Women's Crew Faces Tough Competition on First Day in San Diego

April 6, 2002

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- - Facing some of the top crews in the country on Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego, California, the OSU women's crew team advanced one boat to Sunday's grand finals.

The novice eight won its heat, defeating arch-rival Washington with a time of 7:03.15. The Beavers turned in a speedy second half to take advantage of some errors by the Husky crew and pull ahead, as well as extend their lead on third place San Diego State. The crew was able to maintain their lead over the rest of the course, to finish almost nine seconds ahead of the second-place Huskies. Head coach Charlie Owen praised his novice crew's efforts.

'The novices did well. They were very close with Washington the whole race. It was pretty much just OSU and Washington in that heat, and they were back and forth with Washington through the 1000-meter mark. In the second half, Washington caught a crab, and the rower in three-seat, her seat came off its tracks. They still managed to get across the line in second and qualify.'

In the varsity eight race, the Beavers faced three top-ten crews from the 2001 NCAA Rowing Championships. OSU finished ahead of one of these teams: No. 9 USC , but No. 20 Notre Dame narrowly edged the Beavers for the third qualifying spot. Third-ranked Ohio State won the race in 6:45.96, and No. 11 California finished second. OSU finished fourth with a time of 6:54.86.

'We knew that to make the Grand Final, we would have to row an outstanding race, and we didn't quite do that,' said Owen. 'We were a little sloppy coming off the line at the start. That's a little suprising to me, since we have actually been pretty good at starts all year. Once we got in the race, we did pretty well, but we just lost too much time in the first 250 meters.'

The 2nd varsity eight also failed to qualify for the grand final, but turned in another strong performance. With Washington leading the pack by a wide margin, OSU, Clemson, and Minnesota were left to battle for second place. Although the Beavers led Clemson for most of the race, the Tigers pulled ahead at the end. OSU finished less than two seconds behind Clemson and approximately 10 seconds behind Washington, with a time of 7:09.17.

'The JV race was pretty similar to the varsity race,' commented Owen afterwards. 'They rowed okay, and were right in there, but they didn't row quite as well as they did last week against Washington State. They were in a dogfight with Clemson the whole race, and actually led them at the 1000-meter mark. But Clemson made a move towards the end and we just couldn't quite keep up.'

All three crews race again on Sunday. The varsity eight and 2nd varsity eight will compete in petite finals, at 11:40 am and 10:20 am, respectively. The novice eight will compete in the novice grand final at 11:00 am.

TIMES:VARSITY EIGHT -- Jessop-Whittier Cup Elimination Heat B:*Ohio State 6:45.96,  *California 6:47.91,  *Notre Dame 6:51.60,  Oregon State 6:54.86,  USC 6:58.94,  Clemson 7:00.23,  Tulsa 7:18.252nd VARSITY EIGHT -- Women's JV Elimination Heat B:*Washington 6:59.2,  *Clemson 7:07.46,  Oregon State 7:09.17,  Minnesota 7:10.57,  San Diego State 7:21.82,  USC 7:24.62,  SMU 7:31.89NOVICE EIGHT -- Women's Collegiate Novice Elimination Heat C:*Oregon State 7:03.15,  *Washington 7:12.45,  San Diego State 7:14.68,  UC-Irvine 7:21.89,  Sacramento State 7:34.28,  Loyola 7:41.55,  SMU 7:45.84*Advances to Grand Final
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