Second Varsity Eight Finishes Third At NCAAs

May 30, 2004

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - A year removed from a 12th place finish at the NCAA Championships, Washington State Head Coach Jane LaRiviere's goal for her rowing team in 2004 was to finish as one of the top 10 squads in the nation.

Buoyed by a third place finish from the second varsity eight crew, the Cougars did exactly that, as WSU finished ninth at the 2004 NCAA Championships, Sunday.

'Our team finished ninth in the country, which is a fabulous way to end the year,' LaRiviere said.

The Cougars finished the championships with 28 points, four ahead of 10th place Harvard. Brown won the team title with 70 points, 12 ahead of runner-up Yale.

A day after winning its repechage race by coming from behind, the second varsity eight rallied once again to garner its third place national finish and the 20 points that go along with it.

The crew of May Lundberg (cox), Daniela Nachazelova, Amber McKnight, Kasia Bloch, Laura Griffin, Shayna Morgan, Audra Durfey, Sharon Finney, and Emily Collins completed the opening 500 meters of the 2,000 meter race in sixth and last place. WSU improved its position to fifth at the 1,000 meter mark and was in the same place at the end of 1,500 meters.

That's when the Cougars made their move, as the crew recorded a time of 1:39.21 in the final 500 meters, the fastest time by any of the crews over the final stretch.

The Cougars ended the race with a mark of 6:47.0, just two tenths of a second behind runner-up California. Brown captured the race with a time of 6:44.10.

'The second varsity eight is not a powerful crew but they have a huge amount of team spirit,' LaRiviere said. 'They come back on people. It's not necessarily the textbook way of doing it and it makes coaches old but what they did today was awesome.'

The second varsity eight was the first boat from Washington State to advance to a Grand Final at the NCAA Championships since the regatta's inception in 1997.

The varsity four also competed during the final day of competition, recording a fifth place finish in the Petite Final. WSU recorded a time of 7:41.1, over five seconds ahead of Harvard. The varsity four posted an 11th place overall finish, good for two points toward the team's point total.

The varsity eight crew, No. 17 in the final regular season US Rowing/NCAA Division I Coaches Poll, finished second to Michigan State (6:47.0) in the third final Saturday to finish 14th at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars completed the course in 6:50.5. WSU's effort earned six points in the team standings.

NCAA Rowing Championships
Rancho Cordova, Calif. (Lake Natoma)
All races 2000m

Team Results
1. Brown 70. 2. Yale 58. 3. Michigan 52. 4. California 51. 5. Washington 43. 6. Princeton 36. 7. Virginia 36. 8. Ohio State 33. 9. Washington State 28. 10. Harvard 24. 11. Wisconsin 19. 12. Michigan State 18.

Second Varsity Eight (Grand Final)
1. Brown 6:44.2. Cal 6:46.8. 3. Washington State 6:47.0. 4. Michigan 6:47.2. 5. Yale 6:50.4. 6. Washington 6:50.4.

Varsity Four (Petite Final)
1. Wisconsin 7:32.5. 2. Michigan State 7:34.2. 3. Michigan 7:37.7. 4. Princeton 7:39.5. 5. Washington State 7:41.1. 6. Harvard 7:46.4.
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