May 30, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - All three Washington crews advanced to tomorrow's second-round races after each of them finished third in their heats Friday during the first day of the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships at Eagle Creek Park.
The championships continue Saturday morning with semifinal races before concluding with Sunday's finals. Defending champion Washington competes in the varsity eight semifinals and needs to finish in third place or better to earn a berth in the six-boat Grand Final. The Huskies' second varsity (junior varsity) and varsity four each row in repechage races Saturday, requiring first- or second-place finishes for entry to the Grand Finals.
The Huskies' third-ranked varsity eight boat battled through a difficult heat race that included the three medalists from last year's championship race. Washington won the 2002 varsity eight title followed by runner-up Brown and California in third place.
The order was different this time around as Brown overtook early leader Washington at the 750-meter mark and gradually extended the lead to more than a boat length at the finish. Brown covered the 2,000-meter course in 6-minutes, 39.27-seconds. California edged the Huskies at the line, placing second in 6:42.06 to 6:42.09 for UW.
"The other two crews had a little better race. We certainly were challenged and when Brown made their move we weren't able to hold them and we have to be able to do a better job of that," Washington coach Jan Harville said. "We were just a little bit off. The competition is tough and we're looking forward to being on tomorrow."
The varsity eight competition is arguably the most wide open since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997. For the first time, no team entered the NCAA championships with a perfect record. The Huskies' top boat was undefeated last year en route to an 11th national title, their fourth in NCAA competition.
Less than four seconds separated the top nine times Friday, those posted by the teams that automatically advanced to the semifinals.
"Right there you've got nine crews that probably think they have a chance to win," Harville exclaimed. "We are happy to be one of them and I don't think there is any clear-cut favorite. We have a couple more days left here so I wouldn't count too many people out at this point."
Washington's defending national champion second varsity took an early lead, but relinquished it 750 meters into the race. Brown surged ahead at that point and continued to stretch the margin into an open-water finish. Brown finished in 6:50.35 followed at 6:56.60 by Virginia which passed UW over the final 500 meters. The Huskies' time was 6:59.25 followed by Michigan State in 7:00.86. California was victorious in the other heat.
"We had a really great start, probably one of our best of the year. There were parts of the race that were great and there were parts that we just need to improve on," said UW second varsity coxswain Megan Mach. "We've done this in the past where we haven't felt our greatest in our heats and done really well in the finals. It's just what we have to do again."
UW's varsity four also placed third and needs a top-two repechage result tomorrow to clinch a Grand Final appearance. The Huskies were varsity four champions in 2000 and 2001 before sliding to 10th place last year.
California won the heat with a time of 7:35.39, followed by Virginia in 7:39.86 and Washington in 7:44.89. Brown won the other varsity four heat.
NCAA WOMEN'S ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday, May 30, 2003
Eagle Creek; Indianapolis, Ind.
1, Michigan 6:40.50. 2, Stanford 6:41.30. 3, Virginia 6:42.60. 4, Michigan State 6:43.70. 5, Yale 6:47.20. 6, Texas 6:;47.60.
1, Princeton 6:39.50. 2, Harvard 6:41.00. 3, USC 6:41.90. 4, Ohio State 6:42.60. 5, Tennessee 7:01.70.
1, Brown 6:39.27. 2, California 6:42.06. 3, Washington 6:42.09. 4, Boston University 6:52.07. 5, Washington State 6:59.97.
UW lineup: cox- Anne Hessburg, stroke- Lauren Estevenin, 7- Carrie Stasiak, 6- Adrienne Hunter, 5- Heidi Hurn, 4- Jessica Harm, 3- Erin Curry, 2- Mary Reeves, bow- Yvonneke Stenken.
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT (JUNIOR VARSITY)
1, Brown 6:50.35. 2, Virginia 6:56.60. 3, Washington 6:59.25. 4, Michigan State 7:00.86. 5, Yale 7:01.29. 6, Harvard 7:02.70.
UW lineup: cox- Megan Mach, stroke- Sanda Hangan, 7- Courtney Matson, 6- Alina Tabacaru, 5- Amanda Jensen, 4- Margaret Henry, 3- Gemma Edward-Aron, 2- Signe Johannes, bow- Michael Kohan.
1, California 6:52.53. 2, Ohio State 6:58.88. 3, Washington State 7:01.42. 4, Stanford 7:01.44. 5, Princeton 7:02.40. 6, Michigan 7:07.07.
1, California 7:35.39. 2, Virginia 7:39.86. 3, Washington 7:44.89. 4, Harvard 7:50.21. 5, Washington State 7:55.37. 6, Stanford 8:04.88.
UW lineup: cox- Dana Ryan, stroke- Lindsay Schwarz, 3- Nicole Mazikowski, 2- Katherine Ramos, bow- Lisa Krikava.
1, Brown 7:31.27. 2, Michigan 7:37.48. 3, Ohio State 7:39.86. 4, Yale 7:40.75. 5, Princeton 7:41.72. 6, Michigan State 7:47.37.