PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University women's rowing team, ranked 14th in the nation, returns to the water to open the 2012 spring campaign at the 2012 San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego at Mission Bay, Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. The Cougars return to competition after closing their 2011 fall season with two victories over rival Washington at the 2011 Head of the Lake in Seattle, Wash., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.
The 2012 San Diego Crew Classic:
The 39th annual San Diego Crew Classic will begin Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 a.m....the regatta consists of over 100 races and 3,400 athletes throughout two days of competition...the regatta takes place at Mission Bay on a 2,000 meter course...the course poses a unique twist, as the course is on tidal waters with the tide fluctuating throughout the day...the San Diego Crew Classic consists of two or three opening heats for each event with the top two teams (for three-heat events) or three teams (for two-heat events) advancing to the Grand Final...the next two or three finishers (depending on the number of heats) will advance to the petite final if scheduled and, in the case of three-heat events, the following two finishers will compete in a third round race if scheduled...the Cougars will compete against some of the top college crews in the country this weekend, including nationally ranked Virginia (first in the country), USC (sixth), Texas (19th), and UCLA (20th)...in the Women's Collegiate Varsity Invitational event, 10 of the 12 teams competing are nationally ranked...the 2012 San Diego Crew Classic can be viewed via a live streaming webcast at www.crewclassic.org/video...in addition, the Jessop-Whittier Cup Grand Final (Women's Collegiate Varsity Invitational 8+) will be broadcast on ESPNU Sunday morning at 9:25 a.m. PT.
Last Time at the San Diego Crew Classic:
Last year at the San Diego Crew Classic, WSU competed in the collegiate invitational varsity eight, second varsity eight, and novice eight events...all three boats finished high enough in their respective preliminary heats to advance to the Grand Finals...WSU's novice eight took a first place finish in its preliminary heat and was the top Cougar finisher, taking fourth in the Korholz Perpetual Trophy Grand Final in a time of 7:18.04...the Cougars' varsity eight clocked a time of 6:47.06 in the Jessop-Whittier Cup Grand Final to finish sixth in the event and the second varsity eight notched a fifth-place finish in the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy Grand Final with a time of 6:58.77.
WSU Head Coach Jane LaRiviere on the San Diego Crew Classic:
"We are prepared as we can possibly be for this regatta. I'm looking forward to having things to work on next Tuesday because we've been training for a really long time without competing in an actual race. I think we are excited to race. You never know how fast you are until you get into a race, but I feel good about our progress and I feel good about our opportunities."
Last Time on the Water:
The Cougars last competed Nov. 6, 2011 when they traveled to Seattle, Wash. for the Head of the Lake. WSU concluded the fall season garnering the top spot in the collegiate junior varsity eight event and defeated fellow Pac-12-rival Washington in two of four matchups...the Cougars' JV 8+ posted the fastest time of the event, clocking a time of 18:04.327 on the 3-mile course...the finish marked the first time during head coach Jane LaRiviere's tenure at WSU that the Cougars have beat the Huskies in the JV event at the Head of the Lake...WSU also took the second and third spots in the collegiate/open four event after its varsity and second varsity four clocked times nearly one minute faster than the Huskies' first four...the Cougars nabbed a second-place finish in the Championship Women's 8+ event, finishing five seconds behind Washington in a time of 17:56.671...the Cougars also launched a third varsity eight that picked up a second-place finish behind Washington.
Cougs Ranked 14th in Preseason Poll:
WSU is ranked 14th in the nation in the preseason USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Division I Poll presented by Pocock Racing Shells, the organizations announced March 15...six of the Pac-12's seven rowing squads are ranked in the top-20 poll (Cal-second, Stanford-fifth, USC-sixth, UW-eighth, WSU-14th, UCLA-20th) and Oregon State is receiving votes with three...Washington State finished fifth in the conference and 12th at the NCAA Championships in 2011...the Cougars return three rowers from last season's varsity eight boat, which placed 11th at last year's Championships and six from the second varsity eight boat that placed 10th.
Coaching Staff: Jane LaRiviere is in her 10th year as head coach of the WSU women's rowing program...the Cougars have raced in six NCAA Championships under LaRiviere, including a 12th-place finish last season...she is joined by assistant coach Josh Adam, novice coach Corrie McGrath, and graduate assistant Robyn Willow...Adam is in his second year after coaching the previous two years at Indiana...McGrath is in her fourth year at WSU, after coaching stints at Clemson and Central Florida...Willow begins her second year after coaching in Canada.