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SACRAMENTO, Calif. The Virginia women’s rowing team advanced all three of its boats on Friday during the first day of competition at the 2008 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif.

Virginia’s Varsity Four (coxswain Cristine Candland, Diane Leigh, Allison Brennan, Nora Phillips and Schafer Bomstein) won its heat and advanced directly to Sunday’s Grand Final. The Cavaliers finished with a time of 7:27.07.

The Varsity Eight (coxswain Caitlin Mixter, Jennifer Cromwell, Rebecca Ryall, Lauren Hutchins, Kelsie Chaudoin, Desiree Burns, Augusta Stratos, Bridget Wandelt, Katrin Sydlik) finished a close second in its heat, and advanced to Saturday’s semifinals. The crew led most of its race, but was edged in the last 250 meters by California. Virginia’s time was 6:24.95, compared to Cal’s 6:23.79. The third team to advance from that heat was Princeton with a time of 6:28.28.

The Second Varsity Eight (coxswain Mary Eddy, Amanda Chase, Lauren Shook, Helen Tompkins, Marie Long, Claudia Blandford, Annie Bohlen, Adrienne Egge and Victoria Burke) had a third-place finish and advanced to the repechage on Saturday.

“It was an encouraging day,” head coach Kevin Sauer said. “We are definitely in the hunt and we’ll continue to push tomorrow and hopefully put ourselves in a good position.”

2008 NCAA Championships
Friday, May 30
Lake Natoma | Sacramento, Calif.

Varsity Eight (Heat 3): 1. California (6:23.79); 2. Virginia (6:24.95); 3. Princeton (6:28.28); 4. Washington State (6:28.98); 5. Tennessee (6:30.69)

Second Varsity Eight (Heat 2): 1. Brown (6:44.46); 2. Washington (6:47.18); 3. Virginia (6:49.22); 4. Washington State (6:52.38); 5. Wisconsin (6:52.95); 6. Princeton (7:08.53)

Varsity Four (Heat 1): 1. Virginia (7:27.07); 2. Michigan State (7:31.83); 3. Brown (7:34.28); 4. Ohio State (7:42.17); 5. Washington State (7:46.87); 6. Tennessee (7:52.68)

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