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May 30, 2004

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – The University of Virginia women’s rowing team’s varsity four crew won the NCAA Championship in that event and the Cavaliers finished tied for sixth in the team competition on the final day of the 2004 NCAA Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma on Sunday (May 30). Virginia’s second varsity eight crew won the Petite Final to finish seventh overall in that event and UVa’s first varsity eight finished ninth in that competition.

Brown won the team championship with 70 points followed by Yale (58), Michigan (52), California-Berkeley (51), Washington (43) and Virginia and Princeton tied for sixth with 36 points. Ohio State finished eighth with 33 points followed by Washington State (28), Harvard (24), Wisconsin (19) and Michigan State (18).

The championship by Virginia’s varsity four is the first NCAA Championship for a UVa crew since 1999. UVa’s second varsity eight won NCAA Championships in 1999 and 1998.

“Our varsity four did a great job and I’m very happy for them to be national champions in their event,” said Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer. “I’m proud of all our crews because they rowed their hearts out today. We wanted to win all three of our races today and we won two of them, and the first varsity eight was closing fast in its race.

“I’m very proud of the efforts of our rowers. We ended up a little short of where we wanted to be as a team, but we gave a great effort. The depth of competition at this year’s NCAA Championships was the best yet.

“I also want to comment on my staff. Veronika Platzer did a wonderful job of coaching the varsity four with help from Steve Pritzker. I also appreciate very much the time and effort of Joel Furtek and Kara DeFilippi. They drove not only our boats across the country and now back, but also the boats from Ohio State, Princeton and Tennessee.”

On Sunday, the Cavaliers varsity four led the entire Grand Final race and finished first by 3.3 seconds with a time of 7:27.50. Washington finished second (7:30.80) followed by Brown (7:32.20), Yale (7:34.40), California-Berkeley (7:39.30) and Ohio State (7:39.90).

Virginia’s varsity four was comprised of coxswain Launa Forehand, Kerry Maher, Renee Albers, Libby McCann and Ashley Jones. Maher, Albers, McCann and Jones were all freshmen during the 2003-04 academic year, and Forehand was a junior.

UVa won the Petite Final of the second varsity eight with a time of 6:48.80 with Wisconsin second (6:51.00) and Harvard third (6:53.70). Princeton finished fourth in 6:54.00 followed by Michigan State (6:54.40) and Ohio State (6:55.10). Virginia trailed by just over a second after the first 1500 meters of the 2000-meter race, but rallied in the last 500 meters to win.

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.

Brown won the Grand Final in the second varsity eight with a time of 6:44.10 followed by California-Berkeley (6:46.80), Washington State (6:47.00), Michigan (6:47.20), Yale (6:50.40) and Washington (6:50.41).

Virginia’s first varsity eight finished third in the Petite Final of that event with a time of 6:38.27. Washington finished first in 6:37.44 and Harvard was second (6:37.89). Tennessee finished fourth (6:40.36) followed by Notre Dame (6:43.00) and Southern California (6:43.16).

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.

Brown won the Grand Final in the first varsity eight with a time of 6:32.90 followed by Yale (6:34.60), Michigan (6:37.10), Princeton (6:37.70), Ohio State (6:38.90) and California-Berkeley (6:40.10).

Virginia has finished in the top seven in the team competition at each of the eight 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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