No. 1 Women's Rowing Enjoys Solid First Day At NCAA Championships

May 25, 2007

The No. 1 USC Trojans Varsity Eight got out of the gates churning on the first day of the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships on Melton Hill Lake at Oak Ridge, Tenn. Racing will continue tomorrow with all three Trojan boats participating. The Varsity Eight will race in one of two semifinals while the JV Eight and the Varsity Four will each participate in one of two repechages.

Including four at-large varsity eight boat selections, the first varsity eight field includes 16 boats, each vying for 12 available spots in the two semifinals. Racing in the third heat, one as closely contested as they come, the Trojans would find themselves neck and neck with the competition throughout the entire 2000-meter course. Coming out of the starting blocks strong, USC would build a two-seat lead 500 meters into the race but would cross the midway point less than one and a half seconds ahead of fifth place No. 19 Washington. Crossing the 1500-meter mark at virtually the same time as No. 5 Ohio State, the Trojans found themselves in a dogfight with nearly the entire field coming down the stretch. The Trojans would hold on to win with a time of 6:39.00, but only barely edging out the competition with the top four boats coming in within two and a quarter seconds of each other.

The victory in the heat puts the Trojan Varsity Eight into Saturday's semifinal, racing at 9:30 a.m. or 9:45 a.m. depending on assignment. The top three teams from each of the three heats are guaranteed a spot in the semifinals, with the remaining seven teams re-racing in a repechage (today at 1 p.m.) in which the top three teams from that race will round out the semifinal selections.

NCAA Division I First Eights - Elimination Heat 3 (8:30 a.m.)
Finish Entry Time
1 USC 6:39.00
2 Ohio State 6:39.56
3 Minnesota 6:40.18
4 California 6:41.06
5 Washington 6:47.50

The second varsity eight raced in the first elimination heat of their event facing Pac-10 foes California and Washington amongst others. A race that began only somewhat close would become three separate smaller races by the midway point. Virginia would battle it out with Cal for the lead, eventually winning the race. The Trojans sat comfortably in the third spot for most of the race until Washington came up from behind and overtook USC in the final 500 meters. A bow-to-bow finish would eventually swing Washington's way as the Huskies would cross the finish line at 6:57.39 with USC behind at 6:58.08.

As the winners of each of the second varsity eight heats, only Brown and Virginia will advanced directly to the second varsity eight grand final (getting Saturday off from racing) while the remaining field will race in two separate repechages in which the top two finishers from each repechage will make up the remaining grand final field. The Trojan JV Eight will race at 8:30 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. depending on a draw.

NCAA Division I Second Eights - Elimination Heat 1 (9:45 a.m.)
Finish Entry Time
1 Virginia 6:48.77
2 California 6:53.13
3 Washington 6:57.39
4 USC 6:58.08
5 Harvard 7:00.80
6 Princeton 7:01.39

The USC Varsity Four got off to a little bit of a rough start but would make up for that by finishing strong. With 1500 meters to go, the four found themselves in fifth place seven seconds behind first place Virginia. By the 1000-meter mark, the Trojans had caught up to the pack and taken a three-second lead for second place. Virginia ran away from the pack to finish with a time of 7:34.48 but USC would complete their second half push, finishing comfortably in second place at 7:43.75, almost seven seconds ahead of a Washington crew that had battled the Trojans fiercely for most of the race.

Although only the top crews from each of the fours elimination heats automatically advance to the event grand final, the Trojans' strong finish will give them a better chance at a better lane draw for the two repechage heats tomorrow. The Trojan four will be racing at either 8 a.m. or 8:15 a.m.

NCAA Division I Fours - Elimination Heat 1 (10:45 a.m.)
Finish Entry Time
1 Virginia 7:34.48
2 USC 7:43.75
3 Washington 7:50.03
4 Minnesota 7:53.51
5 Harvard 7:54.24
6 Tennessee 7:55.80

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2007 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships Boatings

  1st Varsity Eight JV Eight Varsity Four
Coxswain Lauren Cowan Lisa Sabalvaro Denise Kobashikawa
No. 8 (Stroke) Gabriela Varekova Anna Specjalska Laura McDaniel
No. 7 Magda Madziewicz Nana Gagatsovi Shelley Koskovich
No. 6 Ligita Kaviere Anna Efremova Ewelina Nowak
No. 5 Dunja Pejcic Bara Varekova Cassie Richardson
No. 4 Tatiana Boldyreva Phebe Greenwood  
No. 3 Liene Bertasjus Kinga Marciszewska  
No. 2 Robin Hextrum Carin Andersson
No. 1 (Bow) Diana Ivanova Jessica Smith  
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