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winning the NCAA Varsity
Women's Crew Finishes 3rd at NCAA Championships.
May 30, 1999
Lake Natoma, CA - Washington's hopes of winning a third straight women's crew national title were dashed in the final race of the day at the NCAA Championships. Needing to place first in the finals of the Varsity 8, the Huskies finished a disappointing fifth. Washington took third in the team competition behind national champion Brown and runnerup Virginia.
The day was not a complete disappointment for the Huskies.
A team of freshmen captured the Varsity Fours national title, the first ever won the by Washington in NCAA competition. The Varsity II (junior varsity) was fourth in its championship race behind Virginia.
"You set your goals high and obviously you want to win," said Washington coach Jan Harville. "Im really happy that the Fours won. Thats five freshmen right there who had a really excellent, excellent race.
"The j.v.s and the varsity did not have their best races. Thats unfortunate because you want to end the season with your best performance. Well take the results and go from there. Ive been saying all along that the field has been closing up on us and you cannot afford to be a little bit off on race day."
In the Varsity Fours race, the Huskies worked their gameplan to perfection. They expected a strong Brown squad to take the early lead which is exactly what happened.
"We knew we were going to have to go out and catch up to them," said freshman coxswain Mary Whipple, who is a native of Sacramento. "We were confident, even when they were up. We just inched away at them step by step. When we finally took the lead, there was no looking back. We knew we had it won. We pulled even with them at 1000 meters and then started walking away over the next 500 meters."
"In our warmup we talked about giving so much more than we had to this point," said freshman Erin Becht, the stroke in the Varsity Four boat. "We knew this was our last race together as a four. We were willing to give it everything we had to get the win."
Washington won the race in a time of 7:34.5 while Virginia was second at 7:40.2 and Brown third at 7:41.89.
The Varsity Fours counterparts in the Varsity I and Varsity II races could not make up any ground after falling behind in the first half of their races on the 2,000-meter course. The Varsity II team made a strong sprint in the final 200 meters in an attempt to catch Michigan for third place but were beat by just .19 seconds. The Huskies turned in a time of 6:55.39. Virginias winning time was 6:50.79 while Brown finished second at 6:53.29.
The Varsity I race, expected to be a dual between Brown and the Huskies, was never a contest. The Brown crew sprinted across the finish line in 6:46.89 while Virginia was second at 6:50.5 and California third in 6:51.79. Princeton took fourth place with a time of 6:52 while the Huskies turned in a time of 6:55.29.
Brown won the team title over Virginia, after both teams finished with the same amount of points (56) by virtue of its higher finish in the Varsity I finals.
"We had a great season going up until now, but we just failed to put it all together today," said senior Katy Dunnet, who rowed in Washingtons Varsity 8 national championship boats in 1997 and 1998. "That is not going to win it in this sport."
In Saturdays semifinals, Brown handed the Huskies their first collegiate loss since the 1996 season.
"Watching Brown walk away from us shook us up a little bit," said Varsity 8 senior coxswain Missy Collins. "I think it took away from our race because we were too focused on what Brown was doing."
NCAA Womens Rowing Championships
Lake Natoma, Sacramento, CA
Team Scoring: 1. Brown * & Virginia 56, 3. Washington 42, 4. Princeton 36, 5. Michigan 35, 6. California 33, 7. Harvard 27, 8. Michigan State 18, 9. Boston University 17, 10. Wisconsin 10. * Brown wins team title based on better finish in the Varsity I Eight Grand Final
Grande Final: 1. Brown 6:46.89, 2. Virginia 6:50.5, 3. California 6:51.79, 4. Princeton 6:52.0, 5. Washington (cox - Missy Collins, stroke - Sabina Telenska, 7 - Katy Dunnet, 6 - Rika Geyser, 5 - Tiffani Sumner, 4 - Rachel Dunnet, 3 - Vanessa Tavalero, 2 - Nicole Borges, bow - Nicole Rogers) 6:55.29, 6. Harvard 7:02.79
Petite Final (for places 7-12): 1. Michigan 6:51.79, 2. Boston Univ. 6:53.79, 3. Northeastern 6:55.39, 4. Michigan State 6:56.7, 5. Dartmouth 7:00.0, 6. USC 7:01.6
Grande Final: 1. Virginia 6:50.79, 2. Brown 6:53.29, 3. Michigan 6:55.2, 4. Washington (cox - Lara Tilmanis, stroke - Romany McNamara, 7 - Noelle Anderson, 6 - Theresa Nygren-Birkholz, 5 - Kate Tylee, 4 - Lora Steele, 3 - Jenni Vesnaver, 2 - Lindsey Horton, bow - Jan Williamson) 6:55.39, 5. Princeton 7:03.2, 6. Michigan State (7:09.39)
Petite Final (for places 7-10): 1. California 6:59.7, 2. Harvard 7:08.39, 3. Boston Univ. 7:15.2, 4. Wisconsin 7:16.2
Grande Final: 1. Washington (cox - Mary Whipple, stroke - Erin Becht, 3 - Anna Mickelson, 2 - Kara Nykreim, 1 - Kellie Schenk) 7:34.5, 2. Virginia 7:40.2, 3. Brown 7:41.89, 4. Michigan 7:48.2, 5. Harvard 7:52.5, 6. Wisconsin 7:58.79
Petite Final (for places 7-10): 1. Boston Univ. 7:47.39, 2. Princeton 7:56.29, 3. Michigan State 8:02.79, 4. California 8:10.5