2013 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships Start Friday
May 28, 2013
The 2013 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships get underway Friday at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
Co-hosted by the University of Notre Dame and Indiana Sports Corporation, national champions will be crowned in Division I, II and III during the three-day regatta.
In Division I, Virginia enters as the defending national champions. The Cavaliers used a victory in the varsity eight to claim last year’s team title, defeating runner-up Michigan by five points. Virginia won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s automatic qualifying spot this year, as it attempts to defend the national championship.
The Division I format has changed for 2013. While the three boats contested – the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four – remain the same, this year’s regatta features automatic qualifiers from 11 conferences, plus 11 at-large qualifiers.
Southern California, who won the Pac-12 Conference’s automatic berth, enters the championship as the top seed in the varsity eight, with The Ivy League champions from Princeton seeded second.
But while USC is the top seed in the varsity eight, the Big 10 champions from Ohio State may be in the strongest position for the national title. The Buckeyes enter as the top seed in the second varsity eight, the second seed in the varsity four and the third seed in the varsity eight. Ohio State is the only squad with all three boats seeded in the top four. Washington and California, who both received at-large bids out of the Pac-12, have all three of their boats seeded in the top six and are poised to make a run at the overall title as well.
In addition to Virginia, USC, Princeton and Ohio State, Boston University, Gonzaga, Marist, Navy, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Rhode Island won their conferences and received automatic bids to the championship. Brown, UCLA, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, Washington State, Wisconsin and Yale joined Washington and California as the at-large bids.
Last year, Humboldt State ended Western Washington’s seven-year title run in Division II thanks to a late sprint in the eights’ race. WWU had to settle for runner-up in both the varsity eight and team competitions.
In 2013, Western Washington will be looking for its eighth team title in nine years but will have to get through a tough field that includes No. 1-ranked Barry, Nova Southeastern and Mercyhurst. The four schools will race both an eight and a four to determine the team champion. The Division II eights field also includes two at-large qualifiers – UC-San Diego and Central Oklahoma.
Barry comes in as the division’s top-ranked team. The Bucs won the Sunshine State Conference Championship in late April, edging out Nova Southeastern, and followed that up with a Division II varsity eight victory over Nova Southeastern, UC-San Diego and Mercyhurst, among others, at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
Western Washington won both the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship, where they defeated UC-San Diego, and the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championships.
In Division III, Williams College won its seventh consecutive (eighth overall) national title in 2012, with Bates finishing runner-up for the fourth consecutive year.
Williams once again enters as the top-ranked team, having won the New England Small College Athletic Conference title. Williams will take on Washington (Md.) College, who received the automatic bid from the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference, Bates, Trinity, Wellesley and William Smith for the team title. In addition, Ithaca and Puget Sound received at-large eights bids.
The six schools racing for the team title once again will field two eights each.
Racing begins with heats in all divisions on Friday at 8:30 a.m., followed by afternoon repechages in Division I and III starting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s racing begins at 8:30 a.m. and features semifinals in Division I, repechages in Division II and finals in Division III. Sunday’s racing features finals in Division I and II beginning at 8:30 a.m.
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