Women's Crew Matches Up Against The Best At NCAA Championships
May 26, 2010
Setting the Scene: NCAA Championships
The Huskies control their own destiny. That's the best position the team can put themselves in heading to the 2010 NCAA Championships, which will take place at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma from May 28-30. Washington State University will serve as the championship host. Once again the Huskies - who are in search of their fourth NCAA team title - continue their streak of reaching the 16-team NCAA field each year since its inception in 1997, one of just three teams to accomplish such a feat. Washington, which is ranked seventh in the latest CRCA-US Rowing poll, will send three boats to Lake Natoma: a varsity eight, a second varsity eight and an open four.
Race updates are available in real time with the official Washington rowing Twitter feed, which is available at www.twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. Official results and a race recap will also be available on GoHuskies.com following each day of racing. Fans may also watch a live stream of the NCAA Championships on the organization's main page: www.ncaa.com.
In Search of Hardware
Washington has won three National Championships since the NCAA began organizing the competition in 1997. The last Huskies title came in 2001, featuring a lineup that included three eventual Olympians: Rika Geyser, Anna (Mickelson) Cummins and Mary Whipple, along with current novice coach Nicole (Borges) Minett. The varsity eight has won a national title four times (1997, 1998, 2001 & 2002), the second varsity eight once (2002), while the varsity four has captured four championships (1997, 1998, 2001 & 2008).
The Huskies finished seventh out of 16 teams at Cooper River, N.J., in 2009. The second varsity eight was the lone Washington boat to make the Grand Finals in its respective category, finishing five seconds behind the winning Yale boat.
The Women's Field
Sixteen teams are invited annually to participate in the NCAA Championships. Brown, Princeton and Washington are the only teams who have been invited to the NCAA Championships each year since 1997.
The 2010 field includes a slew of elite crews, including five additional teams from the Pac-10 Conference (UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford and Washington State). The remaining crews include Michigan, Michigan State, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Yale. The Cardinal are the defending National Champions, unseating the previous two-time champ in Brown at the 2009 NCAAs on the Cooper River in New Jersey. Once again, the Ivies present a strong challenge as always for the Pac-10 schools. Princeton's varsity eight was undefeated all season, only to be edged by Yale by less than one second at the EAWRC final. No other crew was within 10 seconds of those boats, including NCAA invitee Brown.
The Big Ten sent four teams to the NCAAs: conference team champions Wisconsin, followed by Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan. The ACC added a strong pair of teams in No. 3 Virginia, along with Clemson.
Huskies Coaching Staff
The women's team is coached by the legendary Bob Ernst, who made the switch after a 20-year stint coaching the men's program. Ernst is no stranger to women's rowing, having shepherded the program to six National Championships from 1981-87. Ernst also has significant Olympics and International experience and has been involved with some facet of the UW program since 1974. In 1984, he coached the Gold Medal winning eight in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Nicole Minett manages all coaching duties for the novice women. Colin Sykes is an assistant coach that handles the varsity four.
Each year after the Class Day Regatta, the Huskies select two captains to lead their program into the brunt of the spring season. This year, Ty Otto and Adrienne Martelli will represent their boats and sport the star on Washington's traditional white oars.
Last Time Out
The Windermere Cup brought a pair of marquee opponents to Seattle, and the UW responded to the challenge with two of their best efforts of the season. The men's crew swept the Erickson and Windermere Cup races, defeating both Oxford and Syracuse by open water. The women's crews were just as successful, sweeping both flagship events to capture the program's fourth consecutive Windermere Cup title.
About The Huskies
The Huskies enter the NCAA Championships battle-tested from a ferocious regular-season schedule. Washington began the spring sprinting season with a trip to Stanford - the defending National Champions. After losing the varsity eight race to the Cardinal, the Huskies responded with a pair of wins with their second varsity and the novice eight. UW moved on to take all but one race against Washington State before heading back down to California and splitting their dual race with the No. 1 Golden Bears on the Redwood Shores. Then the Huskies returned home to make an impressive sweep of the Windermere Cup, winning both of the marquee races the women raced in. At Pac-10s, Washington continued to showcase its speed and depth, taking Gold Medals in the varsity four and the novice eight races.
About The CourseLake Natoma is a 2,000-meter course and the home venue of the Pac-10 Championship. Situated 15 miles northeast of Sacramento, Calif., Lake Natoma was created by Nimbus Dam across American River and is a regulating reservoir for releases from Folsom Lake. Lake Natoma is widely considered one of the best venues in the United States for intercollegiate rowing.
Race Schedule (All Times PST)
Friday May 28
8:45 a.m. Varsity Heat 1
9:00 a.m. Varsity Heat 2
9:15 a.m. Varsity Heat 3
9:30 a.m. Second Varsity Heat 1
9:45 a.m. Second Varsity Heat 2
10:00 a.m. Second Varsity Heat 3
10:15 a.m. Varsity Four Heat 1
10:30 a.m. Varsity Four Heat 2
10:45 a.m. Varsity Four Heat 3
3:30 p.m. Varsity Eight Repechage
3:45 p.m. Second Varsity Eight Repechage
4:00 p.m. Varsity Four Repechage
Saturday May 29
9:00 a.m. Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:15 a.m .Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:30 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:45 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
10:00 a.m. Varsity Four Semifinals
10:15 a.m. Varsity Four Semifinals
Sunday, May 31
9:45 a.m. Varsity Four Third Final (places 13-16)
10:00 a.m. Varsity Four Petite Final (places 7-12)
10:15 a.m. Varsity Four Grand Final (places 1-6)
10:30 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Third Final (places 13-16)
10:45 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
11:00 a.m. Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
11:15 a.m. Varsity Eight Third Final (places 13-16)
11:30 a.m. Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
11:45 a.m. Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
In March, four Husky women were invited to the U23 National Team camp. Senior Jennifer Park, junior Kerry Simmonds and sophomore Ariana Tanimoto were all tapped to attend the camp, which will be held in San Diego and Princeton, N.J., this summer. Senior Adrienne Martelli was selected to join the elite camp. The rowers are competing for spots in the women's 8+ and 4x boats that will race at the FISA U23 World Championships in Belarus on June 22-25.
On The Horizon
The men's crew team will have their opportunity to capture their second straight National Championship when they take on the field at the IRAs on June 3-5 on the Cooper River in New Jersey. The Huskies are ranked No. 1 in the country, and all four of their boats (varsity eight, second varsity eight, freshmen eight & varsity four) have churned through the spring season undefeated.