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CHERRY HILL, N.J. – Virginia finished with 78 points, including a second-place finish in the Varsity Eight, to claim fourth place at the 2009 NCAA Rowing Championships Sunday on the Cooper River.
The runner-up finish for the Varsity Eight tied the highest in program history, besting a third-place finish in 2000. The Cavaliers also finished second in 1999.
As a team, the Cavaliers finished in the top four for the eighth time in the 13-year history of the championships, with the program's all-time top overall finish being second. Stanford was this year's NCAA Champion with 88 points, followed by California (85) and Yale (85). California edged out Yale for second place by virtue of a better finish in the grand final of the Varsity Eight.
“To finish fourth is a great testament to the resiliency of this team,” head coach Kevin Sauer said.
Virginia’s Varsity Eight of coxswain Sidney Thorsten, Jennifer Cromwell, Helen Tompkins, Desiree Burns, Amanda Chase, Lauren Hutchins, Augusta Stratos, Nora Phillips and Victoria Burke put forth a heroic effort throughout the 2,000-meter race. Trailing No. 1-ranked Stanford at the halfway point of the race by just under two seconds, Virginia pushed to the end and was barely edged by the Cardinal by less than one second at the finish line.
“We knew if we kept in contact with Stanford we would have a chance to win,” senior co-captain Augusta Stratos said. “We are so proud of how we raced.”
Too close to call by sight at the finish line, Stanford was announced minutes after the race ended as the NCAA Champion with a time of 6:11.95. Virginia’s second-place time was 6:12.32, followed by California (6:14.76).
The second-place finish garnered UVa 45 points toward the team standings.
“That was the best collegiate women’s rowing race I have seen, and I’ve been doing this for awhile,” Sauer said. “What an amazing race. They kept bringing it all the way to the last stroke, they just ran out of water.”
In the Second Varsity Eight, the crew of coxswain Cristine Candland, Lauren Shook, Claudia Blandford, Marie Long, Bridget Fowler, Martha Kuzzy, Cara Linnenkohl, Christine Roper and Susie Chalker finished sixth in its grand final with a time of 6:37.17.
Yale won that race with a time of 6:29.04, followed by California (6:29.58), Stanford (6:31.88), Brown (6:32.93) and Washington (6:34.28). The Cavaliers earned 22 points for their sixth-place finish.
The first race of the day, the Varsity Four, was won by Atlantic Coast Conference competitor Clemson with a time of 7:26.78. UVa finished sixth with a time of 7:34.26 and earned 11 points towards its team standings.
The Varsity Four crew is coxswain Sarah Pichardo, Ruth Retzinger, Summers Nelson, Caroline Sweeny, Shalane Carlson.
Final Team Standings (Points)
1. Stanford (88)
2. California (85)
3. Yale (85)
4. Virginia (78)
5. Brown (71)
6. Michigan State (54)
7. Washington (50)
8. Ohio State (49)
9. Michigan (48)
10. Princeton (46)
11. Southern California (46)
12. Clemson (43)
13. Wisconsin (26)
14. Harvard (21)
15. Oregon State (14)
16. Dartmouth (12)
Grand Final Results
EVENT: VARSITY EIGHT
Grand Final: 1. Stanford (6:11.95); 2. Virginia (6:12.32); 3. California (6:14.76); 4. Yale (6:17.22); 5. Brown (6:18.13); 6. Princeton (6:24.02)
• (Virginia lineup: Coxswain Sidney Thorsten, Jennifer Cromwell, Helen Tompkins, Desiree Burns, Amanda Chase, Lauren Hutchins, Augusta Stratos, Nora Phillips, Victoria Burke)
EVENT: SECOND VARSITY EIGHT
Grand Final: 1. Yale (6:29.04); 2. California (6:29.58); 3. Stanford (6:31.88); 4. Brown (6:32.93); 5. Washington (6:34.28); 6. Virginia (6:37.17)
• (Virginia lineup: Coxswain Cristine Candland, Lauren Shook, Claudia Blandford, Marie Long, Bridget Fowler, Martha Kuzzy, Cara Linnenkohl, Christine Roper, Susie Chalker)
EVENT: VARSITY FOUR
Grand Final: 1. Clemson (7:26.78); 2. Wisconsin (7:28.54); 3. Yale (7:30.81); 4. California (7:32.01); 5. Stanford (7:32.29); 6. Virginia (7:34.26)
• (Virginia lineup: Coxswain Sarah Pichardo, Ruth Retzinger, Summers Nelson, Caroline Sweeny, Shalane Carlson)
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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