Varsity Eight At Indiana For NCAA Championships

May 29, 2002

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What's Happening This Week: For the first time in six years, the Washington State women's rowing program can call the NCAA championships a part of its season schedule as the Cougar varsity-eight squad will be one of 16 teams vying for the national championship at Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind., May 31-June 2.

The varsity eight boat, which consists of Sarah Bankston, Gunilla Grafnings, Erin Patterson, Emily Tribe, Catherine Lortie, Corrie McGrath, Beth Rodford, Emily Rains and Carolyn Oury, earned one of four at-large bids reserved for varsity-eight boats and is one of five Pac-10 schools to earn a spot in the championships. The other three at-large bids were granted to Cornell, Notre Dame and Southern California. The 12 schools earning team bids, which consist of the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four boats, went to No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Brown, along with California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, and Yale.

By virtue of their third place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, May 19, the Cougars vaulted from No. 16 to No. 10 in the May 22 USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll.

WSU Head Coach Tammy Crawford On the NCAA Championships: 'I feel that every time this boat gets on the water and races it discovers something and becomes a little faster each time. With each race they grow a little more confident. I believe Washington and Brown are legitimately the two fastest crews in the country. I think those are the two teams that people are watching but I also think the other boats are not that far off. The exciting things about the NCAA's is there isn't any playing-it-by-ear during the races. It is guts out every time. It is a very high caliber of racing and I think that we are prepared for it.'

Schedule: The Cougars will begin the championships by racing in the first heat of the day at 8 a.m. (Eastern), Friday, May 31. WSU will compete against No. 7 Michigan State, No. 11 Syracuse, No. 6 Harvard, No. 1 Washington and No. 14 Virginia in the heat. Two other varsity eight heats will take place at 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

The winner of each of the three heats advances to the semifinals, Saturday, June 1. The remaining boats will race in one of two Repechage heats beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern, May 31. The top three crews from each of those heats qualify for the semifinals while the remaining boats will fight for 13th through 16th positions, June 1.

The top three boats from each of the two semifinal heats advance to the Grand Final at 11:45 a.m. Eastern, Sunday, June 2. The remaining boats will compete for seventh through 12th place in the Petite Final at 11:30 a.m., June 2.

All-Pac-10: The duo of Gunilla Grafnings and Corrie McGrath earned All-Pacific-10 Conference honors, announced at the conclusion of the conference rowing championships, May 19. The all-conference selections marked McGrath's second consecutive selection for the junior from Marysville, Wash., while it was the first nod for Grafnings, a native of Siljansnas, Sweden.

In addition to her Pac-10 nod, McGrath was invited to participate in the USRowing Women's National Team pre-elite and development camp for collegiate women rowers.

McGrath is one of 25 collegiate rowers in the country to be invited to the camp, which will take place at Cornell University's Collyer and Robison Boathouses at Ithaca, N.Y., June 12-29. Athletes were selected based on coaches' recommendations, ergometer scores, collegiate performances and results from fall racing in pairs.

'I think this is a great opportunity for Corrie to mix it up with the best collegiate rowers in the country,' WSU Head Coach Tammy Crawford said of McGrath's invitation to the camp. 'She has the maturity and the focus to take her rowing career to another level.'

This is the second national rowing camp invitation McGrath has received in her collegiate career. As a freshman, McGrath participated in the USRowing freshmen developmental camp.

Coaching Tenure: Tammy Crawford is in her 17th season as collegiate coach, and her 12th season as head coach of the varsity women's rowing program at Washington State University. Michelle Argenbright is in her fourth year as an assistant coach for the varsity squad, and Vita Scaglione is in her first season as novice coach.

NCAA ChampionshipsWSU Varsity Eight Line-Up

C Sarah Bankston8 Gunilla Grafnings7 Erin Patterson6 Emily Tribe5 Catherine Lortie4 Corrie McGrath3 Beth Rodford2 Emily Rainsb Carolyn Oury
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