May 29, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The day before the start of the NCAA Rowing Championships at Eagle Creek Reservoir was cool and brisk as the Washington State women's rowing team prepared for the competition beginning Friday.
The Cougars received good news even before the races have commenced as Corrie McGrath and Tristen Curtis received a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Associations' West Region Scholar Athlete Award, which was announced at the championships banquet, Thursday evening.
The varsity eight crew will race in the third qualifying heat at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Friday. The top three finishers from each of the morning's three varsity eight heats will advance to Saturday's semifinals. The rest of the crews will race in the repechage heat at 4 p.m. The top three finishers in that heat advance to Saturday's semifinals while the remaining teams go to the consolation final, also Saturday.
The Cougars face a tough draw in their morning heat with California, Boston, Brown and Washington making up the rest of the competitors in the third heat. WSU will race on the outside in lane five.
The second varsity eight will race at 10:15 a.m. EST in the second heat with Michigan, Princeton, California, Ohio State and Stanford rounding out the event. WSU has been positioned in lane one for its heat.
The winner in each of the two second varsity eight heats advance to Sunday's final while the remainder will have to race in one of Saturday's repechage heats for the right to advance to the Grand Final.
The varsity four will be the last of the Cougars' crews to compete Friday when it takes the water at 11 a.m. EST. The Cougars will race in the first heat with Harvard, California, Washington, Virginia and Stanford. Like the second varsity eight, the winner in each of the two heats advance to Sunday's final while the remainder will race in one of Saturday's repechage heats.
Thursday marked the first day that the Cougars had a chance to row at the Eagle Creek Reservoir. The team arrived in Indiana, Sunday and practiced at Lake Lemon at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Monday through Wednesday.
To follow the championships as it happens go to www.racetrak.com. The site will capture 500 meter splits from each race and display those results in real-time.
Head Coach Jane LaRiviere
(on the NCAA Championships) "We're hoping to make this a yearly event where we get to go to the NCAA Championships. But we have to recognize that it is special and to enjoy all the minutes that we're here."
(on the draw) "We've been working hard on making sure that our mental game is up to snuff with our physical game. We've got pretty tough draws but we race in a tough conference so I don't think it is going to be anything worse than what we've raced at the Pac-10s."
(on the varsity eight) "The varsity eight was spectacular at Pac-10s. I think if we even have the goal of being one percent better than we are going to compete well. There are a lot of competitive teams here and it's going to be who wants it more at a certain point."
(on the significance of the Cougars receiving a team bid) "We have been a team that has been on the bubble for a while. It will be nice to move forward from what has been done before. It is really exciting that we got the whole team here because that means we are one of the top 12 teams in the country. Last year we were 13th in the nation in the varsity eight so we have already improved on last year. This is the first time we've received a team bid so that is really positive and it is a real credit to the athletes."