Five Teams Selected for NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Committee selected CALIFORNIA, STANFORD, USC, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships, to take place May 27-29 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., hosted by Washington State. The field is composed of 16 teams and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers.
California won three of four races, including a half-second victory over Stanford in the varsity eight race, to capture its fourth-straight Pac-10 title on Sunday. The Golden Bears also won the varsity four and novice eight events at Lake Natoma. Cal took three of four races from the Cardinal at The Big Row on April 30, including the varsity eight to retain the Lambert Cup. The Bears also swept Washington in Seattle on April 23. Cal, which finished second at the 2010 NCAA Championships, won the team title in 2005 and 2006.
Stanford, the Pac-10 runner-up last weekend, will participate in the NCAA Championships as a team for the third-straight year. The Cardinal won the second varsity eight title at the conference championships. Stanford topped the final points tally at the Lake Natoma Invitational earlier this season over schools including Cal and Brown. The varsity eight also finished second in the Jessop-Whittier Cup competition at the San Diego Crew Classic. Stanford is the most recent Pac-10 school to capture the NCAA team title, climbing the podium in 2009.
USC took third at the Pac-10 Championships, with third-place finishes in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. The Trojans entered the event undefeated in the varsity eight this season, having captured wins over NCAA-bound Cal, Stanford, Virginia and Michigan State. The Jessop-Whittier Cup victory at the San Diego Crew Classic was the third in school history as the Trojans crossed the line with a boat length over Stanford. USC finished eighth at last year's NCAA championships.
Washington, one of three schools to have made each NCAA Championships since its inception in 1997, placed fourth at the Pac-10 Championships. The Huskies captured a silver in the varsity four to go with a bronze in the novice eight. Washington swept all its races at the annual Windermere Cup and finished fifth in the Jessop-Whittier Cup race. The Huskies were the first Pac-10 team to win an NCAA team title, taking the inaugural championship in 1997 before winning again in 1998 and 2001.
Washington State, the host for the NCAA Championships, will make its sixth overall and second-straight team appearance. The Cougars, fifth-place finishers at the Pac-10 Championships, recorded wins over Ohio State and Michigan State in April. Both teams are among the field invited to Lake Natoma. The Cougars' highest finished at the national championships came in 2006 as Washington State placed fourth, led by a fourth-place finish in the varsity eight race.