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May 24, 2000

CHARLOTTESVILLE– – The University of Virginia women’s rowing team begins competition in the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships on Friday (May 26) at Cooper River Park in Camden, N.J. The competition is scheduled to continue through Sunday (May 28).

Virginia is one of 10 teams selected to compete in the championships. The other team selections include Boston University, Brown, California-Berkeley, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton and Washington.

As a team selection, Virginia will send three crews to the NCAA Championships. The 10 schools competing for the team title will have one crew in each of the contested races – the first varsity eight, the second varsity eight and the varsity four.

Nine additional schools received at-large invitations to participate in the first varsity eight competition. Those schools include California-Davis, Northeastern, Oregon State, Southern California, Syracuse, Wesleyan University, Williams College, William Smith and Yale. The nine schools receiving at-large invitations in the varsity eight can win that competition, but without an entry in all three races are ineligible for the team title.

Virginia is currently ranked sixth in the nation in the first varsity eight.

Brown won the 1999 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship by beating Virginia in the first varsity eight, the final event of the competition. UVa took a three-point lead into the final event after winning the second varsity eight and finishing second in the varsity four. The first varsity eight race was tight for the first 1,000 meters before Brown pulled away over the final 500 meters. Virginia and Brown both finished with 56 points in the team competition, but the team championship went to Brown based on the NCAA tiebreaker of highest finish in the first varsity eight.

UVa’s victory in the second varsity eight marked the second consecutive year the Cavaliers won the national championship in that event. Virginia was one of just three schools to have boats in all three grande final races at last year’s NCAA Championships.

UVa finished third at the NCAA Championships in 1998 and finished fourth in the team competition at the first NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships in 1997.

The women’s rowing team is in its fifth season as an intercollegiate sport at UVa.

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