May 29, 2004
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - The Washington State University second varsity eight came from behind to win its repechage race, Saturday at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma.
With the victory, the Cougars advanced to Sunday's Grand Final at 11:15 a.m. WSU will face Brown, California, Michigan, Washington and Yale.
WSU fell behind early in the 2000 meter race, but moved past Ohio State and Michigan State into third place at the halfway point. The Cougars overtook Yale in the third 500 meters, caught Virginia in the final 500 meters and held off the Bulldogs (6:48.8) and Cavaliers (6:49.3) to capture the race in a time of 6:48.4.
"In the third 500 meters, we totally powered up and got into an amazing rhythm," WSU Head Coach Jane LaRiviere said. We took the lead with about 200 meters to go and held on for dear life. It was one of the most exciting races of the day."
The second varsity eight is the first boat from Washington State to advance to a Grand Final at the NCAA Championships since the regatta's inception in 1997.
WSU's varsity eight, No. 17 in the final regular season US Rowing/NCAA Division I Coaches Poll, finished second to Michigan State (6:47.0) in the third final Saturday to finish 14th at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars completed the course in 6:50.5. WSU's effort earned six points in the team standings.
"The varsity eight has struggled since the Pac-10 Championships, but they put together a fantastic race in the third final," LaRiviere said. "I'm really happy with our finish because it is an improvement over last year. We are in a position with a little luck to finish as a top 10 program nationally."
The Cougar varsity four fell behind early in its repechage race and never recovered. WSU was nearly five seconds behind eventual winner Brown at the 500 meter mark and fell nine seconds back at the halfway point. The Cougars finished the race in 7:44.5, well behind the Bears who posted a winning time of 7:33.0.
WSU will take part in Sunday's 10:30 a.m. Petite Final for places 7-12. The Cougars will race Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Princeton and Wisconsin.
NCAA Rowing Championships Rancho Cordova, Calif. (Lake Natoma) All races 2000m
Varsity Eight (Third Final) 1. Michigan State, 6:47.0. 2. Washington State, 6:50.5. 3. Texas, 6:51.2. 4. Wisconsin, 6:52.8.
Second Varsity Eight (Repechage Heat 1) 1. Washington State, 6:48.4. 2. Yale, 6:48.8. Virginia, 6:49.3. 4. Michigan State, 6:58.9. 5. Ohio State, 7:00.9.
Varsity Four (Repechage Heat 1) 1. Brown, 7:33.0. 2. Yale, 7:34.0. 3. Michigan State, 7:36.2. 4. Wisconsin, 7:36.8. 5. Washington State, 7:44.5.