June 1, 2013
| NCAA Championships
May 31- June 2nd | Eagle Creek Park– Indianapolis, Ind. | Live Streaming |
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The weather in the Indianapolis area continued to cause havoc at the second day of the NCAA Championships, altering the times of the races for the fourth time in the last 48 hours.
Despite the weather conditions and changing start times, Washington stayed composed against tough competition to advance two of three boats to Sunday’s Grand Finals at the NCAA Championships. The varsity eight and varsity four both secured their spots in tomorrow’s championship finals, while the second varsity will race in their respective petite final.
On Friday, the crews battled pouring rain and thunder and lightning warnings throughout the day, but the Huskies handled the conditions well to advance all three shells—the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and varsity four—to this morning’s semifinals.
Late last night the order was shifted and the times were moved up to ensure that they could get the feature races in before the weather had a chance to disrupt day two of the championships. The scheduling change proved to be significant as the C/D semifinals were canceled when rain and wind pounded the area later in the morning.
According to head women’s coach Bob Ernst, boats were flooding and athletes were being pulled from the water. Everyone made it out safe, but the rest of day two’s scheduled races were postponed until tomorrow.
“These were the most challenging conditions for rowing I’ve ever experienced,” said Ernst. “It was tough out there, but for the most part the women handled it well.”
That means a lot coming from Ernst, who is in his 40th year at Washington and been around thousands of regattas on both the national and international scene.
Washington’s varsity eight held off a late push by Yale in the final 500 meters to come in third behind Ohio State (7:14.40) and Princeton (7:15.30) and grab the last grand final qualifying spot in their semifinal. Washington finished less than a half a second ahead of Yale (7:17.68), crossing the line with a time of (7:17:22).
The varsity four continued to perform well at the championships, taking second in their semifinal behind Ohio State (7:36.71). The Huskies came in with a time of 7:38.97, that was good for second best qualifying time out of the two semifinal heats.
“The varsity eight and varsity four both had really good races today,” said Ernst. “They’ve been performing better and better each week of the season and they continued that here [at the championships], performing better and better each race.”
Washington’s second varsity is the Huskies’ most inexperienced crew, with three freshmen all on one side of the boat, including one walk-on. The weather took its toll on the young Huskies, as they suffered a bad start and couldn’t overcome the rough conditions. The Huskies finished with a time of 7:34.16, good for sixth place and a spot in Sunday’s petite finals.
The weather conditions are suppose to improve, although the wind is suppose to stick around so every crew will have to use their skills to maneuver the course on the last day of the NCAA Championships.
The last day of NCAA means one thing: everything is on the line tomorrow for these crews. It's what the student-athletes work towards all year.
“We are glad to be here,” said Ernst. “We are ready to fight.”
NCAA Day 2 Results (For Full Results please click here):
Varsity 8 A/B Semifinal:
1) Ohio State 7:14.40
2) Princeton 7:15.30
3) Washington 7:17.22
4) Yale 7:17.68
5) Harvard 7:20.11
6) Michigan 7:37.73
Second Varsity 8 A/B Semifinal:
1) Ohio State 7:19.61
2) Yale 7:22.77
3) USC 7:24.28
4) Harvard 7:26.05
5) Stanford 7:31.67
6) Washington 7:34.16
Varsity 4 A/B Semifinal:
1) Ohio State 7:36.71
2) Washington 7:38.97
3) Brown 7:41.88
4) California 7:46.10
5) Stanford 7:52.28
6) Yale 8:00.45