Cougars Return to Lake Natoma

May 26, 2008

What's Happening: The No. 9 Washington State rowing team will travel to the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Gold River, Calif., for the 2008 NCAA Championships May 30 through June 1 on the Lake Natoma course...this is the second trip to the national level in three years for the 2006 WSU placed fourth at the NCAA Championships, the highest in school history...Pacific-10 opponent California will host as well as compete in the event.

The Field: The 2008 NCAA Championship will consist of 11 selected teams aside from Washington State and four at-large varsity eight boats...selected teams include No. 1 California, No. 2 Brown, No. 7 Harvard, No. 6 Michigan State, No.16 Ohio State, No. 8 Princeton, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 14 Washington, No. 13 Wisconsin, and No. 3 boats consist of No. 12 Clemson, No. 10 Michigan, No. 11 USC, and No. 5 Stanford...aside from Pacific-10 schools, WSU has also met with Wisconsin and Clemson earlier this season at the San Diego Crew Classic...Cougars defeated both opponents...Brown was the 2007 NCAA Champion.

Pacific-10 Domination: There will be three teams as well as two at-large boats from the Pac-10 Conference competing at the Championships bringing the varsity eight count to five...Pac-10 has proven to be a very competitive conference this season with all seven varsity eight boats ranked in the CRCA/US Rowing top 20 poll at least once this season...California enters the NCAA Championships with the top ranking after taking first place at the 2008 Pacific-10 Championships.

Head Coach Jane LaRiviere: 'It's a new ball of wax so it's a new game now. We will have to go faster. If we go the same speed we will end up at the bottom end of the bracket.'

Senior Coxswain Kelly O'Brien on Lake Natoma: 'We spend a lot of time down there [Lake Natoma], we go to winter camp down there once a week every year. It puts us at ease a little more and we don't have to worry about as many logistics because we've all been there for Pacific-10 Championships and winter camp.'

Pacific-10 Championships: The Cougars placed third at the Pacific-10 Championship with 59 team points, falling only to Stanford (61) and Pacific-10 Conference Champion California (79)...after successful heat races, all four WSU boats advanced to the grand finals guaranteeing each boat at least a sixth place finish...varsity eight finished the course at Lake Natoma with a time of 6:44.7 earning a third place finish in the grand final and adding 32 points to the Cougars' team score...first place California finished with a time of 6:38.8 leaving the competition for second place a rat race between WSU and Stanford...Cardinal barely edged out the Cougars, finishing just two seconds ahead of WSU.

WSU NCAA History: The Cougars have reached the NCAA Championships three times as a team, in 2003, 2004 and 2006 finishing 12th, ninth and fourth respectively...varsity eight received an at-large bid in 2002 and finished 13th.

Week By Week Ranking:

March 15-March 24: No. 14
March 26-April 1: No. 15
April 2-April 8: No. 15
April 9-April 15: No. 8
April 16-April 22: No. 5
April 23-April 29: No. 4
April 30-May 6: No. 3
May 7-May 13: No. 4
May 14-May 20: No. 4
May 21-current: No. 9

CRCA/US Rowing Poll:

1. California
2. Brown
3. Yale
4. Virginia
5. Stanford
6. Michigan State
7. Harvard
8. Princeton
9. Washington State
10. Michigan
11. USC
12. Clemson
13. Wisconsin
14. Washington
15. Tennessee
16. Ohio State
17. Oregon State
18. Notre Dame
19. Pennsylvania
20. Minnesota
Now on Pac-12 Network
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