Women's Rowing Set for NCAA Championships This Weekend

May 28, 2009

CAMDEN, N.J. - The No.11 Oregon State women's rowing team is prepared to compete at the NCAA Championships, its first national championship appearance since 2000, along the shores of the Cooper River at Camden, N.J.

The Beavers begin the final weekend of what has been a highly successful season Friday, May 29, with three crews - the Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ - representing the Orange and Black against the fastest boats in the nation.

'It is a great step for this program to qualify for the national championship,' head coach Emily Ford said. 'This gives us a great opportunity to go up against the best teams in the country and see where we stack up on the race course.'

Since a beginning the season with a sweep of the University of Victoria, in the cold waters of Elk Lake in British Columbia, the Beavers have continued to gain speed as lineups have solidified. Following several adjustments, the V8+ lineup gelled and became a constant with the same crew rowing in OSU's most recent races - a home race against Washington State at Dexter Lake and two weeks later at the Pac-10 Championships.

'The varsity 8 has been a special group from the start,' Ford said. 'The line-up has been together since San Diego and they work well together. There is a lot of trust in the boat - they know that each person will go to the bottom of the well every time. They enjoy taking on challenges together, the bigger the better. Getting to race among the best crews in the country at Nationals will be thrilling for them.'

A strong group of rowers, all four of OSU's boats, including the Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+, Varsity 4+ and the Novice 8+, strived to push for excellence in the hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

'We work really hard,' junior Devery Karz said. 'We go to the race and take whatever we can from it. We take the good, learn from the bad and go to the next race and do even better.'

A highlight for coach Ford, the championship marks the finale to her third season with Oregon State.

'When I started here 3 years ago, I was met by a group eager to take this program to the next level and get back to the championship,' Ford said. 'We had a great group of seniors that year that worked to set the goal in motion. They gained some good momentum and we've been building from there. I knew that we would eventually have enough momentum to push us over the top and we reached that critical mass this year. From this point forward I think we're going to start to fly.'

OSU's V8+ will be the first boat to hit the water for the Beavers, Friday, May 29 at 9 a.m. in the second of three heat races. The Beavers will face a field that includes No. 2 California, No. 7 Michigan State, Wisconsin and Brown.

The 2V8+ is scheduled to follow at 9:30 a.m. in the division's first heat against Virginia, Ohio State, No. 13 Washington and No. 6 Harvard.

Finally, the 1V4+ takes the water at 10:15 a.m. in the second heat to face USC, Ohio State, Clemson and Wisconsin.

VARSITY 8+
Heat 2

California
Michigan State
Wisconsin
Oregon State
Brown

SECOND VARSITY 8+
Heat 1

Virginia
Ohio State
Washington
Harvard
Oregon State

VARSITY 4+
Heat 2
USC
Ohio State
Clemson
Wisconsin
Oregon State

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