OAK RIDGE, Tenn.--The Virginia women's rowing team won the championship in the varsity four competition and finished second to Brown in the team competition on the final day of the 2007 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships Sunday (May 27) on Melton Hill Lake.
The second place finish equals UVa's best team finish at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships. It's the second time in the last three years and the third time overall UVa has finished second in the team competition. Virginia also finished second in 2005 and 1999.
In the final event of the NCAA Championships, Brown finished fourth just under two seconds ahead of fifth place Virginia in the varsity eight Grand Final to give the Bears the team championship. Entering the Grand Final of the varsity eight, California led the team competition with 32 points, followed by Brown (31) and Virginia (30). Yale won the varsity eight with Brown earning 27 points for its fourth place finish and UVa receiving 24 points for finishing fifth. California did not participate in the Grand Final of the varsity eight.
The Cavaliers' championship in the varsity four marked the third time in the last four years Virginia has won the NCAA Championship in that competition. UVa also won the NCAA Championship in the varsity four in 2004 and 2005. Brown finished second to Virginia in the varsity four Grand Final on Sunday.
UVa's second varsity eight boat finished fourth in the Grand Final in that competition with Brown finishing third. Minnesota won the Grand Final in the second varsity eight.
"We came into the NCAA Championships with a goal of winning the team title," said Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer. "Obviously we're disappointed we weren't able to accomplish that goal, but I'm very proud of this team for its second place finish. We did not participate in the NCAA Championships last year and to come back and finish second this year is quite an accomplishment. It's also a significant accomplishment to be one of just two teams to have all three of its boats in Grand Finals.
"I'm pleased with the varsity four winning another championship and I congratulate assistant coach Steve Pritzker for his work with that crew. In the varsity eight and the second varsity eight competitions, we came up a little short of what we needed to win the team championship."
Brown won the team championship with 58 points followed by Virginia with 54 and Ohio State with 52. Yale was fourth with 51 points followed by Southern California (48), Minnesota (47), California (38), Princeton (34), Tennessee (29), Washington (25), Harvard (19) and Notre Dame (13).
Virginia took the lead in the first 500 meters and dominated the 2,000-meter varsity four Grand Final race. The Cavaliers won by more than 10 seconds. UVa finished in a time of 7:35.03 with Brown second (7:45.54) and California third (7:47.87). Princeton finished fourth with a time of 7:50.90 followed by Washington (7:53.75) and Yale (7:54.41). Virginia's varsity four boat was comprised of Chrissie Monaghan, Amanda Chase, Rebecca Ryall, Mindy Fiesler and coxswain Mary Eddy.
UVa was second behind Minnesota after the first 1,500 meters of the second varsity eight Grand Final, before crews from California and Brown passed the Cavaliers in the final 500 meters of the race. Minnesota took the lead in the first 500 meters and led the rest of the way to win the championship in that competition with a time of 6:56.39. California finished second in a time of 6:59.15 followed by Brown (6:59.71), Virginia (7:01.52), Ohio State (7:08.52) and Washington (7:11.29). UVa's second varsity eight boat was made up of Anna Samaha, Andria Haneman, Kelsie Chaudoin, Heather Gardner, Emelia Colman-Shepherd, Desiree Burns, Yvonne Epp, Bridget Fowler and coxswain Michelle Ellison
Virginia was second to Yale after the first 1,000 meters of the varsity eight Grand Final, but the Cavaliers dropped back to fifth after 1,500 meters and remained in that position over the final 500 meters. Yale won the varsity eight Grand Final with a time of 6:37.08 followed by Ohio State (6:38.77), Southern California (6:39.45), Brown (6:39.55), Virginia (6:41.50) and Princeton (6:45.38). UVa's varsity eight boat was comprised of Melanie Kok, Sara Lippa, Katrin Sydlik, Lauren Hutchins, Augusta Stratos, Libby McCann, Kerry Maher, Jennifer Cromwell and coxswain Caitlin Mixter.
The 2007 championships were the 11th NCAA Women's Rowing Championships and Virginia has competed in 10 of the 11 events. UVa has finished in the top seven in the team competition at each of the 10 NCAA Championships in which it has competed.