INDIANAPOLIS – Washington State University women’s rowing has been selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Committee to compete in the 2014 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships, the NCAA announced Tuesday afternoon.
“It feels awesome, it was really a nail-biter.,” WSU head coach Jane LaRiviere said about learning the Cougars had made the field of 22. “We had done some good work and had some good head-to-head wins during the season, so I was feeling optimistic, but you just don’t know how the conversation goes. I was just thankful that when it all came together we saw our name on the list.”
WSU will make its eighth overall team appearance, its second-straight and its fourth in five years, as it heads to Indianapolis for the championships which will be held Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1 at Eagle Creek Park. Notre Dame and the Indiana Sports Corporation will serve as co-hosts of the event.
“I’ve been thinking in the back of my mind all year that this is a pretty special bunch,” LaRiviere added. “Things would have to go very well for us, but I think we’re a top-10 team and if we can sneak our way in the top-10, I think we’ll feel we have made good progress since last year. I am not going to divert from the general philosophy, which is; race better each time and get our best race out on the course when it matters most, and it never matters more than at NCAA Championships.”
As a team Washington State has competed at the NCAA Championships at Eagle Creek Park two other times. The first time came in 2003 as then first-year head coach Jane LaRiviere led the Cougars to a 12th-place team finish. WSU’s varsity eight competed at Eagle Creek Park in 2002, back when individual varsity eight boats could qualify separate from teams for the NCAA Championships. Last season the Cougars finished 14th as a team, led by a sixth-place finish by the varsity four crew at Eagle Creek Park.
With a change made prior to last season, the team championships are composed of 22 teams. Eleven conferences were awarded automatic qualification and the remaining 11 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the championship field. Stanford represents the Pac-12 as the league’s automatic qualifier, while five other teams, California, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State were chosen from the conference as at-large selections. Just four conferences had multiple teams receive bids, as the Pac-12 led the way with six, the Big Ten had four (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin), the Ivy League three (Brown, Princeton and Harvard) and the ACC two (Virginia and Notre Dame).
Washington State is seeded 12th in the varsity four and second varsity eight events and 14th in the varsity eight.
The Cougars have reached the NCAA Championships as a team seven prior times and once as a varsity eight boat. Its best finish came in 2006 as WSU placed fourth, led by a fourth-place finish from the varsity eight. WSU placed 14th in its last NCAA Championships in 2013, 12th in 2011, 13th in 2010, eighth in 2008, ninth in 2004 and 12th in 2003. The varsity eight placed 13th in 2002. The Cougars’ best individual boat finish came in 2004 when the second varsity eight took third.
Teams qualifying for the championships as an automatic qualifier or as an at-large are required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. For the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four teams, all 22 boats will be seeded into four heats.
All-session and single-session tickets for the Championships can be purchased at www.NCAA.com/tickets through May 28. Beginning May 29, tickets are available on-site (cash only). All-session tickets are $40, while student and senior citizen tickets are $25. The tickets include all three days of competition. Single-session tickets are $15, while student and senior citizen are $10. Parking information is available at www.IndianaSportsCorp.org. For championship information and results, go to the NCAA Web site at www.ncaa.com.
2014 NCAA Rowing Championship Automatic Qualifying Teams
Boston University, Patriot League
Jacksonville, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Louisville, American Athletic Conference
Massachusetts, Atlantic 10
Northeastern, Colonial Athletic Association
Ohio State, Big Ten Conference
Oklahoma, Conference USA
Princeton, The Ivy League
San Diego, West Coast Conference
Virginia, Atlantic Coast Conference
2014 NCAA Rowing Championship At-Large Selections