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May 28, 2004

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – The University of Virginia women’s rowing team’s varsity four crew won its heat on Friday (May 28) to highlight the opening day of competition for the Cavaliers at the 2004 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma. The victory enables Virginia to advance directly to Sunday’s (May 30) Grand Final in the varsity four.

UVa’s second varsity eight crew finished second and the Cavaliers’ first varsity eight finished third in their heats on Friday. The second varsity eight crew advances to repechage competition and the first varsity eight to the semifinals on Saturday (May 29). The championships continue through Sunday (May 30).

“The racing was very competitive today,” said Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer. “Our varsity four did a great job and the second varsity eight will be very competitive. Our first varsity eight needs to respond to some of the speed it saw this morning.”

Virginia’s varsity four finished with a time of 7:28.67 to win its heat by almost seven seconds over Yale (7:35.50). California-Berkeley finished third (7:37.57) followed by Princeton (7:41.09), Washington State (7:43.17) and Michigan State (7:50.86).

UVa’s varsity four was comprised of coxswain Launa Forehand, Kerry Maher, Renee Albers, Libby McCann and Ashley Jones.

In its heat of the second varsity eight, Virginia finished a second and a half behind Brown. Brown had a time of 6:47.30 and UVa finished in 6:48.80. Michigan was third with a time of 6:54.30 followed by Wisconsin (6:57.50), Ohio State (6:59.00) and Michigan State (7:01.70).

The Cavaliers’ second varsity eight was made up of coxswain Danielle Sewell, Carolyn McMillan, Julie Creighton, Katie Yrazabal, Kelley Jesnig, Yvonne Epp, Jessica Haury, Mary Dobmeier and Emily Richard.

Virginia’s first varsity eight finished third in its heat with a time of 6:54.80. Michigan won the heat in 6:45.80 and California-Berkeley was second with a time of 6:49.50. Wisconsin finished fourth (6:59.70) and Texas was fifth (7:04.80).

UVa’s first varsity eight was comprised of coxswain Betty Shumaker, Jennifer Reck, Lindsay Shoop, Beth Clark, Kathryn Waller, Margaret Matia, Sara Lippa, Genevieve Cauchon-Voyer and Melanie Kok.

UVa 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.

Virginia, Brown, Princeton and Washington are the only schools to receive team invitations to each of the eight NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships.

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