May 27, 2003
What's Happening This Week: For the first time in school history, Washington State will compete as a team in the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships...the event will be held May 30 through June 1 at the Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind...Indiana University, Bloomington, and the United States Rowing Association will serve as co-hosts...though WSU will be making its first team appearance at the NCAA Championships, the Cougars are no stranger to postseason success...the 1995 second varsity eight captured the national title at the National Collegiate Rowing Championship...last season, WSU's varsity eight was selected to compete at the NCAA's and emerged with the consolation title.
The Competitors: The team championship is comprised of 12 teams and each is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. In addition, four eight-women boats from institutions not represented in the team competition are selected...along with the Cougars, team's chosen for the championships are: Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Virginia, Washington and Yale...at large varsity eight selections are Boston, USC, Tennessee and Texas.
Schedule of Events: Competition begins Friday morning at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time with the Division I varsity eight heats...for a complete schedule of events and results go to the championships' official website at http://www.iuhoosiers.com/ncaa/rowing/index.html
Cougars Vault To No. 7 In Poll: The Cougars moved up six positions to No. 7 in the May 21 USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll...WSU is one of six Pacific-10 Conference schools rated in the poll...Stanford holds the top position while Washington (3), California (9), USC (12), and Oregon State (17) complete the contingent.
Pac-10 Championships Wrap: Washington State used a strong performance from its varsity eight to finish fourth at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma, near Sacramento, May 18.
"Today was a great day for us," Washington State Head Coach Jane LaRiviere said. "All the boats raced to the best of their ability."
WSU's varsity eight advanced to the final by placing third with a time of 6:48.10 in the first elimination heat. In the Grand Final, the Cougars overcame No. 2 California over the last 500 meters to finish third. Washington State also knocked off No. 8 USC by just over two seconds after the Women of Troy held a slight advantage with 1,500 meters remaining.
"The varsity eight raced phenomenally," LaRiviere said. "It's not everyday that you beat the No. 2-ranked team in the country, California, and the No. 8-ranked team in USC. They have never looked better. They just flew."
The varsity eight consists of seniors Corrie McGrath, Catherine Lortie, Emily Rains, Naomi Turnbull, and Jamie Orth, juniors Erin Patterson and Emily Tribe, and sophomore Tristen Curtis. The coxswain is junior Nicole Wright.
"They put an exclamation point on their season. There are five seniors in that boat and they have overcome a few bumps in the road and they can really be proud of what they accomplished today," LaRiviere said. "They will remember this race for the rest of their lives. It was a beautiful thing."
WSU's second varsity eight took home a fourth-place finish after rapidly closing the gap on third-place Stanford over the final 500 meters. The Cougars posted the second-best split in the field over that span (1:38.89), but could not edge out the Cardinal in the end.
"It was a hard fought battle," LaRiviere said of the second varsity eight race. "Stanford had a great day. Everybody rowed really hard. The entire field finished within four seconds first through fourth."
LaRiviere was also pleased with the performance of the varsity four, which overcame a five-second deficit to Oregon State over the final 500 meters to capture third place. The Cougars finished with a time of 7:40.30.
"They finished third and we have three freshmen in that boat," LaRiviere said. "They did a great job for us."
WSU's novice eight finished fifth in a hotly contested race with a time of 7:00.30. UCLA won with a mark of 6:51.70.
"The novices raced well. There were only about four seconds separating third, fourth, and fifth," LaRiviere said. "It was a tight race and we are happy with the way they performed."
Washington captured the overall title with 62 points. California placed second with 60, while the Cougars and Stanford finished deadlocked at 52. Stanford took third place as a result of finishing better than WSU in the varsity eight race.
Lineups for the NCAA Championships:
Follow the Cougars at the NCAA Championships: For complete coverage of the Cougars at the NCAA Championships go to wsucougars.com throughout the duration of the event.