May 27, 2004
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. -
The University of Virginia women's rowing team begins competition on Friday (May 28) in the eighth NCAA Women's Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma. The competition is scheduled to continue through Sunday (May 30).
Virginia is one of 12 teams selected to compete in the championships. The other team selections include Brown, California, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin and Yale. Virginia joins Brown, Princeton and Washington as the only schools to receive team invitations to each of the eight NCAA Women's Rowing Championships.
As a team selection, Virginia has three crews competing in the NCAA Championships. The 12 schools competing for the team title have one crew in each of the contested races - the first varsity eight, the second varsity eight and the varsity four.
Four additional schools received at-large invitations to participate in the first varsity eight competition. Those schools include Notre Dame, Southern California, Tennessee and Texas. The four schools receiving at-large invitations in the first varsity eight can win that competition, but without an entry in all three races are ineligible for the team title.
UVa's first varsity eight crew is ranked fifth in the nation in the final Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll of the 2004 season. California is ranked first in the poll followed by Princeton, Ohio State, Harvard and Virginia.
Virginia finished sixth as a team at last year's NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. UVa finished fifth in the first varsity eight, seventh in the second varsity eight and eighth in the varsity four. Harvard won the team championship at last year's championships with Brown finishing second and Washington third.
Virginia has finished in the top seven in the team competition at each of the seven previous NCAA Women's Rowing Championships. The Cavaliers finished fourth in 1997, third in 1998, second in 1999, third in 2000, seventh in 2001, fourth in 2002 and sixth in 2003.
UVa has not competed since winning the overall championship and the South Region Championship at the Central/South Region Sprints on May 16 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Cavaliers won championships in both the second varsity eight and the varsity four competitions at that regatta. Virginia crews also finished second in the first varsity eight and the open four, third in the second novice eight and seventh in the first novice eight.
The Cavaliers won their fifth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship on April 17 in Clemson, S.C. UVa won all four races at the ACC regatta.
The women's rowing team is in its ninth season as an intercollegiate sport at Virginia.