GOLD RIVER, Calif. - The Virginia rowing team finished sixth in the final team standings with 69 points at the 2011 NCAA Championships, held on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. NCAA Champion Brown finished with 85 points, edging second-place Stanford's 85 points by virtue of a higher finish in the Varsity Eight grand final.
Virginia, last year's national champion, finished second in the Varsity Four, fifth in the Second Varsity Eight and seventh in the Varsity Eight.
"This team's journey this year was hard and they did a great job with it," Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer said. "We finished sixth in the country and we can walk out of here with our heads up. As a coaching staff, we are proud of this team not just for today but for the journey. We had some good finishes today and we will learn from those things we were a little bit short on."
Third place went to California (83 points), followed by fourth-place Princeton (72 points) and fifth-place Southern California (72 points). Princeton won the tiebreaker with USC by virtue of a higher finish in the Varsity Eight.
Virginia's Varsity Four earned the silver medal with a second-place finish in its grand final (7:11.39). Cal took first place in that race (7:09.60). Virginia led by a slim margin at the 500-meter mark but California took the lead at the halfway mark and held on for the victory.
"The Four is a great boat and [associate head coach] Steve [Pritzker] has done a great job with them," Sauer said. "They got off to a good start, but Cal kept banging away and was able to get through us in the middle of the race. We gave it everything we had and Cal was just a little bit better today and had a great race to win it. To be the second-best Four in the country is still pretty good stuff."
Virginia's Second Varsity Eight finished fifth (6:37.20) in its grand final. Stanford was the national champion in that event (6:26.76), followed by Brown (6:29.41), Cal (6:31.70) and Ohio State (6:33.42).
In the Varsity Eight petite final (for places seventh through 12th), Virginia came back after trailing Yale most of the race and claimed the victory with a time of 6:33.24. The grand final in that event was won by Princeton (6:27.12).
"I told the Varsity Eight yesterday that their character was going to be revealed in this petite final," Sauer said. "It's hard to rebound when you are really fighting for the grand final and be disappointed that much and not make it. To do that and do what they did today - I was very impressed by that and very proud of them. We were able to power through and have a little more juice than Yale and nip them at the line. It was satisfying to come out with a win, even though it was the petite final, they finished as the seventh-best Varsity Eight crew in the country. I was very proud of their effort."
Final Team Scores
1. Brown (85) *
2. Stanford (85)
3. California (83)
4. Princeton (72) **
5. Southern California (72)
6. Virginia (69)
7. Michigan State (55)
8. Washington (54)
9. Wisconsin (44) ***
10. Ohio State (44)
11. Yale (42)
12. Washington State (39)
13. Michigan (33)
14. Harvard (17)
15. Clemson (12)
16. Dartmouth (10)
* Brown wins national title by virtue of higher finish in the Varsity Eight race.
** Princeton finishes fourth by virtue of higher finish in the Varsity Eight race.
*** Wisconsin finishes ninth by virtue of higher finish in the Varsity Eight race.
Varsity Eight Grand Final: 1. Princeton (6:27.12), 2. Brown (6:28.62), 3. Stanford (6:28.67), 4. California (6:30.06), 5. Southern California (6:30.19), 6. Michigan State (6:36.12)
Varsity Eight Petite Final: 7. Virginia (6:33.24), 8. Yale (6:33.83), 9. Wisconsin (6:37.65), 10. Washington (6:38.06), 11. Washington State (6:42.66), 12. Michigan (6:42.74)
Varsity Eight Third Final: 13. Harvard (6:34.45), 14. Ohio State (6:36.62), 15. Clemson (6:38.47), 16. Dartmouth (6:40.63)
Second Varsity Eight Grand Final: 1. Stanford (6:26.76), 2. Brown (6:29.41), 3. California (6:31.70), 4. Ohio State (6:33.42), 5. Virginia (6:37.20), 6. Southern California (6:37.83)
Second Varsity Eight Petite Final: 7. Washington (6:35.91), 8. Michigan State (6:37.28), 9. Princeton (6:37.43), 10. Washington State (6:40.57), 11. Michigan (6:42.28), 12. Yale (6:43.59), 13. Wisconsin (6:43.92)
Second Varsity Eight Third Final: 1. Dartmouth (6:34.45), 2. Clemson (6:34.91), 3. Harvard (6:41.91)
Varsity Four Grand Final: 1. California (7:09.60), 2. Virginia (7:11.39), 3. Southern California (7:12.73), 4. Washington (7:17.51), 5. Wisconsin (7:17.74), 6. Stanford (7:18.08)
Varsity Four Petite Final: 7. Brown (7:17.67), 8. Ohio State (7:18.32), 9. Princeton (7:19.24), 10. Washington State (7:24.00), 11. Michigan (7:26.72), 12. Yale (7:29.57)
Varsity Four Third Final: 13. Michigan State (7:28.50), 14. Harvard (7:32.72), 15. Clemson (7:34.71), 16. Dartmouth (7:40.83)
UVa NCAA Line-Ups
Varsity Eight: Coxswain Sidney Thorsten, Kristine O'Brien, Christine Roper, Fiona Schlesinger, Martha Kuzzy, Keziah Beall, Sarah Borchelt, Claudia Blandford, Carli Goldberg
Second Varsity Eight: Coxswain Molly Frear, MacKenzie Leahy, Taylor Levine, Carolyn Glandorf, Brandy Herald, Morgan Joseph, Marelle Myers, Cara Linnenkohl, Lauren Shook
Varsity Four: Coxswain Sarah Jordan, Ruth Retzinger, Kaity McCullough, Chelsea Simpson, Caroline Sweeny