Varsity Eight Rows To Sixth At Crew Classic

Making its first appearance in several years in the Whittier Cup Grand Final at the San Diego Crew Classic, the Oregon State women's varsity eight rowed to sixth place on the Mission Bay course, while the novice finished second and the second varsity placed ninth overall.

The varsity eight finished in six minutes, 54.06 seconds in a very competitive Grand Final, which California won in 6:42.5, edging out Washington by a nose in .08 seconds.

OSU closed the gap from last week's race with Washington State to finish a few seats behind the fifth-place Cougars, and beat Texas by over five seconds in the process.

'It was nice to see that we were closer to Washington State than last week,' OSU coach Charlie Owen said. OSU was 13 seconds behind WSU in a March 29 dual race.

'Still, they came off the water knowing it wasn't a great race. We still have some more changes to make, because there's more speed in that boat than what we've shown.'

OSU's novice eight captured second place in a hard-fought Grand Final, finishing second to WSU's time of 7:01.7 with a 7:02.76 mark. Both California and UCLA had leads during the race, but each caught a crab and dropped back in the pack.

OSU made a big move over the last 500 meters to pull ahead of Washington, but couldn't quite catch WSU at the end.

'The novice eight had a very exciting race. They did a great job to pull off second place,' Owen said.

Rowing in the Petite Final for places 8-13, the second varsity made a charge down the stretch to grab a brief lead over Texas at the 200-meter mark, but OSU was unable to hold on as the Longhorns grabbed the win by less than a second. OSU finished in a time of 6:50.69 to Texas' 6:49.94.

'We felt pretty good about the second varsity's race,' Owen said. 'They've struggled the last couple of weeks, and we rowed much better today than even yesterday. It was disappointing to finish second after having the lead, but it was a much better effort today.'

'In general, this was one of the better finishes for the OSU men's and women's programs at the Crew Classic. When you look at the competitiveness of the field and how we did, we had a good weekend.'

'Every weekend from here on out, we're going up against fast crews. The Pac-10 is a very fast conference, so we'll be seeing some of the fastest crews in the country every time we compete.'OSU rows April 12th at the Covered Bridge Regatta in Dexter, Ore., before taking on California and Stanford at Redwood Shores on April 19th.


WHITTIER CUP GRAND FINAL (Varsity eight, places 1-6) - 1. California 6:42.5; 2. Washington 6:42.58; 3. Stanford 6:45.65; 4. USC 6:46.94; 5. Washington State 6:52.62; 6. Oregon State 6:54.06; 7. Texas 6:59.75.

SECOND VARSITY PETITE FINAL (places 8-13) - 1. Texas 6:49.94; 2. Oregon State 6:50.69; 3. Clemson 7:01.41; 4. Kansas State 7:08.91; 5. Sacramento State 7:11.39; 6. Massachusetts 7:12.19.

NOVICE EIGHT GRAND FINAL - 1. Washington State 7:01.7; 2. Oregon State 7:02.76; 3. UCLA 7:03.82; 4. Washington 7:04.58; 5. Texas 7:07.55; 6. California 7:09.02.

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