Five Selected to NCAA Rowing Championships
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - CALIFORNIA, STANFORD, UCLA, USC and WASHINGTON are headed to the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships, as the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Committee announced the field of 16 teams that will compete at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J., from May 25-27. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Rider will serve as the hosts. Each of the 16 teams is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers.
Top-ranked California won its fifth straight Pac-12 title by winning all four races at Lake Natoma on May 13, including a nearly two-second victory over USC in the varsity eight. It was the first time the Golden Bears swept all four events at the Conference regatta. After a fourth-place showing at the San Diego Crew Classic to open the season, the varsity eight has won six consecutive races. Cal has not dropped a race since April 15, including sweeps of Washington and Stanford.
Stanford finished fourth at the Pac-12 Championships, with its best result coming in the second varsity eight. The Cardinal held off a furious sprint from UCLA to capture the silver medal by a bow ball. Stanford has faced a schedule loaded with ranked teams this season. At the Stanford Invitational, the Cardinal split its races against Michigan State and Notre Dame, two teams headed to the NCAA Championships.
UCLA placed third in the team standings last weekend, its best finish in head coach Amy Fuller Kearney's 11-year tenure and its best overall finish since 1991. The Bruins opened the Pac-12 Championships with a second-place showing in the novice eight. The second varsity eight and varsity four both claimed bronze medals.
USC took fifth at the Pac-12 Championships, highlighted by a second-place finish in the varsity eight. The Trojans' top boat entered the race undefeated on the season. USC captured its second straight Jessop-Whittier Cup in San Diego, defeating four Pac-12 teams and then-No. 1 Virginia. The Trojans varsity eight also defeated Princeton and Yale on Princeton's home course.
With a second place finish at the Conference championships, Washington secured its best team result since 2006. The Huskies narrowly missed out on silver in the varsity eight, finishing third behind USC in a photo finish (6:32.7 to 6:32.8). Washington also placed second in the varsity four, moving past UCLA and Stanford with 500 meters to go.
The Pac-12 holds six NCAA Championships in rowing. Washington won in 1997, 1998 and 2001. Cal won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, and Stanford claimed the 2009 crown.
2012 Division I Rowing Championships Selections