigan
2. Yale
3. Michigan State
4. Ohio State
5. Harvard
6. Princeton

10:45 a.m. PDT -- Grand Final
1. Washington
2. Virginia
3. Brown
4. California
5. USC
6. Wisconsin

Junior Varsity Eights
11:00 a.m. PDT -- Petite Final

1. Yale
2. Washington
3. Harvard
4. Princeton
5. Wisconsin
6. USC

11:15 a.m. PDT -- Grand Final
1. Virginia
2. California
3. Ohio State
4. Brown
5. Michigan State
6. Michigan

Varsity Eights
11:45 a.m. PDT -- Petite Final

1. Brown
2. Michigan
3. Stanford
4. Washington
5. USC
6. Tennessee

12:00 p.m. PDT -- Grand Final
1. California
2. Princeton
3. Yale
4. Harvard
5. Virginia
6. Ohio State

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