Rowing Competes at the NCAA Championship this Weekend in Florida
SARASOTA, Fla. – The Washington State rowing team seeks NCAA gold this weekend, as the Cougars are set to compete in the 2021 NCAA Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida. The three-day regatta begins this Friday, May 28, and will run through Sunday, May 30.
Washington State will be competing in its 14th overall NCAA Rowing Championship, while it is the 13th appearance for the Cougars as a team. WSU finished fifth at the 2021 Pac-12 Rowing Championships to earn one of the 12 at-large bids into the 2021 NCAA Championship, marking the ninth time over the last 11 seasons that the Cougs have competed in the championship regatta. The 2020 NCAA Rowing Championship was canceled last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was really hoping that this team would get to the postseason because they've done so well this year," said WSU rowing head coach Jane LaRiviere. "Just being great teammates and being resilient as we navigated through the ever-changing world of COVID. We have come a long way. Back in September there were more coaches than student-athletes that were able to get down to the boat house. From those meager beginnings, we were able to get some good stuff going. This team has shown a lot of heart all year, and as a result it has been fun to coach. I'm excited that we get the opportunity to go to the NCAA Championship."
Washington State will get the three-day regatta started Friday morning at 6:36 a.m. PT with the first varsity eight heats. The Cougars, which are seeded 13th, will race in heat four against No. 4-seed Virginia, No. 5-seed Michigan, No. 12-seed Duke, No. 20-seed Northeastern and No. 21-seed Rhode Island.
The second varsity eight, which is seeded 15th, will compete at 7 a.m. PT on Friday. Washington State is in heat two and will race against No. 2-seed Texas, No. 7-seed Rutgers, No. 10-seed California and No. 18-seed Navy.
The varsity four, which is seeded 12th, will begin its run to Sunday's grand finale in heat four, which starts at 8:12 a.m. PT on Friday. The Cougars take on No. 4-seed Virginia, No. 5-seed Washington, No. 13-seed Alabama, No. 20-seed Navy and No. 21-seed Northeastern.
The top two teams in each heat on Friday will advance to Saturday's A/B semifinal. All remaining teams will compete in a repechage on Friday afternoon for spots in the C/D semifinal on Saturday. The first varsity eight repechage is set the begin at 1:12 p.m. PT, while the second varsity eight repechage gets underway at 1:36 p.m. PT. The varsity four repechage will close out the first day of the NCAA Rowing Championship, with races starting at 2 p.m. PT. Click here for a full schedule of events for all three days of the 2021 NCAA Rowing Championship.
Washington State has reached the NCAA Championship as a team 12 prior times and once as a varsity eight boat back in 2002. WSU's best finish at the championship regatta came in 2006, as it placed fourth overall, led by a fourth-place finish from the first varsity eight. In their last NCAA Championship appearance back in 2018, the Cougars placed 14th as a team. The Cougars' best individual boat finish came in 2004, when the second varsity eight took third.
For more information on the Washington State rowing team, and for exclusive behind-the-scenes content of the Coug at the 2021 NCAA Rowing Championship, follow @WSUCougarRowing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.